Lizard and Fox
A Miwok Legend
Lizard said, "I am going to see the worms." "Do not come near me. Do not come near me," said Worm. You do not smell good,'' Lizard said, when he saw Worm. "Keep away from me. Keep away from me. Do not come near me. Keep away from me. Keep away from me. I do not want that grass after it is cooked. It does not smell good." Worm was on the fire. "I did not like him after I had a good look at him," said Lizard. He said that from the top of a big log. He did not like to drink water. He did not want to drink water. Water did not smell good. "Keep away, Tarantula. That grass smells bloody,'' Lizard said. He spoke this, because he did not like grass.
Thus spoke Lizard when he sang about his food below. "I am going below," said Lizard, "I go there to eat worms. Then I will return and see where Fox is going to hunt." Thus sang Lizard from the top of the log.
Lizard did not like seed. He did not like grass. Thus he sang from the top of the log. When Tarantula brought him food, he said, "Keep away from me. Keep away from me. I do not like grass. I would rather eat worms below." Thus sang Lizard about his food below.
Tarantula asked Lizard, ''Why don't you like the food that I eat?" Lizard replied, "It does not smell good to me. I am going. I am going. The ground is damp below."
"Be sure to return," said Tarantula, "for Fox is going to hunt." "I go below to eat worms," said Lizard, "I shall return." Thus spoke Lizard when he was starving. "I am going below, then I will return. There is no food for me here." Tarantula said, "You shall surely return, because Fox is preparing to hunt in the hills."
Fox was preparing to hunt. He said, "I wonder if Mountain Lion is ready? Are all of you hunters ready? Mountain Quail may go with us. Skunk may go with us. Coyote may go with us. Wolf may go with us. We are going to hunt deer. Put Skunk on the lower side of the hill. Dove may go with us. Hummingbird may go with us. They may all run on the hill. Crow may go with us."
"I shall kill a large deer," said Mountain Lion, when Fox told him that he might hunt. Mountain Lion continued, "Confine Night Hawk, for he is likely to steal from us, if we leave the camp. I am going ahead. I know where the big deer stay. Do not take Night Hawk with you, because he might take a whole deer in his mouth. I shall kill a large deer for us. I shall kill no small deer," boasted Mountain Lion. So spoke Mountain Lion, when he prepared to hunt for the large deer. He said, "I am going into the hills ahead of the rest, to get a large deer for us."
Mountain Quail said, "I will break the neck of the large deer. I will break the neck. I will break it, I will break it." Thus spoke Mountain Quail before he started. He continued, "You people cannot enter the brush. I will enter the brush. I fear nothing. I do not think that you people are brave enough to enter the brush. I shall enter the brush between those large mountains. I shall break his neck. I shall break his neck, when I meet him in the brush, when I meet the large deer in the brush. I think that the rest of you are not brave enough to enter the brush between those great mountains. I am the one who always enters the brush." So spoke Mountain Quail, while he traveled toward the brush between those great mountains. "I am going into that brush. I think you people are afraid to enter that brush, for fear that you might meet a bear." So spoke Mountain Quail.
Bald Eagle said, "I am going too. I shall kill a large deer also. I do not think you people can find a large deer. I do not think you can fan the large deer. I do not think you can fan the large deer. When I fan him, I shall put him to sleep. Then I shall kill him. You tried to get ahead of me by leaving me behind. You must think that I am too old. I shall fan the big deer with my two wings, from both sides of the hill. From both sides I will fan him with my two wings. I am going. I am going to help you find the deer. I know where the deer stay. I will find them before you do. I shall fan the large deer with my two wings. When I see one I shall put him to sleep. I shall fan him. I shall fan him." Thus spoke Bald Eagle, when he prepared to hunt, when he told the Mountain Lion to prepare. Thus he spoke. Thus he spoke. "I am going. You people stay on each side of the creek and I will fan him with both wings from the middle."
Wolf said, "I shall chase him until I run him down. I shall chase the fawns, which sneak away from the big ones. If they escape from you hunters, I will chase them." So spoke Wolf, as he prepared to hunt with Mountain Lion. "I will run them over the hills. Just watch me. I will collect the deer in one place. I will run from sundown until sunrise, so that you hunters can kill them while I sleep. I will gather them in the night. Then when you start, send Skunk to me. If they escape from you, awaken me and I will pursue them until I capture them," said Wolf.
