The Twins Disobey Their Father, Version 1

(§2 of Sam Blowsnake's Twins Cycle)

retold by Richard L. Dieterle

Hočąk Syllabic Text with an English Interlinear Translation

(54) In the course of time, and it must have been a long time, finally the man said, "My dear sons, wherever you went in this world, you have been free to do so. (55) Just one place will I forbid to you. Over here in this direction lies a hill. Don't go over there," he said. In time the other little guy said, "Koté Flesh, (56) your father told us to go to a certain place. Somewhere over here is a hill where he told us to go." "Koté niži, didn't he forbid us? Didn't he himself say that we should not go there?" he said. (57) "But it is not so. He told us to go there. Koté, let's go now." Eventually Flesh was persuaded. Therefore, they went.

When they got there, having climbed the hill, the snakes were numerous. (58) "Koté, they call them "garfish," that is what they are. Flesh, let's kill some of them. They are always mighty delicious. Let's take home some to your father." There they cleaved some in two. (59) They killed many of them, but as it went on, indeed there were more and more of them. They were getting bigger and bigger. Flesh was killed by the snakes. "Koté, as it is such a pleasure killing fish, (60) why are you sleeping here? Get up," he said and he took hold of him by the arm and made him stand up. They were getting even larger and larger. Finally, he was killed in turn. (61) "Koté my dear older brother, it is such pleasure killing fish, why are you sleeping here?" he said, and he took him by the arm and made him stand up. Finally, the snakes got really big. (62) Again Flesh was killed. Again he said to him, "Why are you sleeping when the fishing is so fine?" he said and he made him stand up. They would help one another stand up, (63) but the other would be killed by them. They snake were getting really large. They had killed a great many of them. And they had destroyed a great number of snakes. The snakes gave up (64) and then he built a fire there. He said, "Flesh, build a fire. We will eat fish. They say that roasted fish are very delicious." He forbade it, but his objections were not effective. (65) The reason why he agreed was that he was afraid of his older brother. In some sense he was forced to do these things. Therefore, they built a fire there and they roasted those really large kind of snakes. And when they were cooked, they did a lot of eating. (66) Thus they had done. Then, "Koté Flesh, let's take home a piece for your father. He doesn't eat any fish. He will like it," he said. Therefore, they each packed a piece and (67) headed home. When they had gotten home, "Koté Flesh, let's boil fish for your father, so when he comes home very hungry, there will be fish cooked for him," he said. Therefore, they had used a kettle and (68) they cut up snakes to boil. Once they were cooked, he returned. Right away they began to tell him, "Father, where you meant, there we have gone. There were a lot of fish, some of them were big. (69) It was such a great pleasure killing fish, but Flesh kept trying to sleep," he was saying. Yet with great eagerness they told the story. "This piece we also packed home for you. It is mighty delicious. (70) But there we roasted fish and we did a lot of fish eating, but if you don't eat it all, we'll eat a piece again of what we boiled for you," they said. (71) Then when they had looked, unexpectedly, it was snakes that they had meant. "Hagagasgeižą, these are not fish, they are called waką ("snakes"), they are wákąčąk ("sacred")! Go out somewhere and pour them out on pure ground," he said. (72) "Pour this out together with tobacco," he said and he gave them tobacco. They helped one another. They took the kettle and tobacco and yet as they went along, they began to eat. Then they poured it out and (73) after they had gotten home, that man washed the kettle out.

And they roved about a mighty expanse of the earth. Each day they would traverse a great expanse of land. And again in the course of time he said, (74) "The first time I said this, you did it anyway. Do not do this sort of thing a second time. There is plenty of room in the world. Perhaps you should go there. (75) Don't go to a lake that lies to the south, there is where I mean. Don't go there." "Okay," they said. (76) He had already gone hunting. Then immediately, "Flesh, your father told us to go someplace." "Koté, no he didn't. He forbade us." "Koté, let's go right now. (77) He told us to go." Finally, he persuaded him again. So they went.

