How the First Rainbow Was Made
Long ago, when Indians were the only people in Cali- fornia, the story-teller of the Achomawi Indians living along the Pit River told this story;Many moons ago there was a very wet winter and; ;Indians had no way of finding out when the sky would ;clear So much rain came down that they couldnt go ;hunting and they couldn't gather seeds to eat. They grew hungrier day by day.They put on their blue-jay feather headdresses and their feather capes and looked up into the sky while they;sang and danced their best dances for Old-Man-Above. But Old-Man-Above kept sending down ram.For three moons they sang and danced and still no answer came from Old-Man-Above. Then Chief Flicker-Feathers had an idea."Let's go ask Coyote what to do. Coyote has been on earth longer than Indians and he is very wise."They slosh sloshed in single file through the rain in along parade to the cave where Coyote lived.Coyote met them at the mouth of his dry cave. He was glad to see them, because staying alone there to keep out of the rain was very tiresome.When the visitors had taken off their wet feathe rhe addresses and capes and were settled, Chief Flicker-Feathers told Coyote about the trouble and asked him what to do.Coyote scratched his fleas a bit, then said, "You go away and let me think for a while. I will ask Old-Man-Above what to do."So the Indians went back through the rain to their huts to wait.Coyote thought for a while, then tried high singing yelps in an effort to reach Old-Man-Above."Ye—owe-ow," he sang and sang as sweetly as he knew how.But Old-Man-Above didn't pay any attention. He was too busy pushing the clouds around into newer and pret-tier patterns in the sky.Coyote shook out his tail, and took a drink of water to ease his throat after all the singing. Next, he trotted around the woods for a while to see if any ideas would jiggle into his furry yellow head.He clattered and scrambled over stones and logs and over rough trails. Suddenly, he saw Spider Woman swing;down on her rope from the top of the tallest tree in the forest. A plan sprang into his mind.He brushed up his whiskers and shook himself three times so his damp fur would fluff out. Then he went to the bush where Spider Woman and her sixty sons lived in the center of a big spider web.Coyote told her his plan and asked her to help him. She only wobbled her shiny black body from side to side. "I'm too old to work so hard," she said. "I'm too fat and heavy for the job."Coyote drooped his ears and looked so sad, she felt sorry for him."I'll lend you two of my youngest sons. They will be light as thistle down and they can make spider rope faster;than any of my other sons."She called her two youngest sons. Whizz!" Each came running on his eight legs as fast;as he could. They were fine black shiny fellows eager for adventure. Coyote told them his plan."Good!" they cried. "We'll help you!" They began ex-ercising up and down on their black legs to show what strong fellows they were, then they got their rope bas- kets and set off along the trail in the rain with Coyote. They hadn't gone far when they met the two White- Footed Mice Boys sker-mo-rooting around in the bushes;for seeds and greens to eat.Coyote told them his plans. "Will you boys help?" Yes," said one as he poked greens into his mouth. They all walked along the trail together up Mt. Shasta until they met Weasel Man, who had just poked his head out of a hole to see what kind of a day it was. Coyote told his plan to Weasel Man. "Will you help?""Of course," said Weasel Man as he stretched his long;slender body and gave his tail a flick, before he joined them on the trail up Mt. Shasta.Before long they came onto Red Fox Woman swish- ing her big yellow tail around in the bushes, hunting for;her supper. Her eyes grew very big and excited when Coyote told her his plan."I want to come too," she said, and fell in line.Just then, Rabbit Woman poked her head around a bush. She wanted to go too if Fox Woman was going. All the animals went long the trail together until they reached the very top of Mt. Shasta. The drizzle had stopped, but the sky was still heavily clouded. On the top of Mt. Shasta, Coyote and his animal peo- ple met the Indians who were anxious to know his plan. Coyote smiled, wiggled his whiskers and winked at the two youngest sons of Spider Woman, then he faced the Indians."Now," he said, "I want the two best arrow shooters!The two very best shots came forward."Everyone come close," Coyote ordered. "Listen care-fully. If anyone fails to work with all his heart and all his strength, the whole plan will fail."He wiped his whiskers and looked very wise and then went on, "Old-Man-Above won't listen to us here on earth. He is too busy up there playing with the clouds. What we have to do is to get up there where he lives and make him listen." He pointed to the Indians. You two must first shoot arrows up there at exactly;the same spot and make a hole in the sky." Coyote then whirled around to the Spider Brothers who were exercising up and down on their legs. "Spider;Brothers will start to work on their ropes. Weasel Man, the White-Footed Mice Boys, Fox Woman, Rabbit Wom- an and myself will then blow very hard.""I don't see what good our blowing will do," Fox Wo-;man sniffed,"Stop talking and