Herbert Fletcher De Cou.

Antiquities from Boscoreal in Field museum of natural history online

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woman asked them, was, if they knew anything about her child. The
boys said, "Yes, we know where it is and can get it back if you want
it back." She cried out, ''Yes, I want the child if you can get himT
I will g^ve you my best horse, which is a very pretty one.'* So one
of the boys went to work to get the woman's child back. He told her
that the child was in the water ; that it would not act like a baby, but
like a monster in the water. The boy went out, and stayed about four
days. He came back and brought the baby.

The woman was glad to see her child that she had missed for about
a year. The boy got the horse.



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Peb., 1904. Traditions of the Osage — Dorsey. 45

38. — The Lost Boy and his Horse.

A boy once strayed away from a village while out shooting birds.
When it was about daylight he was in a big prairie, and could not find
the way home. He stayed in a hollow tree. When some wild horses
were there he would stay in the tree while they grazed around him.

In the spring of the year the horses came again. There was a
stallion in the bunch. This Horse said to the boy: **I have seen you
here many times. I know that you got lost and are having a hard
time. I would like you to go with us right away." The boy said,
"My moccasins are worn out.*' The Horse said, **You do not have to
walk ; you can ride me." The boy got on the Horse and they went off.

They came to some tall grass, and the boy stayed with the wild
horses for two years. The Horse said, "Boy, there is something going
to happen, right away; so you stay here, and we will go and I will
come back to see you in two days/' They went. The boy remained.

After a while the boy heard a terrible noise. The Pawnee were
running after buffalo and killing them. The boy lay right still in the
same place until he heard some one talking. He did not move. There
were two girls that had killed a buffalo. They butchered it. Finally,
one of them said, *'I am very thirsty," and added, '*I am going for some
water to, drink, where that tall grass is." There she went, and hunted
for water until she found the boy lying in the tall grass.

She called her sister to come right away. Her sister went, and the
boy was lying in the grass. They asked him what he was doing. He
said, "Nothing but lying here." So the older girl said: "Well, go
home, with us. We have no brother. Stay with us." The boy got up
and followed them to where they were butchering the buffalo.

When they were through they started for home, the boy riding be-
hind one of the girls. When they got home they told their father they
had found a boy and they wanted to keep him for their brother. The
chief said, "All right." The girls said they wanted to tell all the Paw-
nee to come and see him.

The chief had a meeting and told them that his daughters had
found a boy and wanted to raise him and keep him for their brother.
All who saw the boy made a promise not to hurt him. The boy stayed
with them for a long time.

One day the boy said, "Let us go water Horses and put them in
tall grass where they c^n get fat." So they went and watered them,
then took them quite a distance away and put them in some tall grass.
The boy told his sisters that he was going to a ridge; that he would



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46 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VII.

come right back. When he got to the top of the ridge his Horse saw
him and came running to him.

The boy said, "Hello.*' The Horse said: "Where have you been?
I have been hunting for you for two years." The boy said : **Two girls
found me and took me to their home. They watched mie for a long
time, and to-day is the first time I have been out." The Horse said :
"We will go with you where you are. You must come back here in
two days." The boy came back in two days, and the wild Horses were
there again. He rode the Horse and drove the others to his adopted
home. He gave the two sisters a Horse each. The girls were glad.

The boy grew to be a man. They went off one day and found the
other Horses. One Horse was yellow spotted. The boy had a good
many Horses. After a while, the sisters began to love their brother,
and married him. He lived with them and had children.

After a while his Horse said to the boy: "If you want to see your
people they are here, close by, now. I will go and see if they are here.
I will come back and tell you." So he went and stayed away two days.
He came back and told the boy that they were there. The boy told
his wives he was going to see his people. He said he did not know
whether he would come back or not.

The next morning, the boy started. He rode his Horse. He found
the camp. He told his Horse to go back and watch the other Horses
So the Horse said, "There is your camp, right this way." The boy
started for his people. He came to his father's lodge. His father was
there. The boy walked in and the old man said, "Hello, give me
smoke." He thought it was somebody else.

The boy said: "Father, I am back." He handed the old man his
bow and arrow and the old man noticed that it was his boy. He cried
out, and the old woman said, 'This is the boy that we lost." He finally
got used to them and went back home with them. After they were
home they made him marry again. So he had three wives.

