Blackfoot: Kut-O-Yis, The Blood Boy (cont. yet again)

This story is part of the Blackfoot unit. Story source: Blackfeet Indian Stories by George Bird Grinnell (1915).

Kut-O-Yis, The Blood Boy (cont. yet again)
[for audio, see previous post]

To the old women Kut-o-yis' then said, "Now, grandmothers, where are there any more people? I want to travel about and see them."

The old women said, "At the Point of Rocks--on Sun River--there is a camp. There is a piskun there."

So Kut-o-yis' set off for that place, and when he came to the camp he went into an old woman's lodge.

The old woman gave him something to eat--a dish of bad food.

"Why is this, grandmother?" asked Kut-o-yis'. "Have you no food better than this to give to a visitor? Down there I see a piskun; you must kill plenty of buffalo and must have good food."

"Speak lower," said the old woman, "or you may be heard. We have no good food because there is a great snake here who is the chief of the camp. He takes all the best pieces. He lives over there in that snake-painted lodge."

The next morning when the buffalo were led in, Kut-o-yis' killed one, and they took the back fat and carried it to their lodge. Then Kut-o-yis' said, "I think I will visit that snake person."

He went over and went into the lodge, and there he saw many women that the snake person had taken to be his wives. The women were cooking some service berries.

Kut-o-yis' picked up the dish and ate the berries and threw the dish away. Then he went up to the big snake, who was lying there asleep, and pricked him with his knife, saying, "Here, get up; I have come to visit you. Let us smoke together."

Then the snake was angry, and he raised up his head and began to rattle, and Kut-o-yis' cut off his head and cut him in pieces. He cut off the heads of all the snake's wives and children, all except one little female snake which got away by crawling into a crack in the rocks.

"Oh, well," said Kut-o-yis', "you can go and breed snakes so there will be more. The people will not be afraid of little snakes."

Kut-o-yis' said to the old woman, "Now, grandmother, go into this snake lodge and take it for your own and everything that is in it."

Then he said to them, "Where are there some more people?" They told him there were some camps down the river and some up in the mountains, but they said, "Do not go up there. It is bad because there lives [=A]i-s[=i]n'-o-k[=o]-k[=i] --Wind Sucker. He will kill you."

Kut-o-yis' was glad to know that there was such a person, and he went to the mountains.

When he reached the place where Wind Sucker lived, he looked into his mouth and saw there many dead people. Some were skeletons, and some had only just died. He went in, and there he saw a fearful sight. The ground was white as snow with the bones of those who had died. There were bodies with flesh on them; some who had died not long before and some who were still living.

As he looked about, he saw hanging down above him a great thing that seemed to move--to grow a little larger and then to grow a little smaller.

Kut-o-yis' spoke to one of the people who was alive and asked, "What is that hanging down above us?"

The person answered him, "That is Wind Sucker's heart."

Then Kut-o-yis' spoke to all the living and said to them, "You who still draw a little breath, try to move your heads in time to the song that I shall sing, and you who are still able to move, stand up on your feet and dance. Take courage now; we are going to dance to the ghosts."

Then Kut-o-yis' tied his knife, point upward, to the top of his head and began to dance, singing the ghost song, and all the others danced with him, and as he danced up and down, he kept springing higher and higher into the air, and the point of his knife cut Wind Sucker's heart and killed him.

Then Kut-o-yis', with his knife, cut a hole between Wind Sucker's ribs, and he and all those who were able to move crawled out through the hole. He said to those who could still walk that they should go and tell their people to come here, to get the ones still alive but unable to travel.

(700 words)

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