Two Grandsons

A man lived on a large rock with his two grandsons. "You had better go hunting and bring home something for us to eat. I am hungry. Go to the hills, sit on top, and watch in all directions; then you may find something," Grandfather said.

The two grandsons went off and watched in the brush. An elk came directly at them. One boy said, "I see an elk, let's kill it." The other said, "My older brother, let us run away. I am afraid." The older said, "No. Sit still. It is an elk. I shall shoot it as our grandfather directed." The other said, "No. I am afraid."

When the older was about ready to shoot, his younger brother fled, crying, "Let's run away. I am frightened." Then the elk started back. The older one said, "What is it? Are you crazy? I was nearly ready to shoot that elk." The younger still said, "I was frightened; but I understand now it is an elk. Let us go after it; it cannot have gone far."

When they neared the elk again, the younger brother wanted to turn to shoot at it. The older brother wanted him to stay behind, but did not persuade him. When ready to shoot, the younger again ran off shouting, and the elk escaped. The older brother scolded him harshly. The younger one said, "I was afraid that it would jump on me. I became too frightened."

The younger brother begged the older boy not to send him back home, as the older brother wished. When they approached the elk another time, he again asked his older brother to allow him a shot, saying, if he missed, the other could be ready and still try to kill the elk. But the same thing happened as before.

The older brother became very angry with his younger brother. It was not yet sunset, but the younger persuaded the older to again go after the elk; so they went around ahead of it. Older brother tied the arms, legs, and mouth of his brother. The elk came close. Younger one tried to scream. At the same time the older brother shot and killed the elk.

Younger brother tossed and thrashed about, trying to scream and flee. "Are you crazy? I have killed the elk," said the older. "Have you truly?" asked the younger. Then the older loosened his brother and showed him the dead elk. "What kind of Deer is it?" asked the younger. "It's an elk," replied the older one. "Hurry! Get some brush for a fire. Let's skin it and go home quickly. There may be bad persons coming about here."

"I'll get some brush presently," said the younger. "Make the fire quickly," said his brother. "I want to roast some meat and eat it, then go home. Be quick." "No, I want to rest now," said the younger. He would not help his older brother. So the older one alone skinned the game and cooked some of the meat. Then he said, "Let's go home now. There may be some bad things about. I am frightened."

"No, I am afraid to go. I cannot go home. Let us stay here all night; there is nothing bad about," said the younger. Then the older urged him no more and said, "Let us sleep in a cedar tree. Make a bed there." The younger agreed and made a bed in the top of the cedar after they had buried the meat for safekeeping. Then they slept.

In the middle of the night the younger one said, "I am hungry. I will go down and eat." The older one awoke and said, "What in the world is the matter with you? Sleep now, eat tomorrow." But the younger one insisted on going down to eat. Finally the older one said, "Very well." So, the younger brother went down, made a large fire, and cooked a whole shoulder of the elk. He began to eat and enjoy himself. He heard cries from far-off in all directions. The younger brother said, "What is it? Is someone approaching? Come here then and eat with me." The older brother remained in the cedar tree.

Someone came to the opposite side of the fire. It was a large man. The younger brother said, "Come, friend, eat; I have good food; sit down there." No answer came from the man. "Here is something to eat," said the boy, holding elk meat out to the man. He did not take it. He did not answer even when he was repeatedly spoken to. Then the boy hit him on the head and knocked him down. When he went closer until he stood by the man's head, suddenly the man reached out and caught him in a violent grip.

"Oh, Oh! Let me go!" cried the boy. The man continued to hold his legs in a tight grip. "Let me go! Older brother, come and help me, this stranger is holding me down." But the older brother was angry at being disturbed so he did not come down from the tree.

The man squeezed the younger boy harder, then picked him up and carried him away. The older brother, half-awake, heard his brother's cries grow weaker and weaker as the distance grew greater. Then there were no more cries.

In the morning the older brother came down from the cedar tree. Crying aloud for his brother, he followed the tracks. They led him to a lake and right down into the water. He could go no farther. He went back, dug up the elk meat, and went home, telling the whole experience to his grandfather.

His grandfather said, "Tomorrow we will go and see that place." The older son went with his grandfather to the lake and watched it. Grandfather said, "Wait here while I go down. I will follow the tracks."

He did not come back until noon, then emerged carrying a dead man, and laid him down.

"Is this the man who killed your brother? Deep in the water I found him. I am going back again, wait here," said the grandfather. He did not return until sunset and said, "This is another man. I entered his house and killed him. Now open his mouth and look between his teeth."

The boy saw a little meat between the teeth. His grandfather said to him, "Take a stick and pick out the meat from his teeth. The boy did so and made a little pile of it. Then the old man told him to cut open the dead man. When the boy had done so, his grandfather asked, "Do you see any bones or other parts? Pick them out."

The boy did as he was told, and then did the same to the other man. They put the meat and bones into a hollow stone and carried them home. They left it standing outside, at a short distance from the tent. Then they slept.

Early in the morning his grandfather called, "He is shouting, Wuwuwuwu! Do you hear him?"

"Yes," said the older brother. They both answered with a loud shout. Then younger brother came walking from the woods, saying, "Grandfather, older brother, I have risen from the meat!"

All three clasped each other warmly, happy to be together again-- grandfather and his two grandsons.

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature
Compiled by: Glenn Welker

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