listen," Coyote scolded. He went on telling the plan."Spider Brothers will make their ropes longer as we blow both of them up through the arrow hole in the sky. Then Spider Brothers can ask Old-Man-Above what he is going to do about a sign to tell when the rain is over.";Coyote looked around at each animal in the circle and at the Indians and said. "No one has ever gone through;the sky to where Old-Man-Above lives. If even one of;us fails to blow hard there might not be enough breath to carry Spider Brothers up there. They will fall down and be smashed as flat as a rush mat. Are you ready?" They all said they were ready. Each animal practiced blowing his breath, hiffing and huffing and puffing. Weasel Man put back his ears and looked skyward and went Snoo" as hard as he could."Don't blow through your nose!" Coyote yelped at him.Weasel Man tried again, using his mouth to blow a big'Thoo!"Coyote then sat on his haunches and braced his front legs on the earth. "Now, when I say 'One,' get ready.When I say 'Two,' draw in your breath and you Indians get your bows ready to shoot. When I say 'Three,' In- dians shoot and animals blow and no one is to stop until I say stop.""One! "cried Coyote.Everyone got ready. Spider Brothers stiffened their legs ready to spring. style=font-size:10.0pt;"Two!"The animals drew in their breath so their cheeks puffed out. The Indians raised their drawn bows."Three!" Coyote yelped."Whi-rr Whizzz" went two arrows straight up and out;of sight. Where they disappeared, they left a hole in;the sky."Whooff!" went the White-Footed Mice boys. Whiff!" went Red Fox Woman."Phuff!" went Rabbit Woman."Phoo!" went Weasel Man."Whee-whee!" went Coyote, while the Indians waited;with their cheeks puffed out ready to help when the animals' breath ran out.Up went Spider Brothers on their ropes. They had to work hard weaving rope to keep up with all the whoofs and whiffs and phuffs and phoos and whees. Their black legs went so fast, they were just a blur against the sky. When the animal people were out of breath, the In- dians blew hard until the animals were ready again. Up and up the Spider Brothers went. Twelve times, the animals whoffed and whiffed and phuffed and phoo-wheed, and the Indians blew too. The two Spiders were almost to the hole.Then one Spider Brother reached up with three of his eight legs and grabbed the edge of the hole. He pulled himself up. But the other Brother couldn't make it. Blow-blow harder I" Coyote howled. Up in the sky, the one Spider Brother was frightened. I can't do it!" he exclaimed shrilly. "I've run out ofrope!" And he began hobbling around."Wait until I brace three of my legs on this cloud!"his brother shouted out against the wind. He braced him-;self and his brother leaped. He managed to catch his brother by three legs.The watchers below saw the Spider Brothers disappear through the hole in the sky and gave a great sigh of relief.;We can rest now, thank goodness," panted Coyote. Spider Brothers won't have any trouble coming down. They are used to swinging down from trees." All sat down to wait. Waiting was hard for they didn't;know how Spider Brothers were making out.Spider Brothers were all worn out after they got up through the hole in the sky. They were sitting resting when Old-Man-Above spied them. What are you two black specks doing up here?" he roared as he came striding over the clouds.He looked so very big and so very cross that the Spider Brothers were scared and all the knees of all their legs shook. They bent low in a bow on all eight of their shaky legs, then said:"We wish to ask you if you won't please make some kind of a sign to send to earth and let folks know when the skies will clear and the rain stop falling." With all this politeness, Old-Man-Above forgot his anger. He looked kindly at Spider Brothers and rubbed his whiskers which were made from white clouds."But how in the world did you get up here to tell me?"he wanted to know.Spider Brothers told him how Coyote had thought up the plan and how everybody had helped and how hard they had worked. ^"That's fine! That's wonderful!" Old-Man-Above cried;joyfully. "I like everybody to work together and each to help the other." He was silent for a minute. "I can't un-derstand," said he, "why I didn't hear the Indians orCoyote sending messages up here." Then he remembered that he was busy moving stars around and brightening them up a bit for Spring. Stars were heavy and made much noise when they were pushed around.He invited Spider Brothers to have a basketful of mush with him. The mush was made from snowflakes with melted moonlight poured over them. Old-Man-Above said while they were eating he would think about how to make a sign that meant the rain would stop — so all on earth could see it and know. After they all had snowflake mush together and he was comfortable lying against a white cloud, Old-Man- Above told the Spider Brothers how he planned to make the big rain-clear sign."You'll have to help me," said he. "Think hard abouta giant fox tail. A tail big enough to stretch clear across the sky."Spider Brothers thought hard about the big tail-like Red Fox Woman wore."Now think of the color of the blue-bird's back," Old-;Man-Above told them. "Think hard, so you can see that blue stripe all along the giant fox tail." They thought