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19. THE PYGMIES (28)

There is a race of little people to whom what is small seems large while what is large seems small. A number of these people once said they were going to war. They had bows about 6 inches long. The first enemy they found was a hive of yellow jackets with which they began to fight. The yellow jackets stung many of them to death, but there was one large person among them, and he killed the yellow jackets by flailing them with a bush containing many limbs. Therefore the little people became very much attached to this man and honored him. While wandering about they came to a very small creek, and in order to cross this they had to build rafts. They killed a small bird called tsishtsinuku and cut it up into pieces, which they carried off separately. When the large person took this bird by the bill and lifted it up they thought he was very strong. When they came to a little creek he would take the little people up in his hand and put them across, but a larger creek they would jump, while the large person had to be taken by the arms and helped over. Once they killed a bison, and one of these little men picked it up alone and carried it along. By and by they came to where the long-billed cranes live and fought with them. The cranes began to kill a great many, but the large man got a club and clubbed them until they ran away.

p. 248

(My informant did not remember any more of this story, but added that if a man wants to see these little people he has to fast four days and go with a shaman. The periods of fasting varied, the fast of a year spoken of in Story 14 being the longest my informant had ever heard of.)

Next: 20. The Frog That Lost His Wife