Heroes: Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away (cont.)

This story is part of the Native American Hero Tales unit. Story source: Tales of the North American Indians by Stith Thompson (1929).

Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away (cont.)

One day the boys went towards these trees, running swiftly and then stopping suddenly near the trees, which bent violently and struck the ground without hitting them. They jumped over the trees, breaking the branches, and they could not rise after the branches were broken.

Once more the boys were scolded and told not to go near a tipi over the hill for it was inhabited by snakes, and they would approach anyone asleep and enter his body through the rectum. Again the boys did as they were told not to do and went to the tipi, and the snakes invited them in. They went in and carried flat pieces of stone with them and, as they sat down, they placed the flat pieces of stones under their bottoms.

After they had been in the tipi a short while, the snakes began putting their heads over the poles around the fireplace, and the snakes began to relate stories, and one of them said, "When there is a drizzling rain, and when we are under cover, it is nice to sleep."

One of the boys said, "When we are lying down under the pine trees and the wind blows softly through them and has a weird sound, it is nice to sleep."

All but one of the snakes went to sleep, and that one tried to enter the rectum of each of the boys and failed, on account of the flat stone. The boys killed all of the other snakes but that one, and they took that one and rubbed its head against the side of a cliff, and that is the reason why snakes have flattened heads.

Again the boys were scolded by their father, who said, "There is a man living on the steep cut bank, with deep water under it, and if you go near it he will push you over the bank into the water for his father in the water to eat."

The boys went to the place but, before going, they fixed their headdresses with dried grass. Upon their arrival at the edge of the bank, one said to the other, "Just as he is about to push you over, lie down quickly." The man from his hiding place suddenly rushed out to push the boys over, and just as he was about to do it, the boys threw themselves quickly upon the ground, and the man went over their heads, pulling their headdress with him, and his father in the water ate him.

Upon the boys' return and after telling what they had done, their father scolded them and told them, "There is a man who wears moccasins of fire, and when he wants anything, he goes around it and it is burned up." The boys ascertained where this man lived and stole upon him one day when he was sleeping under a tree and each one of the boys took off a moccasin and put it on and they awoke him and ran about him and he was burned and went up in smoke. They took the moccasins home.

Their father told them that something would yet happen to them, for they had killed so many bad things.

One day while walking the valley, they were lifted from the earth and after travelling in mid-air for some time, they were placed on top of a peak in a rough high mountain with a big lake surrounding it, and the Thunder-Bird said to them, "I want you to kill a long otter that lives in the lake; he eats all the young ones that I produce and I cannot make him stop."

So the boys began to make arrows, and they gathered dry pine sticks and began to heat rocks, and the long otter came towards them. As it opened its mouth the boys shot arrows into it, and as that did not stop it from drawing nearer, they threw the hot rocks down its throat, and it curled up and died afterwards. They were taken up and carried through the air and gently placed upon the ground near their homes, where they lived for many years.




(700 words)






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