Coyote said, "I shall be there when the deer run. I shall eat them, while they run. There is no use of you hunters running, while I am there. You know that I am a good runner. If the deer get away from you, I shall chase them. I shall chase them. I shall chase them. I shall chase them. I shall chase them whether the ground is rough or smooth. I shall capture them just the same." So spoke Coyote before the party set out. "I will bite the leg of the deer while he runs. The deer will have no chance to escape," said Coyote.
"I shall go with you, for I can find the deer in any place. I can find them anywhere. I know how to find them. I shall look down from the hills just before sunrise. I can find. more deer than all of you. I will eat nothing but deer's' eyes," said Crow, for he was very fond of them. "When we hunt, I shall find the deer for you. I know how to find them. When we return, all that you need give me. are the deer's' eyes. Perhaps you do not believe that I can find deer. I can find the deer before sunrise or after sundown. Eagle thinks that he is the only one who can find deer. I shall go with you. I shall find those deer for you. I excel Eagle in finding deer."
Fox prepared the men to hunt. He said, "We are going. Get ready. Get ready. Get ready, Mountain Quail. Get ready, Eagle. Get ready, Coyote. Get ready, Wolf. Awaken Skunk, prepare him, for he must walk on the side of the hill. Keep track of Night Hawk. Keep him hidden, for he is likely to swallow a whole deer." So spoke Fox, when he became the head chief and when he prepared his people for the hunt. "Gather Mountain Lion, Coyote, and Wolf on one side of the hill in an open place. They are good hunters."
Black Fox said, "I always go into the difficult places. I am going, too. I am going into the middle of the brush, when we, hunt. I shall scent the deer from there. I shall enter the deep canyons and look for their tracks." So spoke Black Fox. Mountain Lion warned him, "You must be careful, when you enter the hills." "I fear nothing," Black Fox retorted. "I will enter the thickest brush. I will enter the brush and drive out the deer." So spoke Black Fox to Fox. Fox said that he was ready to start whenever his men were. "You must keep the big deer separate," he said to Black Fox. Black Fox said, "I shall start ahead and enter the hills. When you are ready, send Mountain Quail to awaken me.
Skunk said, "Just watch me hunt. I am going out to kill deer. I get them from both sides. After you have separated the large deer, tell me where they are and I will eject my fluid upon them. I will kill them all. I will make the fluid, which I eject upon them, very strong. But I want someone to carry me, because I cannot walk fast. I will have a load on me, anyway. I want to be sure to get a number of deer with my fluid. From the north side, I will eject my fluid. From the west side, I will eject. From the east side, I will eject. From the south side, I will eject. After you have gathered the deer, carry me to the place where they are. I will take my son-in-law with me. I will dance on the top of a small rock, singing my song."
Dove said, "I shall eat seed before I go. I shall eat seed before I go. I shall run. I shall run after I eat the seed. You people cannot run. You stay in the brush." Thus spoke Dove to Chief Fox. "If a deer escapes from you, I shall capture him," continued Dove. "If you people eat the deer, I shall eat the seed. I shall help you to obtain the deer." When Dove was ready, he said, "Let us go, Let Hummingbird come with me." Dove took Hummingbird with him, when he went ahead of the rest of the part. He said to Hummingbird, "Let us race. We will see who kills a deer first. Let us race. Let us race." Hummingbird accepted the challenge.
Hummingbird said, "When I ran a race with Dove, I traveled quite fast. We were just about even at the end. I will try to eat the seeds that Dove eats. I will also eat flowers. I shall run another race with him. I shall run a race with him to the end of the world. I shall not go only to the middle of the world in my race with Dove. I shall race him to the end of the world. When he and I race, it is a tie. I shall run a race to the end of the world. If he ties me again, then he and I will travel together for all time. If he ties me, he and I will return and help Fox to kill the deer. He and I eat the seeds and flowers. Let him try the flowers and I will try the seeds."
Fox said, "Tell Hummingbird not to get in the middle. Tell him not to get in the middle. The men had better not travel too fast at first, for they will have plenty of running after we enter the hills." So spoke Chief Fox, when he prepared his hunters. He said to Mountain Lion and to Eagle, "Get ready. Take up certain stations, where the deer come out.'' He told Wolf to take his station near a place, where the deer always come out. "Dove and Hummingbird are to run first," he told Chief Mountain Lion. Chief Fox told his men to get ready, when he prepared to hunt deer. "I see that all of you are willing to hunt," he, said.
