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Native American Legends

Chipmunk and Meadow-Lark

A Sanpoils Legend

An old woman (Sti'mtimä) had warned her children, Chipmunk and Meadow-Lark, not to go too far into the woods, because a hairy monster might kill them. One day the children disobeyed. The monster shot Chipmunk, and, when trying to seize him, scratched his back.

The boy made his escape and hid in his grandmother's tent. She put him first into a basket, then into a bag, but he would not sit still. Soon the monster Pcua'nitim arrived, and searched for Chipmunk. The old woman denied having seen him. The boy's sister, Meadow-Lark, flew to the pole of the tent, and sang, "Look in the clam-shell under the blanket in the bosom of grandmother!" The monster took out the shell and found Chipmunk.

At the same time he saw that the skin of the old woman was very fair. He asked her, "What did you do to make your skin so white?" She replied that she dropped hot pitch on it. He asked to be treated in the same way. The old woman heated some pitch and held the monster down with two forked sticks. Then she poured the pitch over him, so that he died.

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