The Origin of Corn and Deer
Then the man said to the turkey, "My child, this is a nice land we have come to. There should be some seeds."
"Father, I will soon make some corn for you. To-morrow you must level a place." Then the man levelled a piece of ground. The turkey came to the prepared place. He ran from the east toward it. He made black corn lie there in a row. He ran from the south causing blue corn to lie in a row. He ran again from the west making a row of yellow corn. Then he ran from the north and made a row of corn of various colors. "Now, my father, you may plant it," he said. The man planted it, scattering the seed. He raised corn and tobacco also.
He went across the river. He saw the blazing of a fire. "Where are there any people living?" he said to himself. The next day he went where he had seen the fire but there were no people there. When it was dark again, there was a fire blazing again in the same place. When he went there the next day there were no people. He went back to his home and when it was dark again there was a fire as before. The next day he went there and found a woman rubbing hides in the water. She started to run away from him but he ran right after her. She ran into the tipi and he followed after her. Her father spoke to him, offering him tobacco from his fawn-skin tobacco bag. He did not care to smoke and only drew on the pipe once.
He went back to his little home. His turkey was afraid of him and would not come near him. "You smell, my father. You do not smell as you used to," the turkey said. The man broke off four ears of corn and gave them to the girl's father. He liked them very much. He passed his tobacco bag to him. He drew on the pipe but once.
He went back to his home. His turkey would not come near him. "You smell bad," he said. The next day he went to visit them again, carrying much corn with him. The people were glad because he brought so much corn. Then the girl placed before him loin meat and deer meat side by side. The young man ate the meat. He took some of the tobacco he had raised, rolled a cigarette with corn leaves, and gave it to the old man. "This is good," said the girl's father as he smoked it. "Why did he not bring a large quantity of it? When he comes again he must bring plenty." It was the girl's father who said this. The next day he came to them again bringing a fawn-skin bag full of tobacco. "He has done very well," said the father as he received it.
The woman went home with the man and returned bringing much corn with her. The young man then became her husband. They were satisfied. "We, too, have some property," said the father-in-law, "Go and hunt with him." His brother-in-law placed him by a black screen or blind. Something ran toward him and passed. It was a fox. Then he placed him by a blue blind and a wolf rain by him. "Do not shoot it," his monitor told him. Then he sat by a yellow blind and a large panther ran by him. Finally, he placed him by a variegated blind. "Now, make motions four times when it runs towards you." Then he made motions four times, and shot it. "It ran off that way," he said. It fell with its head backward. When he came to it he turned its head toward the sun and then he butchered it. He killed it for his brother-in-law to whom he gave the hide. His brother-in-law's wife carried it home.
Then the old man, his father-in-law, felt happy. "Now come with me and look at my property," he said. They two went in together where the tame deer were kept. There were very many fawns there which he had raised. He gave all these to his son-in-law, saying, "Now these deer are all your property, take charge of them. All the people living upon the earth will live upon deer."
The man and his wife went away and commenced living on a hill. The woman built a fire there. All the deer gathered about her and by the next morning had eaten all the leaves from the brush shelter. The woman did not like it and drove them away. They came back to her, however. This continued for four days. The woman, not liking it, took up the poker and struck the deer with it. They had scattered the ashes all about. She drove them far away saying, "I am tired of you." They came back to her nevertheless. Then she was angry and hit them above the nose with the poker. "Deer will always have a sense of smell," she said. She drove them far away but they came back to her.
"My mother, do not hit me, we belong to you. To what other one can we go?" one of them said to her.
"I like you, my children," she said. Then two fawns came back to her. "The time is at hand when I shall turn you loose," she said. Nevertheless, four came back to her. "Four times, you have destroyed my fence for me. That is why I am going to send you away she said. "Now, my children, I send you off." The next day four of them came back to her again. "To-day, I am turning you loose. Go as far as you wish toward the South. I have made you red in the summertime, blue in the fall, black in the middle of the winter, and brown in the spring. I have made your hoofs and the ends of your noses black. I have made your horns, your ears, your face, your teeth, your gait, your tails, your white hips, all very pretty for you. I have made your eyes of coals, for you to see with. Now, all I have given you looks very well."