He stayed home about two years, and told his wife that he was mar-
ried and was going where his wives were. So his Horse came, and
said : "I want you to get your wives together. I am getting old. I
expect to live long with you." So he went with his Horse and reached
the home of his first wives.

He said, "I want to get all of you together." He asked his father-
in-law whether or not he objected. The old chief said it would be all
right with him ; that he supposed they would all live together and have
a good time. They set out for the place where his other wives were



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Feb., 1904. Traditions of the Osage — Dorsey. 47

and got there. They divided the Horses. His Horse died. The rest
of the wild Horses went off, and never came back.*

39. — The Boy who ran away.

A boy was once living at a camp. One of the brothers had an iron-
gray horse; it was his favorite. He told his brothers never to ride
the horse. He said he himself would never ride it.

One time this brother went out scalp hunting with the rest of the
Indians. The other brother thought while his brother was gone he
would ride the horse and then turn it loose. So he caught the horse
and rode him, for he was not expecting his brother.

While the boy was out riding the horse his brother came back.
When he had come back he gave the boy a whipping, because he had
ridden his favorite horse.

The boy concluded that he would run away and stay away. So he
went off crying. He went out in the woods and kept going till he came
to some Pawnee, who were killing buffalo out on the plain. He lay
down in the tall grass, until some one talked. He looked up, and saw
two girls, butchering a buffalo by themselves. He went to>yard them.
The two girls saw him and were afraid of him.

He said to the girls that he was not a bad man. So they said,
*'We will take you home with us. Our father is a chief and he will
not kill you. At least we will tell our father."

So the girls took the boy home with them and .told their father that
they had found a boy who was not dangerous, and they wanted him
for their brother.

The chief asked the boy if he had a father or mother or any brothers
or sisters. The boy said, "I have a father and mother, and brothers,
but no sisters." He told his trouble to the chief — that his brother had
whipped him because he had ridden his favorite horse. He said he* did
not expect to return home. So the chief said : "Well, I will take you
as my son, and you must treat these girls as your sisters. I have all
the horses you can ride." So the boy lived with the chief.

The boy would go out and kill deer and wild turkey, and sometimes
he would catch wild horses and give them to his sisters. He lived with
them about two years, and one day he went out on a buffalo hunt. He
killed many buffalo, and when they returned home the sisters said
they wanted their brother to get married.

The old man told the girls to look out for a nice girl. The girls
said they had one picked out for him. When they got back they went

> See No. 39.



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48 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VII.

to work to get the boy a girl. The chief went to see one old man,
who had a very pretty girl. The old man said, "I have nothing to say
about it, but one question I want to ask you — if that boy is your own?"
The chief said, **No, but he is just the same as my boy, for my daugh-
ters found him out on the prairie, and they brought him home, and
they wanted him to be their brother; so I told them it was all right.
That is how I got him. My daughters want him to marry here. He is
not of our tribe, but he will never go home, because his brother whipped
him for riding his favorite horse that his brother told him not to ride."

The chief went to work. Next morning, the girls cooked some buf-
falo meat and took it over to the old man. The old manj told all his
people folks to come. They went, and had quite a time about the
marriage. Finally the old man said, "All right." He told his people
that the chief wanted his daughter to marry his son, and he wanted
them all to think what should be done. He said, "I do not know the
boy, and I hate to refuse the chief." So they all were willing to have
the boy. They ate the food, and the next morning, the chief brought
the horses. They went and told the old man, who said there were not
enough horses. They took the horses and told the chief that the old
man said there were not enough to go around his family. The next
morning, the chief took five more. They divided the horses. The boy
took one, while the old man kept two. The wedding took place in
two days. The boy's sisters were glad to see their brother get married.
After they were married, the old man gave his son-in-law a talk. He
told him he had given him his daughter and that he wanted him to
treat her good as long as they lived. After a while the chief came and
gave his son advice.

After the boy was married he went to see his folks. When he got
home his father was surprised to see his son. He told his father that
he was married. The old rman began to cry. His brother was crying,
too. The boy told them that he had only come back on a visit ana that
he was going away again. So the old man wanted him to stay. But
he told his father that he had another father. The old man started
to cry again. The boy went off. Ht told his father he would be back
again sometime to see him.

