Yosemite > Library > Miwok Myths > Salamander & Chipmunk >
Next: 10. Lizard and Fox • Index
Salamander said to Chipmunk, “Let me go to see my house. This same thing has been here for a long while. My son-in-law has been in this condition all the time. I could not get the big deer. I tried my best to kill him. I tried and tried to break his neck. I could not break it and he escaped from me. I could not kill that big deer. He escaped from me. I could not take that big deer. I could not take him. It frightened me, when I could not take him. I tried. I tried to break his neck. You had better tell my son-in-law.” Chipmunk said, “My father is lost, is lost, is lost because of Salamander’s troubles.” Thus spoke Chipmunk, when he started to search for his father. They were a long time finding his father’s tracks. They found only old tracks on the rocks. When he found his father’s tracks on the rocks he cried. He said, “I do not think my brother knows that his father is lost.” So spoke Chipmunk to his son. He tried to find more tracks, but could not.
They crossed the creek and sought his father’s tracks there. Across the creek he saw a large deer which he followed a long distance up the creek.
There he met two women. He stopped when he saw them approaching. He tried to leave the trail. Then he stopped. He did not want to go farther. “Let us catch him,” the women said, “He is going to pass near us. We will not let him pass.”
Chipmunk said, “Get away, please. I am searching for my father.” He tried his best to push the two women from the path, but they would not move. Again he tried to pass between them, but they would not leave the trail. he did not want to do it, but again he tried to go between them. Then they caught him.
They called to their father to come down the mountain and help to take him up. “Father, we have caught a man, who is looking for his father. He has been searching and has had nothing to eat for ten days.” Then their father came to help them take their prisoner home. “Keep your father away from me,” Chipmunk said to the girls. “I do not want him to come near me.”
“I think this is my last chance to attempt to escape from you girls. I wonder if my brothers know that I am going to be lost. This is my own fault. I should not have been caught, if I had not been looking for my father. I think they did the same thing to my father.”
The girls called, “Father, throw a rope, throw a rope. We have caught our man.” Thus they called to their father when they wanted him to throw them a rope. Thus they called, when caught Chipmunk and when they told their father to throw a rope.
“He is my man, sister. He is my man,” the younger sister said to the older. The younger one shouted again to her father, “Throw that rope. Hurry. We have our man. We have our man. I do not know what we shall feed him.” Thus spoke the younger Deer girl, when, she turned into a real woman.
“Throw, and throw, and throw that rope, father. I have my man. Mine. My man. Father, father, throw that rope. We must bring him up there. I do not know what I shall feed him. I do not know what he eats.”
Their father said, “My children, my children. My poor girls caught their man. I do not know where they found him.” Thus he spoke, when he threw the rope. He was glad to hear his daughter tell him to throw the rope. He said, “I do not know, I do not know, I do not know what they will feed him.” Thus spoke the old man to his daughters. He was glad to have a son-in-law, for he was becoming old. Thus said old Deer. He continued, “I do not know where, I do not know where, I do not know where they will keep him. I do not know where they will keep my son-in-law.” So spoke the, old man, when he saw his son-in-law. Thus he spoke, thus he spoke, when he felt glad that his daughters were considering marriage. He was so happy over his son-in-law, that he danced and sang.
“I have my man. I have my man,” the girls said, when they talked to their father and told him to throw them the rope. “I want to bring him up there. Throw me the rope, father. I do not know what I shall feed him, when I get him up there. I have all sorts of things for him to eat, but I do not know what he eats.” Thus they spoke after they caught Chipmunk, after they caught him, while he was travelling everywhere. “Father, throw that rope. Throw it. I am going to catch my man.” Thus she spoke, when she told her father to throw the rope. “I have my man,” she said, when she, talked to her father at the top of the sky.
“Let us search for our brother,” said Brown Bird to Tuyipitina [another bird]. He spoke thus while he sang in the middle of the water. Thus spoke Brown Bird, when be chased the deer after he had missed Chipmunk. “Get ready,” he said, “We will search for our brother.” Then Brown Bird and Tuyipitina went. They alighted on the horn of a deer and remained there. Brown Bird alighted on the horn a bit higher than Tuyipitina. “We have obtained the deer for which our brother has searched,” said Brown Bird to Tuyipitina. The deer ran with Brown Bird and Tuyipitina. The two of them could not hold him. Brown Bird said, “Let us go, let us go.” This happened in the night.
Chipmunk said, “I do not know who has captured me. I do not know where they will take me. I do not know where they will take me.” Thus he spoke as the girls tied him. Thus he spoke while they tied him with the rope. He thought that it was to be his last time upon earth. “I do not know if anyone will find me,” he said. “It is Salamander’s fault that I am caught. If I escape I shall even the score with Salamander.” Thus he spoke after they took him to the sky.
He did not know how to escape. When he arrived there, he saw many deer. He was surprised to see so many deer. He sang. He sang there. He sang, He did not know where he was. He was afraid after they brought him there.
They cooked and cooked, cooked many kinds of seeds such as we [the Miwok] eat. The girls said, as they were about to feed him, “Tell them to cook one kind of seed for him.” Chipmunk did not want to eat seeds. There were all sorts of seeds, but he did not want them. They tried to feed him many kinds of seeds. In despair the girls said to each other, “I do not know what be likes to eat.” They did not know what he liked to eat.