hard and right before their eyes there was the stripe!"Now, quick! Think about the red of sunrise. Hurry!;A red stripe must come before the blue fades!" So they did and there came a red streak right next to the blue — with a little overlap that made a purple stripe.;Now, be sharp!" said Old-Man-Above. "Think of the yellow of Coyote's fur coat and put it above the red!" They did as they were told. There came a yellow stripe like gold. Where it overlapped there was an orange stripe."Now think of the green when grass is just coming up! Put it there by the blue."They thought fast and where the light green over- lapped there was a dark green stripe."Now, for good measure, I'll take a bit of cloud and spread white by the yellow stripe and that white ought to finish off the rain-clear sign we have made together.";It took him some time to arrange the white.The giant fox tail was so beautiful and so filled with light that its brightness hurt the Spider Brothers' eyes when they looked at it.Then Old-Man-Above told them how the rain-clear sign was to be worked. He was going to poke his finger four times and make four holes in the sky. One hole was to be in the east, one in the west, one in the north and one in the south."You Spiders will make a rope at each hole, swing down to earth and fasten each rope to a bush or tree. Then climb up here on the rope again—without telling any- body. This will make four invisible posts to hold up the rain-clear sign in the sky. When I am going to clear away rain with the sun, I'll swing the giant colored fox tail;around where the sign needs to be. The ends will rest on two of the posts. Now, do you Spider Brothers under- stand what you are to do?" They nodded. Well, hurry and do your work and come back to me. I'll keep the fox tail lighted until you come back.";Spider Brothers hurried away and did as they were told. They made posts that are invisible to this day. Few people except the Achomawi Indians know how the rainbow is held up.Meanwhile, down on earth things were not going well. Making posts took so many moons that the animals grew tired of waiting below the hole in the sky. They wondered if Old-Man-Above had eaten Spider Brothers and for- gotten about the rain-clear sign. Spider Woman missed her two youngest sons. Each moon she was more lonely for them. She blamed Coyote for taking them away and blowing them up through that terrible hole. The other animals also turned on Coyote. Poor Coyote was very sad. He went into his cave alone and howled "Ye—owe-owe" over and over because he wasso sad and lonely. All the other animals had left and gone to their dens."I did the very best I could to help everybody," he told himself. "Now, they are blaming me for everything bad.";But the Indians felt very sorry for him. They didn't blame him because so much time had passed since Spider Brothers had gone up through the hole in the sky. They were sure that Coyote, being wise as he was, would get some good results from all his thought and everybody's work. That comforted Coyote some, but he was still sad. All this time Spider Brothers were working hard. Fin-;ally the work was finished and the four posts made. When they went to Old-Man-Above they ached all over from going down to earth and climbing back so many times. You are good. You have been faithful," Old-Man- Above told them as he pushed and pulled the giant fox tail around into place."You did what I told you and kept it a secret—one of the hardest things to do. Now swing yourselves back to earth from that hole where you came up. When you get to earth look up into the sky and see your beautiful work. I'll have it in place then."He patted them ever so gently on their shiny black bodies. "To reward you for all your hard work, I will give you tiny rain-clear signs of your own. When you go out mornings and dew is on your webs, wait until the sun shines. You will see your own little rainbows." Then he shook his finger at them. "Now mind, you are not to go shooting holes through my sky and come up here to bother me any more. I'm going to plug up that hole the Indians made, with a cloud. I'll do it the minute you go through that hole back to earth." Spider Brothers swung on their ropes back to earth and ran to their mother as fast as they could go. Spider Woman was delighted to see her long lost sons. All fifty-eight brothers were excited, too.The two Spider Brothers said, "We must go tell all the other animals who helped, and the Indians, too. Then,;all together we will look up to see the beautiful rain-clear sign in the sky."Away they ran to spread the news. All the animals came close in a great circle to hear Spider Brothers tell of their great adventure. Then, after;they had finished telling the story, the brothers cried: Look up! See the surprise!"Everybody looked up. The clouds parted, and there, reaching clear across the sky, was the first beautiful rain-;bow ever seen on earth.The animals gave a great feast to Coyote and the brave, faithful Spider Brothers. Coyote forgot how cross every- one had been to him and how they had blamed him for all their bad luck. He was the merriest guest at the feast.;Ever since then, Spiders have had their own private rainbows. When it rains, or dew clings to their webs, there the small rainbows are, glittering in the sunlight.