The next time the boy came back he brought his wife. The old man
was surprised to see him back with his wife. The boy stayed about a
year with his people. Next time he went off he told his father that this
was the last he would ever see of him. His wife did something for her
father, and they went off again. That was the last time the old man
ever saw his son. He ate nothing for four days.



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Feb., 1904. Traditions of the Osage — Dorsey! 49

40. — Splinter-Foot Girl.

Once there were four boys living together. Having left the young-
est one at home, they went hunting. When they came back from their
hunt they noticed that as he walked around he was crippled. They
found out what was the matter with him, but they could not find the
splinter in his foot. After a while, the boy's foot swelled up big.
The older brothers would carry water and get wood for him. The
boy squeezed the swollen foot and there came out matter and a little
girl baby.

"It makes me mad that I should have been suffering for so long a
time," said he. The boy took a club, killed the baby and threw her
away. The child came to life and came back. The boy killed her
again and threw the baby away. The baby came again, crawling and
laughing. So the boy killed her and cut her up in pieces and threw
them into the creek. As soon as he had returned from the creek the
baby came again, walking. The boy killed the baby again, and the
baby came walking back, and said, "My uncle." The boy was too good
of heart not to heed her. He said : "I will let my brothers see you
when they come back." He combed her hair and hid her in the brush,
saying, "My brothers will be back pretty soon, and when they come
back I will call you." The boy's brothers came back from their hunt.

"Brothers, I have healed my foot, — just after you went away. It
was a baby that was making the trouble. I killed it," said the boy.
"What did you do that for?" said one of the brothers. "Well, it has
come back," said the boy. So the boy called the girl and she came
out of the brush. The oldest brother said: "Well, brother, we have
had no sister. We must be good to her."

The brothers would not go hunting unless the girl went on ahead
and called the deer, elk and buffalo. All these would come, and the
boys would call them. The youngest brother would watch the girl.

The oldest brother now told his niece that a monster was coming
to get her ; that she must not look at him. The monster came and fell
right down at the door, and said, "I have broken my leg." But the
girl never said a Word. When the brothers came back from the hunt
the girl told them that the monster had been there, but that she had
not looked at it. Again they cautioned the girl not to look at the
monster if he should come again.

The brothers all went hunting again. The monster came and threw
itself right on the fire, and the girl looked at it. It was an Elk, and it



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50 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VII.

said, "Come, let my grandfather kill you." The Elk left, taking the
girl with it.

The girl's uncles came right back for they knew something was hap-
pening. Two of her uncles started after the Elk through the bushes
and timber which had torn the girl's hair and clothes. On the fourth
day the two uncles caught up with the Elk.

They saw the Elk all standing. So they stopped to see where
the girl was. They saw her with a big elk horn, sitting down. Her
uncles crawled up in the timber. She noticed them and ran for them.
The Elk were scared, and ran for the timber. The uncles started for
home with their niece. "Well, brothers, we have come home. Let us
have our niece jump this log." The girl jumped the log, and her hair
grew back and her clothes were replaced. So they brought her home
the way she was, and fixed her a tipi and made her a high bed.*

* Compare Dorsey and Kroeber, Traditions of the Arapaho, Nos. 81-84; Dorsey, Cent. N. A.;
Ethn., VI., pp. 224; Riggs, ibid.. Vol. IX., p. iiS; Kroeber, J. A. Folk-Lore, Vol. XIII., p. 182 School-
craft, Hiawatha, p. 274. Also found among the Pawnee and Gros Ventre..



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ABSTRACTS



I. — The Buffalo and the Rabbit.

Buffalo and Rabbit go to see female Squirrel, but she will have nothing to
do with them. Rabbit goes alone and tells Squirrel he can do anything with
Buffalo. She laughs, and Rabbit says he will ride Buffalo up next day. He goes
home. Buffalo comes and Rabbit says he is sick and wants to ride to Squirrel.
He saddles Buffalo, and asks for whip. They start off. Squirrel sees Rabbit
riding Buffalo. Rabbit whips Buffalo, who kicks, and Rabbit jumps and runs
into bush, followed by Buffalo.

2. — The Buffalo and the dancing Turkeys.

Turkeys dance at request of Grasshopper, who tells them to shut their eyes.
Grasshopper breaks their necks, when one opens eye and the others fly away.
Grasshopper tells grandmother to cook Turkeys and pretends to invite chiefs.
He eats all Turkeys himself and tells old woman chiefs have had big dinner
and she is to drink up soup.