Brown Wren said, "Coyote and I shall race. I do not think that Coyote can beat me running. When I come home, I will race with California Jay. I will see. how fast Jay can run. Jay and I will try each other in a shooting contest, to see who is the better. Jay and I will shoot at each other with arrows to see who can jump about the quicker. If he excels me at jumping, then perhaps he can hit me. I shall shoot four arrows and he will shoot four. I shall give him the first shot. Then I will shoot at him. I do not know who will be next in the running of races. I fear that Jay will not get out of the way in time, when I use my arrow."
California Jay said, ''I do not think that you can hit me. You can try and try. Thus I will sing, when I dodge your arrows. Thus I will do, I tire you. I do not believe that you can hit me. I eat nothing but acorns. That is what makes me so lively. If I am seated when the deer come out of the brush, I am not going to arise. I will kill the deer without arising. Thus I will handle the deer, when they come out of the brush. Are you a good dodger? Are you a good dodger? You are going to fight me with the arrow,'' he said to Brown Wren. "I shall dodge, you while I am seated. I shall dodge you while I am seated. I do not think that you can hit me after I have arranged my hair. You can try. You call try, but you will find that I am a good dodger."
Turkey Vulture said, "That is the way I shall do, when I put the deer to sleep. Thus shall I do. Thus shall I do. I shall look for the deer in the hills. Thus shall I do, when I hunt them in the brush. You will find them, when the blood turns into a rainbow. Then you will find them. I shall do my best. I shall do my best to be the first to obtain a deer. If I find dead deer after you return home, I shall eat them." Thus spoke Turkey Vulture. Thus he spoke, as they journeyed into the hills and as he looked for dead animals in the hills. He continued, "I find the dead animals from the high mountains. When I see the blood, I shall come and tell you. When I look for deer, I wheel in one place. When the sun rises, you will see the blood turn into a rainbow." So spoke Turkey Vulture to Fox.
Turtle said, ''I will obtain water for the men when they are ill the hills. I will obtain water for them, when they hunt. I will obtain water to wash the intestines. I will carry water for the hunters. I always carry water. I do not have to hunt with the men." Thus spoke Turtle, as he returned to the water. "I shall get no deer. I shall get no deer," he said. Turtle always carried water for the hunters. He always carried water. He knows how to carry water. He sings all the while, that he carries water. All that he does is to sing beside the water. He sings that he is to carry water.
Fox told his hunters to go and they all departed. All of the deer passed by Fox. All of the deer passed by Fox. He paid no attention to them, but just watched them. The deer scattered. Each of the other hunters obtained one. Most of the deer passed by Fox. He just watched them until the last came. As the last one approached, he put his arrow in the bow and shot it. The arrow passed through the deer and penetrated all of the deer that were in line. In four gulches were four different deer that Fox killed. That many deer he obtained with one arrow. The feat showed that Fox was a better hunter than the others.
Then Skunk visited his son-in-law (Fox), while they skinned the deer. He said to his son-in-law, "May I ride on top of the pack, when you carry it?" Thus spoke Skunk to his son-in-law. His son-in-law replied, "You will be too heavy on top of the deer. I have all that I can carry without you." So said Fox to Skunk.
Skunk became angry. He said to his son-in-law, "Don't say that to me. If you don't carry me, I will eject my fluid upon you." Fox retorted, "Don't say that to me. I will kill you. Don't eject your fluid upon me. If you do, I will kill you. I will kill you with an arrow." "Don't say that,'' said Skunk. ''I do not wish to die. There is no one here to help me, if you shoot me with an arrow."
Fox said to Skunk, "Night Hawk has the largest deer in his month. Hurry, help me skin this deer, or Night Hawk will get them all. Before we started I told you to leave Night Hawk home." Fox went to prevent Night Hawk from eating the largest deer. Night Hawk told Fox that he had nothing in his mouth. "The only thing I have in my mouth is something which belongs to my uncle. I have nothing of yours in my mouth" So said Night Hawk, when Fox threatened to kill him. Fox threatened to kill him, if he did not return the deer. While Fox was talking to Night Hawk, Skunk skinned the deer.
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