What Happened to Six Wives Who Ate Onions
Western Mono Indians lived high up on the Kings River. They knew how to use magic.Here is a story they told:Once there were six pretty Mono wives. These wives had six husbands who were mountain lion hunters.One day, while the husbands were out hunting, the wives went up the mountain to pick clover for food. That day, one wife discovered something new to eat-wild onions."Yum, these new plants taste better than anything I've ever eaten!" she told the others. "Just taste this." The other wives all tasted the onions. They liked them too. They ate and ate and smacked their lips and then went home to cook supper for their husbands.Just as dusk was falling the husbands came plodding home. Each had killed a big mountain lion."Phew! What's that odor?" the husbands asked their wives when they got to the hut door. They came closer to their wives and discovered the terrible odor was on the breath of their wives!"We found this new plant to eat just taste it," the wives said and offered some to the husbands."No!" they cried in disgust. "Your breath is enough for us horrible!" They wouldn't even taste the onions.That night the husbands made their wives stay out- doors because the odor of onions kept them awake.It was cold outside and the wives didn't like to stay out there alone without their husbands.The next day when the husbands had gone hunting,the wives went back to where the onions grew and ate more than they had the day before. Those onions were so tasty, they just couldn't help eating them. When the husbands came home for supper, not one of them had slain a mountain lion. Never before had they come home without mountain lions and they were very sad."Mountain lions smelled that horrible odor on us," they grumbled. "Mountain lions ran away fast before we could get near enough to catch them."The wives didn't believe their husbands and said so. But when the husbands smelled the odor of onions stronger than ever, they scolded."You can't come near us! You are worse than skunks.";Again, they wouldn't let their wives come inside the hut to sleep. They wouldn't put food out for their wives < style=font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial;>to eat.The wives went home to their fathers and mothers, but that didn't do any good. They were sent right back to their husbands.This lasted six days. Each night the men came home without mountain lions and each night they found their wives had been eating onions again.Finally, what with the strong odor of onions and not getting mountain lions, the husbands went into a ter- rible rage."Go away!" they shouted. "Go away! We can't hunt!We can't sleep nights because you eat so many onions. We don't want you any more. Go away!"The next morning when the husbands had gone, the wives all went up the mountain to where onions grew. Each of them took her magic rope made of eagle's down. They were hungry and missed the mush and they were tired of sleeping alone in the cold outside the hut at night.;Let's leave our husbands forever," one wife said. "Our husbands don't like us any more."They all agreed.So they climbed and climbed up a big rock. Each wife carried her eagle-down rope. One wife brought her little girl with her.At last, they reached the very top of the rock. They rested awhile, then the leader of the wives said, "Now;is the time for magic. Do you still want to leave your husbands forever?""Yes! "they all cried.So the leader of the wives said a magic Mono word and threw her eagle-down rope up into the sky. Whosh!" it went, straight up. The center of the rope;caught on a piece of the sky so that both ends of the rope hung down to the rock.The women tied all their own ropes to the ends of the rope hanging from the sky. Then they clasped hands and called:"Eagle-down ropes, magic ropes, help us!" They stood on the ropes which were spread on the rock and began to sing to the magic ropes, with a spe- cial magic song.Then, because they knew so much magic and had magic ropes, the ropes slowly began to rise and swing around and around the way Buzzard flies.As the wives sang louder the ropes made bigger and bigger circles in the sky.Soon the women standing on the ropes were sailing through the sky over the village where they lived. Their fathers and mothers looked up and saw them in the sky. People of the village pointed up at them and were very excited.The women in the sky saw their mothers and fathers and their mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law rush into huts. Next they saw them come out with mush and beads and belts and put all these things on the ground. Come back!" the women's relatives cried up at them.;Come back and see what we have for you!" But the women just stayed in the sky.Down below, the husbands looked up and saw their wives. "Why didn't you keep an eye on them?" they scolded their wives' parents. "Why did you let them;get away when we were out hunting?"Now that the wives were gone, the husbands wanted them back. They were lonesome and sad. They got to- gether and tried to think what to do.They decided to use their own magic eagle-down ropes and go up in the sky after their wives.They climbed the rock, put down their ropes and sang in the same way their wives had done. Soon they were sailing in the sky over the village.Old people came out and begged their sons to come back, but the sons wanted their wives, so they kept on singing and going higher and higher into the sky. By this time the wives were very high in the sky be-cause they had a head start on the husbands. They looked down and saw their husbands coming after them. Shall we let them catch us?" they asked each other."No!" said one. "Our husbands said they didn't want us any more. Don't let them catch up with us, ever."All agreed they would rather be alone in the sky. As soon as the husbands got close enough, the women shouted down. "Stay where you are!"The wives had stronger magic in their eagle-down ropes and their magic song. The men had to stay right where they were—below their wives.They all turned into stars where they are to this day.White men call the higher group of six stars the Pleiades. Indians call them the Young Women. The lower set of six stars, white men call Taurus. Indians call them the Young Men.Whatever the name, there they are, swinging slowly across the sky on clear nights—and all because the Mono Indian women loved to eat wild onions more than anything else.