3. — The Prairie Chicken and the Wolf.

Wolf asks Prairie Chicken how he came to be spotted. Prairie Chicken
says he got into hollow of tree, put a stick at bottom and set fire to it and stayed
in until he turned spotted. Wolf tries plan, and his eyes pop out. Prairie
Chicken starts off with ej'es, saying he has got somebody's eyes, which he thinks
are Coyote's. Some Coyotes hear him and Bob- Tail (their best runner) catches
and kills him. Others come and eat him up. Old Wolf comes and has to be
satisfied with bones.

4. — The Wolf and the Buffalo.

Wolf wishes he could eat grass. Buffalo tells him to stand sidewise. He
then runs over Wolf and he turns to Buffalo. He is told not to do so to any
other Wolf. Wolf Buffalo meets another Wolf and turns him into Buffalo,
but he himself becomes Wolf once more. He goes to Buffalo, who, annoyed at
conduct, runs over him and kills him.

5. — The Opossum and the Skunk.

Opossum and Skunk are sisters-in-law and live together. Skunk persuades
Opossum to eat her children, and then goes away with her own children. Skunk
tells about it and Opossum defecates in Skunk's face and kills hei.

6. — The Skunk and the Wolf.

Skunk gives Wolf two loads of his "bullets." Wolf tries his gun on hickory
tree and then shoots and knocks down grapevine and eats grapes. Wolf sees
Elk coming and triefe to shoot, but cannot



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52 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VII.

7. — The Skunk and the Wolf.

Wolf gets four bullets from Skunk and then shoots tree. With second
shot he breaks rock in three pieces. Then he kills and eats turkey. He next
shoots buffalo but without effect. Several Elk coming, he lays in wait for them,
but cannot shoot, as he has no load.

8. — The Bear and the Wolf.

Wolf visits Bear who kills four of his young ones and cooks them for
Wolf's dinner. Bear tells Wolf to swallow no bones or his young ones would
be crippled. Wolf swallows bones and when young ones come in they are all
crippled. He says they must be afraid of him, and goes. Bear comes to see
Wolf, who cooks four of his young ones for Bear and tells him not to swallow
any bones. Bear does not, and Wolf t^ells wife to go and get young ones. She
cannot get them back and Bear says young ones must be afraid of him, and
goes.

9. — The Raccoon and the Wolf.

Raccoon suggests to Wolf that they copulate. Wolf consents and Raccoon
jumps on him and makes him defecate. Then Raccoon goes to creek and climbs
tree. Wolf tries to get him to come down, but without success, then makes
hatchet of mud, but it fails to cut tree. Raccoon goes to sleep. While Wolf is
asleep Raccoon descends and goes up another tree.

10. — The Raccoon and the Wolf.

[Same as No. 9, except that Wolf makes the suggestion as to copulation.]
Says he will kill every Raccoon he meets.

II. — The Bald-Eagle and the Wolf.

Bald-Eagle invites Wolf to come and see him. Wolf goes, and Bald-Eagle
flies to creek and brings big fish to eat. Wolf asks Bald- Eagle to come and see
him. Bald-Eagle goes and Wolf jumps into creek to get food and is drowned.

12. — The Turtle's War- party.

Turtle goes scalp hunting. He meets Wolf, who wants to go with him.
Turtle allows him after seeing him run. Turtle meets Deer with same result.
Turtle comes to creek and Buffalo offers to carry him across between his horns
or on his back, but Turtle is afraid of falling off. Buffalo then tells him to
get into his rectum. Turtle does so and begins to eat Buffalo's intestines. When
«£cross Buffalo falls dead. Turtle butchers Buffalo and hangs him on tree.
Wolves see shadow in creek, jump in and are drowned. Turtle comes to camp.
Men take him to death judge, who proposes to put him in hot water. Turtle says
he will knock hot water over them. Judge then proposes to put him in fi»e.
Turtle says he will knock coals on them. Finally they tie rock to Turtle and
throw him into creek. Turtle gets loose and gets to opposite bank of creek.
Turtle goes home and wife breaks him to pieces with rock for objecting to her
urinating on log under which he was.

