- Hupa -
An old woman was living with her granddaughter, a virgin. The girl used to go to dig roots and her grandmother used to say to her, "You must not dig those with two stocks." The girl wondered why she was always told that. One morning she thought, "I am going to dig one," so she went across the river and began digging. She thought, "I am going to take out one with a double stock." When she had dug it out she heard a baby cry. She ran back to the river, and when she got there she heard someone crying "mother" after her. She jumped into the boat and pushed it across. When she got across, the baby had tumbled down to the other shore. She ran up to the house and there she heard it crying on that side. She ran into the house, then she heard it crying back of the house. At once she sat down and then she heard it tumble on the roof of the house. The baby tumbled through the smokehole and then rolled about on the floor. The old woman jumped up and put it in a baby basket. The young woman sat with her back to the fie and never looked at the child. The old woman took care of the baby alone. After a time it commenced to sit up and finally to walk. When he was big enough to shoot, the old woman made a bow and he began to kill birds. Afterward he killed all kinds of game; and, because his mother never looked at him, he gave whatever he killed to his grandmother. Finally he became a man. The young woman had been in the habit of going out at dawn and not returning until dark. She brought back with her acorns as long as her finger. One time the young man thought "I am going to watch and see where she goes." The young woman had always said to herself, "If he will bring acorns from the place I bring them, and if he will kill a white deer, I will call him my son." Early one morning the son saw his mother come out of the house and start up the ridge. He followed her and saw her go along until she came to a dry tree. She climbed this and it grew with her to the sky. The young man then returned saying, "Tomorrow I am going up there."
The woman came home at night with the usual load of long acorns.
The next morning the man went the way his mother had gone, climbed the tree as he had seen her do, and it grew with him to the sky. When he arrived there he saw a road. He followed that until he came to an oak, which he climbed, and waited to see what would happen. Soon he heard laughing girls approaching. They came to the tree and began to pick acorns from allotted spaces under it. The young man began to throw down acorns. "That's right, Bluejay," said one of the girls. Then another said, "It might be Dug-from-the-ground. You can hardly look at him, they say, he is so handsome." Two others said, "Oh, I can look at him, I always look at this walking one (pointing to the sun); that is the one you can hardly look at." He came down from the tree and passed between the girls. The two who had boasted they could look at him, turned their faces to the ground. The other two who had thought they could not look him in the face were able to do so.
The young man killed the deer, the killing of which the mother had made the second condition for his recognition as a son. He then filled the basket from his mother's place under the tree and went home. When the woman saw him with the acorns as long as one's finger, she called him her son.
After they were through breakfast the next morning, they said, "Come, brother-in-law, let us go to the place where they play shinny." They all went and after placing their bets began to play. Twice they were beaten. Then they said, "Come, brother-in-law, play." They passed him a stick. He pressed down on it and broke it. "Let me pick up something," he said. He turned about and drew out his concealed shinny stick and the balls. Then he stepped out to play and Wildcat came to play against him. The visitor made the stroke and the balls fell very near the goal. Then he caught Wildcat, smashing his face into its present shape, and threw the ball over the line. He played again, this time with Fox. Again he made the stroke and when he caught Fox he pinched his face out long as it has been ever since. He then struck the ball over the line and won. The next time he played against Earthquake. The ground opened up a chasm but he jumped over it. Earthquake threw up a wall of blue-stone but he threw the ball through it.
"Dol" it rang as it went through. Then he played with Thunder. It rained and there was thunder. It was the running of that one which made the noise. It was then night and he had won back all they had lost. There were ten strings of money, besides otterskins, fisherskins, and blankets.
The next day they went to shoot at the white bird which Indians can never hit. The others commenced to shoot and then they said to their guest, "Come, you better shoot." They gave him a bow, which broke when he drew it. Then he pulled out his own and said, "I will shoot with this although the nock has been cut down and it is not very good." They thought, "He can't hit anything with that." He shot and hit the bird, and dentalia fell all about. They gathered up the money and carried it home.
The Hupa man went home to his grandmother. As many nights as it seemed to him he had spent, so many years he had really been away. He found his grandmother lying by the fire. Both of the women had been worried about him. He said to them, "I have come back for you." "Yes," they said, "we will go." Then he repaired the house, tying it up anew with hazel withes. He poked a stick under it and away it went to the end of the world toward the east, where he had married. They are living there yet.
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