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Age Rating 8 Plus.
Kut o Yis.
Start of Story
As the children whose ancestors came from Europe have stories about
the heroes who killed wicked and cruel monsters--like Jack the Giant
Killer, for example--so the Indian children hear stories about
persons who had magic power and who went about the world destroying
those who treated cruelly or killed the Indians of the camps. Such a
hero was K[)u]t-o-y[)i]sī, and this is how he came to be alive and
to travel about from place to place, helping the people and
destroying their enemies.
It was long, long ago, down where Two Medicine and Badger Rivers
come together, that an old man lived with his wife and three
daughters. One day there came to his camp a young man, good-looking,
a good hunter, and brave. He stayed in the camp for some time, and
whenever he went hunting he killed game and brought in great loads
All this time the old man was watching him, for he said in his
heart, "This seems a good young man and a good hunter. Perhaps I
will give him my daughters for wives, and then he will stay here and
help me always."
After a time the old man decided to do this, and he gave the young
man his daughters; and because these three were his only children he
gave his son-in-law his dogs and all his property, and for himself
and his wife he kept only a little lodge. The young man's wives
tanned plenty of cow skins and made a big fine lodge, and in this
the son-in-law lived with his wives.
For some time after this the son-in-law was very good and kind to
the old people. When he killed any animal he gave them part of the
meat, and gave them skins which his mother-in-law tanned for robes
or for clothing.
As time went on the son-in-law began to grow stingy, and pretty soon
he gave nothing to his father-in-law's lodge, but kept everything
for his own.
Now, the son-in-law was a person of much mysterious power, and he
kept the buffalo hidden under a big log-jam in the river. Whenever
he needed food and wished to kill anything, he would take his
father-in-law with him to help. He would send the old man out to
stamp on the log-jam and frighten the buffalo, and when they ran out
from under it the young man would shoot one or two with his arrows,
never killing more than he needed. But often he gave the old people
nothing at all to eat. They were hungry all the time, and at length
they began to grow thin and weak.
One morning early the young man asked his father-in-law to come and
hunt with him. They went to the log-jam and the old man drove out
the buffalo and his son-in-law killed a fat buffalo cow. Then he
said to his father-in-law, "Hurry back now to the camp and tell your
daughters to come and carry home the meat, and then you can have
something to eat." The old man set out for the camp, thinking, as he
walked along, "Now, at last, my son-in-law has taken pity on me; he
will give me some of this meat."
When he returned with his daughters they skinned the cow and cut it
up and, carrying it, went home. The young man had his wives leave
the meat at his own lodge and told his father-in-law to go home. He
did not give him even a little piece of the meat. The two older
daughters gave their parents nothing to eat, but sometimes the
youngest one had pity on them and took a piece of meat and, when she
could, threw it into the lodge to the old people. The son-in-law had
told his wives not to give the old people anything to eat. Except
for the good heart of the youngest daughter they would have died of
Another day the son-in-law rose early in the morning and went over
to the old man's lodge and kicked against the poles, calling to him,
"Get up now and help me; I want you to go and stamp on the log-jam
to drive out the buffalo." When the old man moved his feet on the
jam and a buffalo ran out, the son-in-law was not ready for it, and
it passed by him before he shot the arrow; so he only wounded it. It
ran away, but at last it fell down and died.
The old man followed close after it, and as he ran along he came to
a place where a great clot of blood had fallen from the buffalo's
wound. When he came to where this clot of blood was lying on the
ground, he stumbled and fell and spilled his arrows out of his
quiver, and while he was picking them up he picked up also the clot
of blood and hid it in his quiver.
"What are you picking up?" called the son-in-law.
"Nothing," replied the old man. "I fell down and spilled my arrows,
and I am putting them back."
"Ah, old man," said the son-in-law, "you are lazy and useless. You
no longer help me. Go back now to the camp and tell your daughters
to come down here and help carry in this meat."
The old man went to the camp and told his daughters of the meat that
their husband had killed, and they went down to the killing ground.
Then he went to his own lodge and said to his wife, "Hurry, now, put
the stone kettle on the fire. I have brought home something from the
"Ah," said the old woman, "has our son-in-law been generous and
given us something nice to eat?"
"No," replied the old man, "but hurry and put the kettle on the