This story is part of the Pacific Northwest unit. Story source: Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest, especially of Washington and Oregon, by Katharine Berry Judson (1910).
Falls of the Willamette
TALLAPUS came from the coast to the Willamette Valley. Tallapus had been teaching the coast Indians. He found the Willamettes very poor and cold. Now the Willamette was full of salmon, but the tribes were very stupid and feeble. They could not catch the salmon. So Tallapus made a tum-tum. There the fish would come to the surface. Tallapus also made a trap.
Tallapus began to make a tum-tum at Hanteuc. He did not like the place and left it. The gravel bar shows where he began to work.
Then Tallapus went to Rock Island to make a tum-tum. Again he did not like the place and left it. The rapids show where he began to work.
Then Tallapus began to make still another tum-tum. Here he liked the place and finished his work. White men call it the Falls of the Willamette. Here the salmon come to the surface in trying to leap over the falls. Then the stupid tribes could spear the salmon.
At this tum-tum, Tallapus began to make a trap. Tallapus made one that would say "Noseepsk" when it was full. So Tallapus set the trap by the falls and began to make a fire. He began to rub the fire sticks together. Then Trap called, "Noseepsk." It was full of fine fish. Tallapus emptied it.
He set the trap again by the falls and began to make a fire. He began again to rub the fire sticks together. Then again Trap called, "Noseepsk ! Noseepsk!" Tallapus emptied it. Then he set the trap again by the falls and began to make a fire.
Before he could rub the fire sticks together, Trap called, "Noseepsk! Noseepsk! " Then Tallapus was angry. He was very hungry and Trap would not let him make a fire.
Tallapus said Trap should not call so soon. Tallapus said, "Can you not wait catching fish until I build my fire?"
Then Trap was angry. Trap would not catch fish any more. Then the people had to spear the fish.
Next: Tallapus and the Cedar