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Native American Legends

The Rolling Stone

A Sanpoils Legend

Cricket and Grasshopper were half-brothers. Cricket went to hunt, and found a spot where the grass was nice and green. Through this place ran a trail which was cut deeply by the tracks of heavy animals. Cricket fell into one of these.

After a while he heard the tramp of a buffalo bull. Just as the bull was about to step on him, he rattled his wings. This frightened the bull so, that he ran down the road and jumped blindly over the cliff. Thus he was killed. Cricket ran after him, and saw what had happened. He descended, and began to feast on his horn.

Grasshopper searched for Cricket, and, seeing the fresh buffalo tracks, he thought that his brother must be dead. He cried aloud, and Cricket heard him. He called to him to come down and eat. They were enjoying their feast, when they heard a whining cry. It was Coyote, who was mourning for the buffalo. "Oh, my brother is dead!" he wailed. When he looked over the cliff, he spoke to Cricket, and told him that the buffalo was his half brother. He begged Grasshopper and Cricket to allow him to carry them away. Through his magic power he obtained their consent, and he carried them on his back to the green meadow. He left them, and returned to the buffalo.

Cricket and Grasshopper were suspicious and flew back. They met Coyote, who was returning to the buffalo. He was displeased to see them, and compelled them to go back. By his will power he caused them to wish to stay in the meadow. Then he returned to the dead buffalo.

Coyote cut up the meat and built a fire to cook some of it. While he was busy, an old, old woman came along, and told him that he was too great a chief to prepare his own food. She flattered him, and persuaded him to allow her to work for him. He lay down with one eye open. When all was ready, he closed both eyes. When he opened his eyes again, he saw the old woman running off with the meat. He changed her into a rolling stone.

Then she took revenge by pursuing him. He ran and ran. She followed. He was tired, and ran into a badger hole. The stone rolled on to the mouth of the hole and penned him in.

Coyote thought of his magical power. He wished for five things, -- a crowd of Indians, about twelve dogs, twelve tents, and a dozen canoes. These were to be crossing a wide river in the canoes.

The noise of the moving people was audible at the place where the boulder was. Coyote wished the rock to become a woman again, and she began to move. Then she arose, and went off to see what caused the noise. She was the grandmother of Cricket and Grasshopper. Coyote came out of the hole and staggered away.

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