One of the girls told the deer, “Here is this one, who always searches for us.” All of the deer looked at Chipmunk. “I do not know, I do not know, I do not know what we shall feed him,” said one of the Deer girls. “I fear we shall starve him.” Thus they spoke, when they gave him the seed to eat.
“Take it away from me. Do not place it near me,” said Chipmunk, for the seed did not smell good to him. They did not put the seed near him. Chipmunk said, “You girls might just as well let me eat your father. I am getting hungry. I might just as well eat your father. I shall eat your father. There is Do use trying to save him. The old man is pretty poor, but I shall eat him just the same.”
“Our father is across the way,” said the girls. “Let me see how I can shoot with my bow and arrow,” said Chipmunk. Then he began to sing and old Deer became fat. Old Deer became so fat that he could scarcely walk. Chipmunk continued singing. That was all he did. Finally he arose. He took one arrow with him. Then he knelt, the two girls holding him. He shot old Deer with the arrow. Deer was old, but he was fat.
One girl on each side held him after he killed their father. They watched him, as he removed the fat and hide from old Deer. He intended to make garments of the hide.
“That is the way they treat us,” said the girls as they watched Chipmunk skinning their father. All of the deer were watching Chipmunk. Chipmunk tried to keep the girls away from their father’s body. He said, “Keep away, girls. Keep away. You might step in the blood of your father.”
“I do not know where I shall go, after I have eaten this Deer,” said Chipmunk. “If I do not leave this place, I think I must kill more.” Thus spoke Chipmunk to himself. “I shall try my best to leave this place.”
Chipmunk’s older brother searched for him. He travelled all over the world, travelled to the edge of the world, looking for his brother. His older brother said, while he searched for him, “I do not know what has happened to my brother. I find him nowhere.” Meanwhile Chipmunk ate the deer. The other deer stood about watching him. He ate and sang at the same time, while his brother searched for him all over the world.
Chipmunk’s older brother said, “My brother, my brother. I do not know where he has gone.” Thus he spoke as he travelled about the world in search of Chipmunk. He travelled night and day without food in search of his brother.
At last he arrived at the place where the Deer women had captured Chipmunk. His leg became entangled in some of the rope which they had dropped when they tied Chipmunk. He knew what had happened to his brother, when he found the rope. He cried and he cried, when he discovered what had happened to his brother. “I fear they killed my brother after they took him up there,” he said. He cried, he cried, and he cried. He did not know how to climb to the sky, where his brother had been taken. While he cried, he said, “I shall try to climb somehow. If I reach that place, I will put the deer to sleep.”
He went there in the night, crying all the way while he climbed. He found his brother. He said, “We are going home. We are going home.” When he spoke thus, he cried anew. Then Chipmunk cried, when he saw his brother cry.
Chipmunk told his brother to cry no more, “For,” he said, “I am still safe.” His older brother sang, while he put the deer to sleep. “We are going. We are going. Get ready,” he said. He brought a bow and arrows. Then he said to his younger brother, “You get on one end of this arrow. We are going.” Then he shot two arrows. His brother hung to one and he hung to the other. The arrows struck at their home. Thus he brought his brother back.
He continued to cry after he had brought his brother home. He said to him, “You had better stay home. You had better stay home. Never hunt again.” Thus he spoke to his brother and it made his brother cry. “Don’t ever go into the hills again.” Thus he spoke to his younger brother, Chipmunk. “Don’t ever go into the hills again. Do not go into the hills any more. They might catch you again.” Thus spoke the older brother to Chipmunk.
Chipmunk said, “I was caught because of Salamander. All of this trouble is his fault. Salamander got me into this trouble. I will have revenge upon him, when I reach home.” He was crying as he walked toward his house. He sang also as he walked toward his house. He said to himself, “When I enter my house, I shall build a fire.”
Salamander lay beside the fire. Chipmunk said to him, “I shall kill you. I shall throw you into the fire. You might just as well take your last breath now.” Thus he spoke to Salamander after he had built the fire. He lifted him to throw him into the fire. He said to Salamander, “You are the fellow who deceived me. You told me that you saw large deer. You may just as well take your last breath on this spot.” Thus he spoke when he threw Salamander into the fire. Thus he sang after he had thrown Salamander into the fire.
Chipmunk said, “I shall leave, leave this place. I shall stay here no longer.” Thus he spoke, when he left. “I shall never return to this place. I am going, I am going to my home. I am going to my home to eat that which I always eat.” While he proceeded homeward, he sang about the food which he would eat in his home. “I am going home, I am going home,” he said, as he journeyed up the mountains toward his home. Thus he sang, as he journeyed toward his home. Thus he spoke, as he walked up the trail toward his home. Thus he sang, as he went over the trail at night. He looked for large deer as he went home in the night. He arrived at home about sunrise, reaching the house where dwelt his brother and his sister. He said to himself, “I have reached home. I am now with my brother and sister. Now I am safe. I shall worry no more.” He was glad to be home.
Next: 10. Lizard and Fox • Index