Why Grizzly Bears Walk on All Fours
Far north of where the Gabrielino Indians live, another group of Indians have their homes at the base of a great mountain. This mountain, called Mt. Shasta, rises so high that its white peak pricks the sky. Indians living around Mt. Shasta believe this mountain was made be- fore any other mountain in the whole world. In the long winter evenings, in the red light of the fires, their Medicine Man told them the story of how Mt. Shasta was made:Old-Man-Above looked down from his place above the clouds and saw how flat the land was. He decided to make a high mountain for California. He took a very sharp- pointed stone in his hands and began boring a hole right down through the sky. He worked and worked until the hole was very large. Then he took bundles of snow and ice in his hands and pushed them through the hole. Down and down the snow and ice fell to the flat land below. Where it landed there was a mound. Old-Man-Above pushed more snow and more ice down through the hole in the sky. Slowly, the gleaming mound below grew larger and higher.Old-Man-Above kept on. The mound of snow and ice grew into a small hill, the small hill grew into a big hill, and finally the big hill grew into a mountain — a mountain so high that its peak came thrusting right up into the clouds.Then Old-Man-Above stepped down from a cloud on- to the great icy pile, and from the pile onto the earth. He wanted to make the base of Mt. Shasta pretty and green."Trees, grow," he ordered.The trees sprang up, their green leaves sparkling. They grew big and tall in the wink of an eye.Old-Man-Above turned to the yellow sun shining above the new mountain. "Sun," he said, "melt snow and turn it into water for trees to drink."Sun made his rays stronger on the mountain's snowy peak. Snow turned into streams of water that went tumb-ling down the sides of Mt. Shasta to water the trees. But there was more water than trees needed. Extra water became deep rushing rivers."I must make some birds to live in the trees," Old-Man-Above said to himself and picked some leaves. With one breath he blew on the leaves and they turned into birds.Still he was not satisfied. There should be other living and moving creatures besides the birds.He took a stick from a tree and broke it into pieces. Small ends, you shall be fishes to live in this beautiful running water," he cried, and threw these small ends into the water of rivers-and they turned into fishes and be- gan to swim."Middle part of sticks, you shall be all kinds of ani- mals-except the grizzly bear. The grizzly bear will be the big end of my stick."All the sticks turned into animals. There were skinny animals and fat ones, swift animals and slow, big and little. All of these ran, hopped, jumped, or crawled on all fours. All except the grizzly bear. He reared right up on his hind legs and walked on his two hind feet like Man. He held his great, shaggy paws up in front like hands. Old-Man-Above looked at Grizzly standing there, seeming almost as big as the new mountain, and he felt a chill of fear. Grizzly was too big! And so cunning! If only I hadn't made Grizzly out of such a big stick!"he said.But it was too late. Grizzly was made.Old-Man-Above decided to make a place for himself where he would be safe from Grizzly. So he turned to Mt. Shasta and thought: why wouldn't that make a nice hut for when I want to live down on earth? At once he went to work digging into the mountainside. He hollowed earth out so that he had a vast room right under the mountain, with the sky shining through a round hole at the top.Smoke was soon seen curling up into the blue sky from Mt. Shasta, where Old-Man-Above and his family lived—and still live, though their fire is alight no longer, now that the white man is in the land. One day a terrible storm blew from the sea."Whang!" went Wind against the side of Old-Man- Above's hut. The mountain shook."Whang! Whang! WHANG!" Wind banged against the mountain until it shook the very base."I'm afraid!" cried Old-Man-Above's wife, "You must make Aska, Wind, stop before this hut falls down on us."