VI. Selected Tales

THE following tales are among those dictated to me in Crow by Yellow-brow. I am confining my choice to stories recorded in the original, and the rendering is as accurate as seems consistent with intelligibility, my purpose being to afford some notion of the style as well as of the type of plot current among my Indiansz. In each case I have appended some explanatory comments.


OLD MAN COYOTE AND HIS DART

It was Old Man Coyote. He was going around, he was very hungry. He kept on going around. He got to a little coyote on slippery ice. He [the little coyote] had a little bell tied to the end of his tail. He would run on the ice: when he went trotting, this little bell punctured the ice when it struck it, and each hole would be filled with tallow. This coyote would turn back, retrace his steps, pick up the fat, and eat as he went along. Old Man Coyote watched him. "My younger brother, what you own [your power] is wonderful! Do it for me," he said. "Why, I get my food by it, I love it, I don't want to give it up. If I gave it away, I'd be hungry, I won't give it up," said this coyote. "Do it, my younger brother!""This possession of mine is most valuable.""My dart is fine [said Old Man Coyote]; if I give it to you, give me your possession." He took it and gave it to him. "This is splendid!" This coyote liked it. "Well, all right," he said, and gave it him. He [Old Man Coyote] tied it [the bell] to the lower part of his blanket and went. He ran on the ice, he allowed it to strike it, he punctured the ice, and the holes were filled with fat. He turned around, took it and ate it. He liked it.

This coyote was holding his dart. It was Old Man Coyote that came to him. "My younger brother, I'd like to look again at that dart I owned. It's no longer part of me, but please give me my dart, I want to look at it again, then I'll go my way." Then he gave it to him. Old Man Coyote took it and examined it. Then he said, "Ha, ha!" [exclamation of ridicule] and ran away. "Long

-119-

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The Crow Indians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • I - Tribal Organization 3
  • II - Kinship and Affnity 18
  • III - From Cradle to Grave 33
  • IV - The Workaday World 72
  • V - Literature 104
  • VI - Selected Tales 119
  • VII - Old Woman's Grandchild 134
  • VIII - Twined-Tail 158
  • IX - Club Life 172
  • X - War 215
  • XI - Religion 237
  • XII - Rites and Festivals 256
  • XIII - The Bear Song Dance 264
  • XIV - The Sacred Pipe Dance 269
  • XV - The Tobacco Society 274
  • XVI - The Sun Dance 297
  • XVII - World-View 327
  • Appendix I - Sources 335
  • Appendix II - Clan Names 340
  • Glossary 343
  • Index 345
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