13. — The Turtle's War-party.
Turtle goes ^calp hunting. Cannot cross creek. Buffalo offers to carry him
between his horns, but Turtle says he might fall off. Buffalo suggests his mouth.



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Feb., 1904. Traditions of the Osage— Dorsey. 53

but Turtle objects that Buffalo would bite and kill him. Buffalo then tells
Turtle to go into his rectum, which he does. Turtle eats intestines of Buffalo,
who falls dead on opposite bank. As Turtle comes out, Wolf comes along.
Turtle tells him he has killed Buffalo, and Wolf says he will eat some of it
Turtle objects and Wolf suggests that the one who jumps over Buffalo shall
cat him. Turtle loses and Wolf gets friend to help him to eat Buffalo. Bear
comes. Turtle asks him to butcher Buffalo. Bear does so, and hangs it on
tree over creek. Wolves come and hunt about for Buffalo. They find shadow
in water and all jump in, but cannot find anything. One suggests that they tie
big stone to their necks and jump into water. First one does so. Excrement
rises and other Wolves, thinking he is full, jump into water, one after another,
and all are drowned.

14. — The Mourning Frog.
Frog loses his wife and two old men give him four days to mourn. He
goes out mourning and neither eats nor drinks. Frog comes back and chooses
one man to louse him and two to feed him. They decide to go scalp hunting.
In morning Frog halloos for men, who come, and sends boy for head man.
Frog hears him coming. Frog is near tree. Lightning strikes tree and Frog
jumps into creek.

15. — The Mountain-Lion and the Four Sisters.

Four sisters live together. One sister cooks, and two make mats. Cook goes
for water and finds skunk. Next time she sees raccoon and then deer. She and
sister butcher deer. Next time she sees Mountain-Lion with turkey it had
killed. They go away, leaving deer horns in fire. Mountain-Lion comes to
camp and starts on their trail. Deer horn cries out and Mountain-Lion turns
back, but nobody is there. Starts again after womjen, but one stamps foot and
apples appear. Mountain-Lion eats them and then goes on. Woman does as be-
fore with same result. When Mountain-Lion close to girls one of them stamps
foot and makes big ravine. He asks how they got across and they say by little
stick they laid across ravine. Mountain-Lion starts across and breaks stick
in middle. He falls into ravine and cannot get out.

16. — The Mountain-Lion and the Seven Sisters.

Seven sisters live together near creek. They go in turn after water. Young-
est goes and sees by path dead turkey. Following mornings other sisters go in
order of age and see dead deer, buffalo, bear, elk and another buffalo. They
eat all animals and make tallow from buffalo. While butchering buffalo they
get excited and look out. Youngest sister sees Mountain-Lion coming with deer
on his back, which he lays down and goes off. They run away and each has little
dog. Mountain-Lion brings another bear. He is mad that deer not eaten and
eats it himself. Mountain-Lion starts after women. Oldest sister gives out
and tells sisters to kill her little dog and put tallow on it. Mountain-Lion eats
dog and starts after sisters again. This takes place until all the dogs have
been killed, and have been eaten by Mountain-Lion. Oldest girl gives out and
is killed and eaten by Moun*ain-Lion. This happens to all the sisters in suc-
cession, except the youngest. She goes on crying all day and comes to lodge
where bad man lives. She asks man to save her. He calls his dogs and tells
them about Mountain-Lion. He says if he looks at Mountain-Lion with left



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54 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VII.

^e they are to kill him. Mountain-Lion comes and asks for girl Man says she
is not there and he goes nearer. Man looks at him with left eye and dogs kill
him in no time.

17. — The Rolling Head.

Chief has two girls, one of whom, Michihi, is married to boy. Two days
afterwards boy goes hunting for scalps with man who has mourning ceremony.
Party comes to village and boy with some others goes to chiefs tipi. Boy mar-
ries chief's daughter. Friends return home and say boy has been killed. His
wife mourns for him, and will not forget him. While crying in timber, Wood-
pecker tells her boy is not dead but has married pretty girl in another village.
Woodpecker offers to talce her there. Girl goes home, makes moccasins and
takes sister-in-law to where bird is. Next day they start, and on eleventh day
bird says that at noon they will see village from hill. Bird starts home and
girls go through village. Boy and new wife see them and boy says he was
forced to marry her. Boy's father-in-law goes to meet them, and after being told


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