< style='font-size: 10.0pt;I'm too tired to go all that way up to the hole wherethe smoke goes out," Old-Man-Above told her. He called his beautiful little daughter, Atche, to him. Atche means Day in our language. Atche was small and had pretty ears like sea shells and big brown eyes and long, long black hair."You go up to the opening on top and tell Wind to stop shaking our hut," he told her. "But don't put your headout! Just stick out your arm and signal my message to Wind."The little girl hurried up to the hole in the mountain's roof and did as she was told. But just as she turned to go back down Wind blew harder."Wham-whang!" it went against the top of the moun-tain until the top almost blew off.Atche wondered why Wind hadn't stopped when she told him to stop. She wanted to see what was going on out there.She had heard all about the rivers and trees and the ocean with waves that banged into foam on the shore, but she had never seen them. Now was her chance to take just one little look at the world. No one would ever know.So she popped her head up over the edge, to look at the world."Whizz!" Wind grabbed her by her streaming longhair, pulled her out of the hole and blew her down the mountainside."Ge-bobble-gebobble," she went over the soft snow, with nothing to clutch at, not even a tree twig, because she was too high up for trees to grow and she was going very fast in the strong wind. Ca-hump—ca-hump," she rolled over rocks and down past trees toward the land where Grizzlies lived. There was a family of Grizzlies living at the foot of Mt.Shasta. When Atche stopped rolling she landed right near the Grizzly family's place.The father bear was coming home from hunting, with his club over his shoulder and a dead elk under his arm. Suddenly he saw the child of Old-Man-Above lying be- neath a tree. She was stretched out on the snow with her thick black hair tangled around her.Father Grizzly stopped and stared, then he dropped his club and the elk and rushed forward. He bent over the girl, mumbling, "What kind of creature is this?" Astrange, tender warmth flared up in Grizzly's heart. Hepicked up the shivering little girl, and pushed her dark,tangled hair back from her face. Her skin was the lovely reddish brown of a manzanita trunk. Her hair was as glossy as a blackbird's wing. Her lips were red as the sun coming over the mountain."I'll take this home to my wife," Grizzly muttered.< style='font-size: 10.0pt;I'll snuggle it up in my fur and keep it warm. Mother Grizzly will know what to do with it."Gently, he tucked the girl under one huge, hairy arm, then gathered his club and his elk under the other arm and went home.Mother Grizzly was surprised almost out of her win- ter coat when she saw what Father Grizzly had brought home to her. There was a slightly worried look in her deep-set eyes. Could this be Old-Man-Above's daughter, she wondered uneasily? The child was so lovely Mother Grizzly wanted to keep her, so she said only, "We'll feed the creature and keep her warm and have her for a pet."All Grizzly's sons stood by watching while Grizzly put more wood on the fire and Mother Grizzly combed Atche's tangled hair and fed her. In no time at all they all loved the strange new creature. The young girl became one of the family. The Grizzlies never tired of looking at Atche's long hair and big brown eyes and her lovely red mouth. They taught her their Grizzly language. Every time she learned new word they gave her tidbits of meat as a reward. So the girl grew up with them and the Grizzly Nation was very proud of her. They wanted to do something < style=font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial;>very fine for her.One day Father Grizzly sent out a call to the whole Grizzly Nation to the north, to the south, to the east and to the west."Come," he said, "come quickly and be ready to work.""Plod, plod," came the Grizzlies, from north, south,east and west. They crunched through snow and ice. They crashed through the forests. They swam the river sand finally arrived at Mt. Shasta."Now that you are here," said Grizzly, "each of youdig as hard as you can with your paws. We are going to make a fine earth hut as big as a mountain." All the Grizzlies had a feast first, for Atche. Then they dug and hacked and shoveled with their paws and built a mountain hut for the girl near the one that Old-Man- Above