Native American Legends
A Yaudanchi Yokut Legend
Mitiki lived with her daughter at Chit'at [clover]. They were there
alone, she and her daughter. It was spring and the clover grew.
Then her daughter went out to gather clover. Mikiti told her: "Do
not go far." Then for a long time she did not go far. After
awhile she began to go farther. Then she saw good clover mid gathered
it mid brought it home. Then Mikiti ate it. "Where did you
get the good clover?" she asked.
Her daughter said: "I went farther away."
Then Mikiti said: "Do not go there again."
The next day the girl went again. She came where it was brushy.
"Do not taste the clover when you gather it," Mikiti had
told her. Now when she was in the brushy place she found good clover.
She gathered a great deal. She put it all into her carrying net.
When she had done this she saw a bunch of clover. She thought: "It
looks very fine." Then she ate it. She had not yet swallowed
it when a grizzly bear came out of the brush. He ate her up entirely.
Now this girl had been with child. When she did not come back to
the house Mikiti said: "I knew it. You have been eaten up."
Next day she tracked her. Then she saw where she had gathered the
clover. She looked all about there. She could not even find blood.
Then she whistled. She heard nothing. Again she whistled. Again
she did not hear anything. She went on and whistled again.
Then from a distance she heard a faint answer. "Ah, that is
where my grandchild is," she said. Then she went there. She
looked all over the clover. She could not find anything. She whistled
again. It answered right by her. Then she saw blood there on the
clover leaves. She took the bloody leaves and brought them home.
Putting the blood in a basket, she took it to the spring and left
it there, covering it with another basket. Then she went back to
Next day she went to look at it. She listened. Then she heard a
tapping noise. "Oh, my grandchild is already growing,"
she said. Then she took off the covering basket. She took him to
the house. He was already a person when she brought him into the
house. Then she lived there with the child. Once the boy went out
doors. He came back, crying: "My grandmother, I saw something!
I want to shoot it." Then she made arrows for her grandson.
When she had finished them he went out. He saw a bird and shot
it. He killed it. Then he came back and gave her the bird. She said:
"That is very good, my grandson." Again he went out and
came back, saying: "My grandmother, I saw something. It has
something on the top of its head."
"It is a quail," she told him.
Then the boy went and shot it. He came back and gave it to her.
Then he said: "My bow is not good. Make me another one, a better
one." Then Mikiti made him a good bow. She pulled out her pubic
hair to make the bowstring. He went off again. He came back and
said: "I saw something, grandmother."
"What is it?" she asked.
"This one has a longer crest."
"That is a mountain quail. Go kill it."
So the boy went off again. He came to the mountain quail and shot
and killed it. Then he brought it back and gave it to his grandmother.
He was still growing. Now he did not like his bow any longer. Once
he said: "Is none of the property of my relatives left?"
Then Mikiti told him: "Yes, there is some."
"I would like to see it," he said.
So she opened the house in which they had lived. Now there were
all kinds of good fighting bows and fighting arrows and blankets
and other things here. Then the boy went inside, and his grandmother
told him: "Pick out what you want and take it."
He said: "Yes, I will take this bow and these arrows."
Now he tried all his arrows. Then his grandmother told him: "Do
not go east from here; you will be killed if you do."
Then he went off again. He went far east. There he climbed on a
rock. Then he went back to the house. He told his grandmother: "I
went far east."
She said: "Do not go there again. The grizzly bear will kill
He said: "Oh, he cannot do anything. I will kill the old fellow
with the big feet."
Then he went off there once more. He shouted. At once a grizzly
bear came out. He came close to the boy. Then the boy told him:
"Go back! Run off! I do not want you."
Again he shouted. Then at once another grizzly bear came. He also
rushed up to the boy. Then the boy told him also: "Go back!
Run! I do not want you," and the bear returned.
Then he immediately shouted again. "Ah, you are the one I
want," he said, as another grizzly came out. The bear said:
"It is good," and at once jumped at him. The boy dodged
him. Again the bear jumped. Then the boy jumped on the high rock.
From there he shot the bear as he looked up. He shot him in the
throat. Thus he killed him who had killed his mother. He skinned
him. Then he went back. There was a rock at the place where Mikiti
used to let water. He covered this rock with the bear skin. Then
he went to the house.
"Grandmother, go get water," he said.
"Very well, my grandson," she said.
Then she went to get water. She came there. She saw the bear skin.
Then she ran back. As she ran along the path she urinated into her
basket, dozhozhozhozhozhozh. Then she gave him what she had in her
basket. The boy did not like it. He said: "This is not good
water. Throw it away. Go get some good water."
Then she went again. Again she saw the bear skin at the water and
ran off without having brought water. As she went she urinated,
and again brought her urine to the boy. He said: "You have
not yet got good water." Then he told her: "Grandmother,
why are you afraid where our water is? That is the skin of the bear
that killed my mother."
The old woman, the girl, and the boy were all Mikiti. Every night
they still cook acorns at this spring. In the morning the rocks
are warm. But they cannot be seen and leave no tracks. They lived
in the Paleuyami country and talked Paleuyami dialect.
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