As they went, unexpectedly, there sat a perfectly round lake. "Koté Flesh, this lake is such a fine swimming place, let's swim here." (78) Then, unexpectedly, they encountered a great many leeches. They were very large. "Koté Flesh, they are called 'red turtles'. That is what they are. (79) Let's kill some. It is said that they always say they are delicious. They say it also of the soup." There they took their arrows and shot them. They started to become large. (80) They began to turn very blue. Finally, they were having a great time. They got very big. They killed Flesh. "Koté Flesh, why are you sleeping? (81) It's so fine killing red turtles," he said. Again before very long he was killed. "Koté, why are you sleeping? The many red turtles are now becoming such a pleasure," (82) thus he spoke and he stood him up. Thus they did repeatedly, standing one another up alternately. Finally, they got mighty large. Finally, one as big as the lake came out. (83) When it came out, it chased them. It was not like anything. It touched one of them with its very keen edge. Therefore, it would always cut their bodies in half. Still, in the end, they frequently made each other stand up, (84) but then again he would cut the other's body in half. Initially it was done by means of shooting arrows, but after awhile they did this: they used their own bodies and they would go right through it someplace. (85) Thus they did. There they killed it. They used their own bodies and it was not vulnerable there to the use of weapons alone. Going far away, they killed it there. (86) There they built a fire and ate a lot of "turtle." "Truly Flesh, it is a fat red turtle. It is really delicious," he was saying. When they were done, (87) they carried only a piece for their father and they went home. When they got home he said, "Flesh, when your father comes home he will be very hungry, and there will be a very fat red turtle cooked well by the time he gets home. (88) Let's cook it now." They went after water and boiled it. When it was cooked, their father came home. Right away, they told him what they had already done. "It's a fat red turtle," they said. (89) "Do not eat them. They are called 'leeches'. They are bad things. Go pour them out." After he said this to them, they helped each other carry it and (90) as they took it out, they were still eating it. Thus they did. When they returned, he washed the kettle. That man had an idea of their cleverness. (91) Then again in time the man said, "My dear sons, when I have told you not to do a thing, instead thus it was. You go and do it, but I wish you would not do it is why I am saying this. (92) It is the way to say to children of their own that if they did something that was not right, they would tell them not to do it. Therefore, I am saying this. Toward the setting sun there stands a high hill. (93) It is a high pointed cliff. Don't ever go to that place. "All right," they said. Immediately after their father went hunting, "Hąhó, Flesh, niji, didn't your father tell us to go someplace? (94) Let's go now." "Koté, niži, didn't he forbid us?" "Koté, he ordered us to go. Koté, let's go now." (95) As he spoke, while he was saying it, he persuaded him. "Hąhó, then we shall go there." They went there.


In time they reached it. The hill was a rocky cliff. The hill's sides were facing east-west. (96) They climbed the hill. At the top grew white cedar trees. There on that west side the cliffs stood very jagged. When they went there, unexpectedly, there stood a bird's nest. (97) It was a very big bird's nest. When they looked inside, unexpectedly, four little birds were sitting there. (98) The bellies of the bird children were bare. "Koté, there are little things here. Koté Flesh, look at them." He was handling them there. Flesh said, speaking to one of them, "Koté, you there, (99) what are you called?" he said. He said, "I am called Storm Walker (Mą’emanįga)," he said. Then he did this. He kicked it in the belly. He kicked it off. "Korá, that such a thing as this would be called Storm Walker, (100) even I myself am not called Storm Walker," he said. Again he said to another, "And what are you called?" "When one like that you asked and he answered, you kicked him. (101) Likewise you will also do me the same," he said and did not want to answer, but then he told him to answer. "If you don't answer, I will kick you to pieces, you visible-gutted thing that you are!" he said. (102) "Well, I'm called Broken Tree Tops (Naįsawągišižižka)." "Korá, that such a thing as this would be called Broken Tree Tops, you homely, visible-gutted thing that you are," he said, and he kicked him, making a drum-like sound. (103) "Even I am not called Broken Tree Tops," he said. Again he asked the third one. Again he said, "When my older brothers replied to that, (104) you kicked them with your toes." "Koté, so you have brothers, do you? You who are saying this, I will kick you to pieces. Hurry up and answer." After he said that, "Well, I am called Strikes as He Walks (Wojįmanįga)," he said. Again kicked him. (105) "Korá, that such a thing as this would be called Strikes as He Walks, you homely, green-gutted thing that you are, not even I am called Strikes as He Walks," he said and (106) again, making a drum-like sound in his belly, he kicked him away. "Also, you there, what are you called?" he enquired of the fourth one. "Why, the reply of my older brothers got something good left behind for them," he said. (107) "Koté you bare-bellied one who have said this, hurry up and answer. I will kick you do death," he said to him. He told his name. I am called Holy Sighted (Jąpwakąčąkra)," he said. (108) Korá, such a thing as this who has spoken, even I am not called Holy Sighted," he said. And he kicked him. Then he said to them, "What do you say that your parents might come?" (109) "When we yelled, they would come home." "Well, call out." They would have done that before as they wanted to call out this way, but they were afraid of them, so they did not call. So they responded readily. (110) He, the one who was the oldest, said it himself. He sang, saying,

