Sunday, June 8, 2014

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

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.)
[for audio, see previous post]

The son-in-law and his wives came home, bringing the meat, and after a little time, they heard the child in the next lodge crying. The son-in-law said to his youngest wife, "Go over to your mother's and see whether that baby is a boy or a girl. If it is a boy, tell your parents to kill it."

Soon the young woman came back and said to her husband, "It is a girl baby. You are to have another wife."

The son-in-law did not know whether to believe this and sent his oldest wife to ask the same question. When she came back and told him the same thing he believed that it was really a girl. Then he was glad, for he said to himself, "Now, when this child has grown up, I shall have another wife."

He said to his youngest wife, "Take some back fat and pemmican over to your mother; she must be well fed now that she has to nurse this child."

On the fourth day after he had been born, the child spoke and said to his mother, "Hold me in turn to each one of these lodge poles, and when I come to the last one I shall fall out of my lashings and be grown up." The old woman did as he had said, and as she held him to one pole after another he could be seen to grow, and finally when he was held to the last pole he was a man.

After Kut-o-yis' had looked about the lodge, he put his eye to a hole in the lodge-covering and looked out. Then he turned around and said to the old people, "How is it that in this lodge there is nothing to eat? Over by the other lodge I see plenty of food hanging up."

"Hush," said the old woman, raising her hand, "you will be heard. Our son-in-law lives over there. He does not give us anything at all to eat."

"Well," said the young man, "where is your piskun--where do you kill buffalo?"

"It is down by the river," the old woman answered. "We pound on it and the buffalo run out."

For some time they talked together and the old man told Kut-o-yis' how his son-in-law had abused him. He said to the young man, "He has taken from me my bow and my arrows and has taken even my dogs, and now for many days we have had nothing to eat, except sometimes a small piece of meat that our daughter throws to us."

"Father," said Kut-o-yis', "have you no arrows?"

"No, my son," replied the old man, "but I still have four stone arrow points."

"Go out then," said Kut-o-yis', "and get some wood. We will make a bow and some arrows, and in the morning we will go down to where the buffalo are and kill something to eat."

Early in the morning Kut-o-yis' pushed the old man and said, "Come, get up now, and we will go down and kill, when the buffalo come out." It was still very early in the morning.

When they reached the river the old man said, "This is the place to stand and shoot. I will go down and drive them out."

He went down and stamped on the log-jam, and presently a fat cow ran out and Kut-o-yis' killed it.

Now, after these two had gone to the river, the son-in-law arose and went over to the old man's lodge and knocked on the poles and called to the old man to get up and help him kill. The old woman called out to the son-in-law, saying, "Your father-in-law has already gone down to the piskun." This made the son-in-law angry, and he began to talk badly to the old woman and to threaten to harm her.

Presently he went on down to the log-jam, and as he got near the place, he saw the old man at work there, bending over, skinning a buffalo, for Kut-o-yis', when he had seen the son-in-law coming, had lain down on the ground and hidden himself behind the carcass.

When the son-in-law had come pretty close to where the buffalo lay, he said to his father-in-law, "Old man, stand up and look all about you. Look carefully and well, for it will be the last time that you will ever see anything," and while the son-in-law said this, he took an arrow from his quiver.

Kut-o-yis' spoke to the old man from his hiding-place and said, "Tell your son-in-law that he must take his last look for you are going to kill him now." The old man said this as he had been told.

"Ah," said the son-in-law, "you talk back to me. That makes me still angrier at you." He put an arrow on the string and shot at the old man, but did not hit him.

Kut-o-yis' said to the old man, "Pick up that arrow and shoot it back at him," and the old man did so.

Now, they shot at each other four times, and then the old man said to Kut-o-yis', "I am afraid now; get up and help me. If you do not, I think he will kill me."

Then Kut-o-yis' rose to his feet and said to the son-in-law, "Here, what are you doing? I think you have been treating this old man badly for a long time. Why do you do it?"

"Oh no," said the son-in-law, and he smiled at Kut-o-yis' in a friendly way, for he was afraid of him. "Oh no; no one thinks more of this old man than I do. I have always been very good to him."

"No," said Kut-o-yis'. "You are saying what is not true, and I am going to kill you now."

Kut-o-yis' shot the son-in-law four times, and he fell down and died. Then the young man told his father to go and bring down to him the daughters who had acted badly toward him. The old man did so and Kut-o-yis' punished them.

Then he went up to the lodges and said to the youngest woman, "Did you love your husband?"

"Yes," said the girl, "I loved him."

So Kut-o-yis' punished her too, but not so badly as he had the other daughters because she had been kind to her parents.





(1000 words)






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