Native American Legends
Lodge Boy and Thrown Away
A Crow Legend
Once upon a time there lived a couple, the woman being pregnant.
The man went hunting one day, and in his absence a certain wicked
woman named Red-Woman came to the tipi and killed his wife and cut
her open and found boy twins.
She threw one behind the tipi curtain, and the other she threw
into a spring. She then put a stick inside the woman and stuck one
end in the ground, to give her the appearance of a live person,
and burned her upper lip, giving her the appearance as though laughing.
When her husband came home, tired from carrying the deer he had
killed, he saw his wife standing near the door of the tipi, looking
as though she were laughing at him, and he said: "I am tired
and hungry, why do you laugh at me?" and pushed her. As she
fell backwards, her stomach opened, and he caught hold of her and
discovered she was dead. He knew at once that Red- Woman had killed
While the man was eating supper alone one night a voice said, "Father,
give me some of your supper." As no one was in sight, he resumed
eating and again the voice asked for supper. The man said, "Whoever
you are, you may come and eat with me, for I am poor and alone."
A young boy came from behind the curtain, and said his name was
"Thrown-behind-the-Curtain." During the day, while the
man went hunting, the boy stayed home.
One day the boy said, "Father, make me two bows and the arrows
for them." His father asked him why he wanted two bows. The
boy said, "I want them to change about." His father made
them for him, but surmised the boy had other reasons, and concluded
he would watch the boy, and on one day, earlier than usual, he left
his tipi and hid upon a hill overlooking his tipi, and while there,
he saw two boys of about the same age shooting arrows.
That evening when he returned home, he asked his son, "Is
there not another little boy of your age about here?" His son
said, "Yes, and he lives in the spring." His father said,
"You should bring him out and make him live with us."
The son said, "I cannot make him, because he has sharp teeth
like an otter, but if you will make me a suit of rawhide, I will
try and catch him."
One day, arrangements were made to catch the boy. The father said,
"I will stay here in the tipi and you tell him I have gone
out." So Thrown-behind-the- Curtain said to Thrown-in-Spring.
"Come out and play arrows." Thrown-in- Spring came out
just a little, and said, "I smell something."
Thrown-behind-the-Curtain said, "No, you don't, my father
is not home," and after insisting, Thrown-in-Spring came out,
and both boys began to play. While they were playing, Thrown-behind-the-Curtain
disputed a point of their game, and as Thrown-in-Spring stooped
over to see how close his arrow came, Thrown-behind-the-Curtain
grabbed him from behind and held his arms close to his sides and
Thrown-in-Spring turned and attempted to bite him, but his teeth
could not penetrate the rawhide suit.
The father came to the assistance of Thrown-behind-the-Curtain
and the water of the spring rushed out to help Thrown-in-Spring;
but Thrown-in- Spring was dragged to a high hill where the water
could not reach him, and there they burned incense under his nose,
and he became human. The three of them lived together.
One day one of the boys said, "Let us go and wake up mother."
They went to the mother's grave and one said, "Mother, your
stone pot is dropping," and she moved. The other boy said,
"Mother, your hide dresser is falling," and she sat up.
Then one of them said, "Mother, your bone crusher is falling,"
and she began to arrange her hair, which had begun to fall off.
The mother said, "I have been asleep a long time." She
accompanied the boys home.
The boys were forbidden by their father to go to the river bend
above their tipi; for an old woman lived there who had a boiling
pot, and every time she saw any living object, she tilted the kettle
toward it and the object was drawn into the pot and boiled for her
The boys went one day to see the old woman, and they found her
asleep and they stole up and got her pot and awakened the old woman
and said to her, "Grandmother, why have you this here?"
at the same time tilting the pot towards her, by which she was drowned
and boiled to death. They took the pot home and gave it to their
mother for her own protection.
Their father told them not to disobey him again and said, "There
is something over the hill I do not want you to go near." They
were very anxious to find out what this thing was, and they went
over to the hill and as they poked their heads over the hilltop,
the thing began to draw in air, and the boys were drawn in also;
and as they went in, they saw people and animals, some dead and
others dying. The thing proved to be an immense alligator-like serpent.
One of the boys touched the kidneys of the thing and asked what
they were. The alligator said, "That is my medicine, do not
touch it." And the boy reached up and touched its heart and
asked what it was, and the serpent grunted and said, "This
is Where I make my plans." One of the boys said, "You
do make plans, do you?" and he cut the heart off and it died.
They made their escape by cutting between the ribs and liberated
the living ones and took a piece of the heart home to their father.
After the father had administered another scolding, he told the
boys not to go near the three trees standing in a triangular shaped
piece of ground; for if anything went under them they would bend
to the ground suddenly, killing everything in their way. One day
the boys went towards these trees, running swiftly and then stopping
suddenly near the trees, which bent violently and struck the ground
without hitting them. They jumped over the trees, breaking the branches
and they could not rise after the branches were broken.
Once more the boys were scolded and told not to go near a tipi
over the hill; for it was inhabited by snakes, and they would approach
anyone asleep and enter his body through the rectum. Again the boys
did as they were told not to do and went to the tipi, and the snakes
invited them in. They went in and carried flat pieces of stone with
them and as they sat down they placed the flat pieces of stones
under their rectums.
After they had been in the tipi a short while, the snakes began
putting their heads over the poles around the fireplace and the
snakes began to relate stories, and one of them said "When
there is a drizzling rain, and when we are under cover, it is nice
to sleep." One of the boys said, "When we are lying down
under the pine trees and the wind blows softly through them and
has a weird sound, it is nice to sleep."
All but one of the snakes went to sleep, and that one tried to
enter the rectum of each of the boys and failed, on account of the
flat stone. The boys killed all of the other snakes but that one,
and they took that one and rubbed its head against the side of a
cliff, and that is the reason why snakes have flattened heads.
Again the boys were scolded by their father, who said, "There
is a man living on the steep cut bank, with deep water under it,
and if you go near it he will push you over the bank into the water
for his father in the water to eat." The boys went to the place,
but before going, they fixed their headdresses with dried grass.
Upon their arrival at the edge of the bank, one said to the other,
"Just as he is about to push you over, lie down quickly."
The man from his hiding place suddenly rushed out to push the boys
over, and just as he was about to do it, the boys threw themselves
quickly upon the ground, and the man went over their heads, pulling
their headdress with him, and his father in the water ate him.
Upon the boys' return, and after telling what they had done, their
father scolded them and told them, "There is a man who wears
moccasins of fire, and when he wants anything, he goes around it
and it is burned up." The boys ascertained where this man lived
and stole upon him one day when he was sleeping under a tree and
each one of the boys took off a moccasin and put it on and they
awoke him and ran about him and he was burned and went up in smoke.
They took the moccasins home.
Their father told them that something would yet happen to them;
for they had killed so many bad things. One day while walking the
valley they were lifted from the earth and after traveling in mid
air for some time, they were placed on top of a peak in a rough
high mountain with a big lake surrounding it and the Thunder-Bird
said to them, "I want you to kill a long otter that lives in
the lake; he eats all the young ones that I produce and I cannot
make him stop."
So the boys began to make arrows, and they gathered dry pine sticks
and began to heat rocks, and the long otter came towards them.
As it opened its mouth the boys shot arrows into it; and as that
did not stop it from drawing nearer, they threw the hot rocks down
its throat, and it curled up and died afterwards. They were taken
up and carried through the air and gently placed upon the ground
near their homes, where they lived for many years.
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