The Twins who are going around the world crazed;
They have come to us!
They have come to us!

and as he said it, it thundered at the horizon. (111) Again the second time that they had said it, it thundered again. After he had said this four times, that many times it had thundered. "Is that all of it?" And they answered, "Hąhą'ą." "You who sit here, you are here on earth because you are crazy." (112) "If I'm the one who is crazy, would I being lying on a hill somewhere, staying there without a home?" he said, and he bursted the four of them by kicking. Immediately, the black clouds came rolling back. (113) There they made clubs and waited for them. Now it was too much when they got home. Then they repeatedly knocked them down. "Hohó Flesh, there are pigeons aplenty. (114) Kill some there. Let's eat pigeons. Also the feathers will be useful in gluing to arrows." When they knocked down one, they would yell. (115) While they were doing that, Flesh was knocked down dead. "Koté Flesh, why are you sleeping? There are a multitude of pigeons. Let's kill some of them," he said and stood him up. (116) Again while doing this, it was his turn to be killed. "Koté my older brother, why are you sleeping? There are a multitude of pigeons. Let's kill some," he said and he made him stand up. It was not like anything. (117) They made one another stand up alternately. Again the other one they would knock him over. Nevertheless, they were also slaughtering them. Very many they killed. (118) And in time they gave up. "Now let's quit, they have slaughtered us," they said. The Thunderbirds let them alone.

And their father knew that it was they themselves who had done it. (119) "Have I not forbidden it? Hohó," he said. "What they must have done to my sons. No, they must have defeated them. They must have killed my boys. On this account, I had forbidden it. They did not listen to me," he was saying. (120) And he went towards his lodge. Then, "Flesh pluck one of the pigeons now. We will use them to glue onto the arrows. If you build a fire, we will eats the flesh of roasted pigeons," it was said. (121) There they built a fire and there they roasted Thunderbirds, and of this kind they ate. Then they also roasted them (within the embers). And the Thunderbirds were piled up all over the hill. (122) They also packed "pigeons" for their father and went home. That old man was listening. There, unexpectedly, they appeared, talking as they came. (123) "Hohoho, hoją́, this is something beyond expectation. My sons are alive," he was thinking. Unexpectedly, as they walked home, they were talking about what they had done. It was really such a pleasure, but (124) I have never known of anyplace to have such a multitude of pigeons," they were saying. "Koté Flesh, it was such a great pleasure, but how was it that you were sleepy? Frequently you were asleep. (125) Even after I woke you up, you immediately went back to sleep," they said unexpectedly as they came home. They got home. "Father, we have discovered a multitude of pigeons. And one kills as many as he wishes. We clobbered just a few of them. (126) Flesh wanted to go to sleep all the time." Then the other one said, "Father, he is saying this but he himself did it. When he slept, I would awaken him, but he would fall asleep over and over again. (127) We have also brought for ourselves feathers to be used to glue to arrows. Here are the pigeon feathers," they said and when they gave some to him, he exclaimed, (128) "Hagagasgeižą my dear sons, these are not called 'pigeons'. They are called 'Thunderbirds' (Wakąja). They are wákąčąk. Go someplace and put them in pure ground together with tobacco." As he said this, he gave them tobacco. (129) They disposed of them in the wilderness.1

The Twins Disobey Their Father

(§2 of Jasper Blowsnake's Twins Cycle)

Version 2

by Jasper Blowsnake

Hočąk-English Interlinear Text

(13) Thus, they began to play in the wilderness. It was impossible to stop them. They kept going out farther and farther. Then he said to them, "My dear sons, over there lies a timber, you must not go there. It is not good," he told them. The next morning, when the man went hunting, right away, "Flesh, your father told us to go somewhere. Let's go right away." "On the contrary, father forbade us." "No way, instead he ordered us to go. Let's go right now. If you don't go, I will cut you up with beaver teeth." "Okay, we'll go there right away," he said to him. (14) They went to that timber. They arrived. They went about all of that timber. Afterwards, they went nearby a tree there. There a Wood Spirit did something to them. "Koté Flesh, what your father calls a 'squirrel,' that's what it must be. Let's kill it." In truth the one who has a stump for a grandmother climbed it. He fell from the top of the tree. They killed him with some difficulty. "I have the tree dweller. Flesh, take it for your father. It's a squirrel. Squirrels are delicious. Your father may eat it." They came back and when finally they got back to the lodge, their father was there. "Father, we have killed a squirrel," the one who had a stump for a grandmother told him. He said, "My dear sons, it was a holy thing. Pour tobacco for it and go place it in the wilderness," he said.

