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The Southern Sierra Miwok Language (1964), by Sylvia M. Broadbent

4. Measuring Worm (Pages 160-161)


4. Measuring Worm (Pages 160)
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4. Measuring Worm
(Told by John Lawrence)

(1) This is really a story of the country; this one is the story of the land. (2) Long ago, maybe when there were no people, he swam, the Green one, as they say, maybe; his something, his older brother, (3) Green One's older brother, that's it. (4) El Capitan grew up and carried him up, that Green One's older brother.

(5) "Green One, tell me, where are you?" he said, crying out. (6) "Where are you, Green One?" he said, crying out again. (7) Then Coyote came along. (8) Then he told Coyote all about it. "My older brother got carried up here by that high rock," he said. (9) He went. "I'm going to hire [people to help]." He hired everybody.

(10) They jumped, they kept on jumping up, they couldn't reach him, (11) they fell down. (12) Then he fetched Mountain Lion. (13) He surpassed


5. The Magic Cane (Pages 162)
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all of them when he jumped up, (14) he hit it with his body, and he was too low too.

(15) And then there's the other one, the old bear, the big old hole, that's the old bear's hole, where he landed he left a hole, close to the tree. (16) That's the place where the bear landed. (17) Then he called him [to] El Capitan, what the Indians call a fly, yes, that's it, next, the Measuring Worm. (18) "Now I'm going, I say, climbing," Measuring Worm said. (19) "I'm going to climb that cliff," Measuring Worm said.

(20) He went higher. (21) There, near Pohono, away from the rock. (22) From there, he bent over to the other side there on top of El Capitan. (23) He found nothing left but bones, of Green One's older brother. (24) So he tied them up and threw them down from there.

(25) Then he became a person when he got to the ground. (26) They praised him. He outdid everybody, Mouse, Wood Rat, everything, Squirrel [and] all of them tried and failed to get him, (27) they couldn't make it. But that Measuring Worm beat them all. (28) He made a bridge across to there. (29) So! That's all.

(30) That's all I can tell. (31) That's the way it is: Measuring Worm.


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