had built. The mountain is still there and is now known as Shastina.Many snows fell and melted and flowed into the rivers. Mother Grizzly became very old and feeble—so feeble 'that she could hardly walk around. It took a lot of wood to keep her warm in spite of her heavy fur coat. She thought she would soon die.Because she was a woman bear and knew things men bears never could know, she knew that the beautiful crea- ture she had taken in was the daughter of Old-Man- Above, and she was troubled.She couldn't sleep nights, because she felt guilty about keeping Atche. And she worried about what Old-Man- Above would do when he learned the truth. Yet, she knew the time had come when Old-Man-Above must be told. One day she called the Grizzlies together at the new hut, Shastina. Then she pulled her eldest grandson close to her."You must climb up and up, even through the clouds, to the top of Mt. Shasta and tell Old-Man-Above that his daughter still lives. Tell him where to find her," she told Young Grizzly. "It will be hard, but you have Grizzly strength to do anything. Just call the news down the great hole and surprise Old-Man-Above." Young Grizzly was a fine big fellow. He had strong legs and a strong back and was sure-footed. He promised to go.The climb was hard and he had to stop for breath often when he got up high on the mountain. His heart beat fast with fear, too. What if he couldn't get away fast enough after he had called down through the hole? What if Old-Man-Above killed him?Finally, Grizzly courage wiped away the fear from his heart and he went on and on and up and up — until he was above the clouds of Mt. Shasta. He sat for a while and rested and looked over the ridges of mountains to the blue-green sea far beyond."Your child still lives!" he called in a booming voice down through the hole to Old-Man-Above inside the mountain. He waited, listening for an answer. All that he heard was the echo of his own shout rolling around the rocky hole, and the loud beat of his heart."Your child still lives!" he roared louder, with the last of his courage. "She is down the mountain on the south side." He whirled and ran back to the Grizzlies, his feet pounding on Mt. Shasta's long slope.When Old-Man Above heard the news, he climbed out of his big hut as fast as lightning and raced down the south side of the mountain so swiftly that the snow melted along his path, as it remains to this day. The Grizzlies prepared a great welcome for him. As he came toward their home he saw them standing in two long files on each side of the path leading to the door of the great earth hut, Shastina. They had their clubs under their arms. The shaggy lines went as far as Old-Man-Above could see! And there, between the two lines of Grizzlies, stood his daughter Atche, full grown! Old-Man-Above blinked, hardly believing this tall young woman could be the little daughter who had dis- appeared so long ago. But he knew that she was his daughter. As he looked at her a deep rage gathered in his chest. He thought of all the years Grizzlies had kept her from him years of loneliness and sorrow.With a howl of anger, Old-Man-Above turned on Mother Grizzly. He scowled, such rage glittering in his eyes, that Mother Grizzly fell back and died on the spot!At this the bears set up a frightful howl.Old-Man-Above swooped his daughter onto his should-er, turned to the Grizzlies and in his fury put a curs eon them."Peace!" he cried. "Be silent forever. Let no word ever again come from your lips-for this dreadful thing you have done by keeping my daughter from me! Never again shall you stand upright! You shall use your hands, too,for feet and always look down!"The Grizzlies fell on all fours, their howls silenced.Their heads drooped.Old-Man-Above drove them all away to the rivers below. He shut the door of Shastina forever and carried his daughter up Mt. Shasta.Old-Man-Above and Atche have never been seen by people since that time. And since then the Grizzlies have never been able to speak. They walk on all four feet like other animals.Indians living near Shasta look up to Grizzlies because the Grizzlies have great strength-and because once, long ago Grizzlies looked on the face of Old-Man-Above and his daughter Atche.