(15) And again in time he said, "My dear sons, right nearby sits a hill, it sits in the center of a plain. You must not go to that hill," he kept saying. He went hunting. As soon as he had gone, right away the one who has a stump for a grandmother said, "Koté Flesh, your father once ordered us to go somewhere. Let's go right away." Flesh said, "Instead, he forbade it." "Koté, let's go right away." If you don't, I'll slit you with my beaver teeth," he said to him. He was afraid, so he went with him. "We will go to that plain. There they went all about that hill. "Koté Flesh, why did your father say it and tell us to come here?" As he spoke, there were many snakes. "Hú Flesh, that kind is what your father used to call 'fish.' 'We hunted fish and it was very pleasurable,' he used to say. (16) We will attend to fish." He gave back the bow and they killed many snakes. Finally, they killed Flesh first. Snakes were the ones who did it. The one who has a stump for a grandmother, "Koté Flesh, hunting fish is a pleasure, but you're asleep," he said. He grabbed him by the arm and he arose. When he had done it, "Koté, wake up now," he said. When he did it, Flesh said, "Ho." Again right away the snakes came to fight. After the noon hour had passed, in turn he (the one who has a stump for a grandmother) was in turn killed. Afterwards Flesh did it. He arose and, "Koté, why are you asleep? Hunting fish is pleasurable, but you're asleep." He did it and he arose. The snakes kept getting larger. (17) And when they let up on them, it came to pass that they had destroyed many. Then those snakes gave up. Then that Twin, the one whose grandmother is a stump, said, "Koté, Flesh, we'll eat fish." They boiled fish for themselves. They cooked snakes to eat. At first Flesh could not eat it. The one who has a stump for a grandmother said, "Here, open your mouth." So he opened his mouth, turning his head toward them, his mouth was spat in, and he started in to eat snakes. When they were finished, they carried as much apiece as they could. They got up and went home. They arrived. "Koté Flesh, let's boil them for your father." They cooked a kettle full of serpents. Just then their father arrived. He had returned. "Father, we boiled for you. It is cooked really well. And some we have not even cooked." (18) There they were. They had placed the cut up snakes in a pile at the back wall of the lodge and had spoken in that way. "My sons, these are usually called 'snakes'. These things are holy. They are not fish. Take tobacco and go pour them out in the wilderness." They carried the kettle together and as they started to go to take it out, they walked along eating as they went.

And as they went on, then sometime again he said, "My sons, again, never under any circumstances must you enter in where a lake is," he told them, and he went hunting. As soon as he had gone, the one who has a stump for a grandmother, said right away, "Flesh, you father once ordered us to go somewhere. Let's go right away." And Flesh said, "What father did instead was to forbid it." And the one who had a stump for a grandmother said, (19) "Flesh, do not do it or I'll cut you up with my beaver teeth." He was afraid so he went with him. There they went to that lake. They were around that lake. "Flesh, why did your father say it?" Again they were at the water. Afterwards, a leech was seen, a large one. "Koté Flesh, it is the kind your father usually calls 'jerked meat'." They shot it with arrows. They did it and threw it on the shore. After that the leeches were very numerous. They chased them around the lake. "Flesh, do it with all your might. They are the ones. Your father spoke of them." They didn't amount to anything, so they came out. They ran. After this, the waters chased them. They followed in order to catch them. When they only shot at the waters, they would flow back (?) only to come back right away again. (20) They killed Flesh first. "Koté Flesh, while these pleasantries are going on, you're sleeping," he said to him. He grabbed him by the arm, and he arose. "Ho," he said. He arose and right away again they went to fight blood suckers. Repeatedly they went after the very large blood suckers. Then in truth the one who has a stump for a grandmother, he himself was killed. Flesh said, "Koté, pay attention to the jerky. While all these pleasantries are going on, you're sleeping." "Ho," he said. He arose. Afterward, right away but a little while late, Flesh was again killed. "Koté Flesh, why are you sleeping while it is so pleasant?" He grabbed him by the arm and made him get up. "Ho," he said. He arose. And then again in a little while, the one who has a stump for a grandmother was killed in turn. Flesh said, "Koté, get up. While it is pleasant, you're sleeping," he said to him, and "Ho," he said. He arose. And when it was already evening, they let up on them. "Koté Flesh, let's broil jerky. We will eat and go home." (21) They roasted leeches on a spit and when they finished eating, "Flesh, we will pack home some jerky for your father." As much as they could pack, they packed, then they started home. A little later, "Flesh, we will boil some jerky for your father." They went ahead and cooked a kettle full. The father arrived. He returned. The one who has a stump for a grandmother said, "Father, what you used to call 'jerky', this kind we boiled for you." In truth it didn't boil. Then he told them, "My sons, these things are not good things. They are called 'leeches'. Take them into the wilderness and pour them out there." They left taking it with them. They ate it as they went along. They also placed the raw ones in the wilderness.

