Apache: The Swallowing Monster

This story is part of the Apache unit. Story source: Jicarilla Apache Texts edited by Pliny Earle Goddard (1911).

The Swallowing Monster

At another time the people were camping near a spring, hunting deer. When one of the girls went to the spring for water she found a dead deer lying there. She ran back and told the others what she had found and some one went out and brought in the deer. This happened four times; the girl found a dead deer as she was going for water and it was brought in and eaten.

After dark someone looked out through a hole in the tipi and saw the monster. They built a big fire on that account for it was very dark. They told the fire poker, "You must cry like a little baby."

"You," they told the pole over which hides are dressed, "must shout like a boy."

"You must laugh like a girl," they told the muller.

"When he runs after us, you must shout like a grown person," they told the pestle.

While it was still very darkm they ran off. The monster, after hunting for them in vain at the camp site, ran after them. The fire poker cried like a baby and the monster ran back. The crying ceased and he ran after them again. He heard a boy shouting at the old camp and returned. Not finding anyone, be ran after them again. Back at the camp a girl was laughing. Having looked for her in vain he ran after them again. A man was shouting at the old camp. The monster ran back and searched for him in vain. He then swallowed the fire poker, the tanning pole, the muller, and the pestle.

He ran after them again but by this time they were far away.

He overtook them and swallowed all of them but the little girl. She came to Spider, who was chopping a tree near his home, and he hid her under the knot of his hair braid.

When the monster came there be said, "Where did you put the girl?"

"I did not see anyone," he replied.

"Her tracks are here," the monster replied.

"Nobody came to me," old man Spider said.

"I am going to swallow you," said the monster. Then Spider was angry. He tore the monster to pieces and took the girl home with him.

Spider's wife was jealous of the girl. A tree stood by the shore of a lake. Spider's wife made a swing by fastening a poor rope to a limb of the tree. She induced the girl to swing on it. When she swung the second time the rope broke and she fell into the water and became a frog.

(400 words)

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