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Native American Legends

The Man and the Owls

A Yaudanchi Yokut Legend

A Waksachi man and his wife were traveling. They camped over night in a cave. They had a fire burning. Then they heard a horned owl hoot. The woman said to her husband: "Call in the same way. He will come and you can shoot him and we will eat him for supper."

The man got his bow and arrows ready and called. The owl answered. He called again and again and the owl answered, coming nearer. At last it sat on a tree near the fire. The man shot. He killed it. Then his wife told him: "Do it again. Another one will come."

Again he called and brought an owl and shot it. He said. "It is enough now." But his wife said: "No. Call again. If you call them in the morning they will not come. We have had no meat for a long time. We shall want something to eat tomorrow as well as now."

Then the man called. More owls came. There were more and more of them. He shot, but more came. It was full of them all about. All his arrows were gone. The owls came closer and attacked them. The man took sticks from the fire and fought them off. He covered the woman with a basket and kept on fighting. More and more owls came. At last they killed both the man and the woman.

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