Then they used to be at the lodge. Now again he told them, "My sons, over there in a southern direction, (22) there is a hill whose cliffs are covered with red cedar, that hill is a hill of frightening aspect. Do not go over there," he said. He went hunting. As soon as he had gone, a little later the one who has a stump for a grandmother said, "Flesh, right away your father ordered us to go south to the hill. Right away we will go." Flesh said, "Kodé, instead father forbade us." "Kodé, again it is very good, so let's go right now. If you don't, I'll cut you with my beaver teeth," he said to him. "Okay, then I will go," said Flesh. They left. They reached that hill. They were all over that hill. Afterwards, they did not learn a thing. They went to the very top. There were four birds with bare stomachs there. "Korá Flesh, there are four things here." (23) He asked one of them, "By what name do they call you?" he said to him. The one who has a stump for a grandmother said it. That bare-bellied bird said, "They call me 'He who Strikes Trees'," he said. "Korá, you're a great one that they call 'He who Strikes Trees'. You that speak, even I am not called 'He who Strikes the Trees'," he said. He kicked him with his toes. Then again another one he asked, "You who are also smart, what do they call you?" "And what should they call me? They call me 'He who Breaks the Tree Tops'." Korá, you're a great thing that they supposedly call 'He who Breaks the Tree Tops'. Not even I myself am called 'He who Breaks the Tree Tops' and he kicked him with his toes. And again said to one of them, "You who are also smart, what do they call you?" he said to him. "What are you called?" "They call me 'Storms as He Walks'." When he had said this, "Kará, you're a great one whom they would call 'Storms as He Walks'. (24) Even up above I am not called 'Storms as He Walks' and he kicked him with his toes. He kicked him so that he rolled off. He spared the last one left. Again he said to him, "Also, what do they call you who are so smart?" he said to him. He said, "What did my older brothers tell you their names were as you were kicking them?" he said to him. "Koté žigé (come on now), it would be very good if you told it. If you don't tell it, I'll squash you," he told him. And that bird said, "What should they call me? When I was named they called me 'Rains as He Walks'." "Kará, what a great thing you must be that they would call you 'Rains as He Walks'. Up above, even I myself, they do not call 'Rains as He Walks'," he said and he kicked him with his toes. He kicked him so that he made him go rolling along. (25) And he said to them, "What do you say to cause your parents to come?" "When we call them, they always come back." "Then say it." Then they said it. They called their parents. They said,

We see, we see;
The Twins go about the world crazed;
They have come upon us, they have come upon us!

After that, he kicked them. They got angry. "Because you are crazed upon the earth, you are in the wilderness atop a hill." At the horizon they made roaring sounds. "Koté žigé (come on), say it." "When we say it, you start kicking us." "Koté, if you don't say it, I will squash you with my feet." Again they said it. They summoned their parents:

We see, we see;
The Twins go about the world crazed;
They have come upon us, they have come upon us!

The clouds fell dark. "Say it again." "When we say it, you kick us." "Now say it! (26) If you don't say it, I'll squash you." They were afraid of him. They said,

We see, we see;
The Twins go about the world crazed;
They have come upon us, they have come upon us!

"Because you are crazed upon the earth, you are in the wilderness atop a hill." After they said it — korá! — a great many of them were coming. Immediately, again for the fourth time, he had them say it. They objected, but

We see, we see;
The Twins go about the world crazed;
They have come upon us, they have come upon us!