Why Women Talk More Than Men
Many moons ago, a Shasta Indian man loved a Shasta Indian girl. One day the Shasta Indian man decided that he would tell the Indian girl just how much he loved her.He spent a long time within his hut of boards and bark and packed earth, under the shadow of great Mt.Shasta, trying to choose the right words to use. Then one moonlit evening he put on his best buck- skin leggings and thrust a bone pin into his long black hair. He put on his finest hut-chas, or moccasins, with their furry bearskin soles. When he was ready, he went out to find the Indian girl.The Indian girl was dressed in her finest clothes, too. She wore a long, braided apron, and her dark hair was wrapped in two heavy rolls that drooped down in front of her shoulders.The Shasta man began to whisper into the Shasta girl's ear. He did not want anyone else to hear. Your eyes are like the-" For a minute he could not remember the words he had chosen to say. Then he remembered and started over. "Your eyes are like the very darkest pools in the river where the big trout rest."The girl's dark, bright eyes grew even brighter when she heard this."And your hair," the Indian youth whispered, "is as long and black and shining as the crow's wing." The girl combed at her hair with her fingers, and blushed with pleasure."Your mouth," he murmured, "is as red as kwa-ho-wa,the sky, when Sun goes down."The girl smiled and showed her white, small teeth. Your teeth," the youth told her, "are whiter than the big snows on top of the mountain."The girl listened and smiled and blushed. Her red- brown cheeks grew redder. Her bright eyes glistened. It seemed to her that she could go on listening to the beau- tiful words forever. She thought, "If only my mother and my father and my sister and my brother could hear!" Suddenly, the Indian man whispered in a rush, "I love you! I love you so much that I want you to be my wife.""I love you too!" she cried, but she was too excited to say more. And her ears were singing with all the lovely things the man had told her. She felt that she would burst if she couldn't run and tell all of her rela- tives. So she turned and went running toward her par- ents' hut where smoke was curling up through the smoke- hole in the roof.There, the girl told her mother everything that the youth had whispered to her, even though his words had been meant for her alone when the moon was flow- ing through the sky.Then she went and told her father everything that the young man had said.She told her sister.She told her brother.She told all of her friends.She told everyone, talking as fast as she could: "He said my eyes were like trout pools. My hair like the crow's wing. My mouth like the sky when the red sun goes down. We are going to be married."Then she went on to tell them all about what she and the Indian man would do when they were married, and about what a wonderful feast there would be.She dreamed about the new, beautiful words he would whisper to her after they were married.Finally, there were no more relatives or friends to tell. The Indian girl had got so used to talking that it was hard to stop. Surely there must be someone else she could tell about the Indian youth's whispered words, she thought.She rushed into the forest. She would tell the animal sand the birds!She found Beaver chewing at a tree trunk by a stream,and she told him.She found Rabbit nibbling at some sweet, fresh grass,and she told him.She found Squirrel burying acorns on the mountain-side, and she told him.She even told Mosquito who was just getting ready to push his long stinger into Weasel's back.She told the birds and the snakes and the fish. At last, there was no one else to tell.But now, the girl's mother was busy talking, too. The mother told the Indian youth, himself, what the girl had told her.The Indian youth said, "But I spoke only for her!"The girl's father, too, told the Indian young man what the girl had said."But I whispered it to her," the Shasta Indian ex-claimed, "so that no one else should hear!"The girl's sister told the Indian man. Then her brother told him. Then the girl's friends told him all over again.The young Indian man put his hands over his ears as he heard his own words being told back to him. He began to wish that he had never whispered even one word into the Shasta girl's ear.At last, he could stand all the chatter no longer. He put on his old deerskin leggings and his old, shabby moccasins, and fled to the forest. He did not bother to put a bone pin in his black hair, this time.But when he got to the forest, the animals there be- gan bleating and barking and yowling about what the girl had told them. The birds chirped and sang about it.Mosquito hummed on and on about all the girl had told. The Indian pressed his hands to his ears and cried, Stop! Stop! I don't want to hear any more about it."Magpie, who was the worst chatterer of all, settled herself in a low branch of a tree and chattered right on. Magpie fluttered her black and white wings and gave a shrill, cackling laugh at the Indian lover."Garrack!" Magpie mocked in her croaking voice. So you think her eyes are like dark pools in the river,do you?""Hush!" the man begged. "I've heard enough about what I said."Magpie went right on chattering and laughing. Her 'beak clacked faster and faster."Garrack!" Magpie taunted. "Her hair is as long and black and shining as a crow's wing.""Quiet!" the Indian pleaded. He pressed his hands tighter against his ears.But Magpie was enjoying herself so much that her beak clacked even faster and her voice got shriller and louder. The whole woods echoed with her harsh voice. And her mouth," Magpie screeched, "is as red as the sky when the red sun goes down! You love her! You want her for your wife!"The Indian youth could stand no more. He trembled with rage. He clenched his fist and shook it at Magpie. A curse on you all women and magpies!" he shouted. He turned, fleeing from the forest, and muttering to himself, "Every woman is a magpie. She can't keep her mouth shut." As he ran, he promised himself he would never tell any woman anything again-no matter how black her hair might be, or how red her mouth. He did not stop running until he came to the river. There he made himself a tule boat, paddled off and was never heard from again. But the curse put on women and magpies is still strong. That is why, Shasta Indians say, women talk more than men.