"Because you are crazed upon the earth, you are in the wilderness atop a hill," he said. He kicked him with his toes. Right away as they had returned, they were already, even now, struck at. They squashed those bare bellied birds. Right away a great many came. "Flesh, your father used to call them 'pigeons'. That's what kind they are. Let's knock down pigeons." They did a lot of pigeon bashing. Flesh was the very first one killed. "Flesh, knocking down pigeons is such a pleasure, yet you're sleeping," he said. He got up. (27) Once he did, he did a lot of pigeon bashing. In trying to kill them they also did very much, but they were killing pigeons. Then when they knocked down one of the pigeons, they would clap their mouths and give a mighty shout for themselves. These pigeons would continuously come down lower and lower. These twins would go down lower and lower too. They were killing many of them. They were knocking them down. Then they killed the one who had a stump for a grandmother. The pigeons did it. Flesh said, "Koté, get up, while knocking down pigeons is proving so pleasant, you're sleeping, get up. "Ho," he said. Having gotten up to some extent, he started in again to fight the pigeons. They killed Flesh again. "In truth, koté, while the pleasure of knocking down pigeons is going on, you're sleeping," he said. He got up. "Ho," he said. Right away they started knocking them down. (28) They frequently knocked down pigeons. Having struck one of them down, they would give a shout. As a matter of fact, they killed the one who has a stump for a grandmother. Flesh said, "Koté, while such pleasantries are going on, you're sleeping," he said to him, and he got up. Their father, while he was hunting in the area, the Thunders started coming back. Mightily they started to return. He knew of it. he knew immediately that his sons were rushing back. "Hoxhó my sons, at last you will be killed." These Thunderbirds gave up, because they knew they were not going to kill them (the Twins). Then, "Koté Flesh, let's gather up the pigeons." They gathered together the pigeons and they hated to part with the pigeons, and when they were done eating them, then they did it. They roasted the pigeons and then, "Flesh, you father would always say, 'Feathers for arrows.' (29) Let's take feathers for arrows home for him." They picked a great many feathers. They started home, taking for him all the feathers for arrows that there were. That man thought that perhaps they had killed those children. He ran home as he was frightened. These others came home talking. This one was saying, "Kará Flesh, yet the pigeons were saying, when we tried to knock them down, you were very weak. Very often you were knocked unconscious." "Kará, you also were knocked unconscious." "When you were knocked unconscious, I took you by the arm and you got up," he said and as they were going along this one laughed heartily. When they got back, "Father, you told us about pigeons. We knocked down and killed a great many of the pigeons. We hit very many of them. There we roasted pigeons on spits and we ate them. Also we brought these home for you." "My dear sons, you did this to something holy. They are usually called 'Thunders' ('Divine Ones'). (30) They are not pigeons. What is meant by these pigeons is small birds. Go pour them out on pure ground with tobacco." So they took these Thunderbirds and took them to pure ground.2

The Twins Disobey Their Father

(§2 of Susman's Twins Cycle)

Version 3

collected by Sam Blowsnake

Hočąk-English Interlinear Text

(53) In the course of time — it was a long time — he became big. They also played outside and perhaps far away as well. And in the course of time when this man was ready to go hunting, he said, "My dear sons, you go too far away to play. (54) There where there is a mountain," he said, "again, I am telling you, don't ever go there. That would not be good," he said. Then they went out hunting. And one of them said, "K'oté, father wants us to go someplace." (55) And one of them said, "K'oté, didn't he forbid us?" he said. One said, "K'ajó, he wants us to go." And as they were saying this they started to leave. They went to the place that they meant. And finally when they arrived, when they arrived at the hill there, there were lots of snakes. (56) Then this new boy said, "K'oté, they say that these things are always good to eat," he said. "K'oté Flesh, let's kill some of them. Let's take some home to your father," he said. (57) And they began to kill them, but as they came on, the snakes got increasingly bigger. As they were doing it, Flesh got killed. Then the other one came up to him and caught hold of his arm and stood him up. And he said to him, (58) "K'oté Flesh, it is such fun to kill something, but here you are sleeping," he said to him and he stood him up. Again that time they really began killing snakes. And at that time the snakes were getting bigger yet. (59) And as they were doing it, the other one in turn was killed. Flesh in turn came up and grasped him by his arm and stood him up. He said to him, "K'oté Little Ghost, this is such fun, but why are you sleeping?" he said to him. (60) And then they became angry. After that they were mighty. The snakes increasing, became enormous. And afterwards some of them showed up with horns. They would often use the horns to gore them. (61) And even later their were even horns on their backs. Finally, they killed all of them. After that the snakes nearly filled a valley. Then Little Ghost said, "That's all, they're probably used up. (62) Let's go home." And Little Ghosts said, "K'oté Flesh, let's take home one of the really fat ones for your father," he said. And he took one of just about the right size back home with him. (63) After he took it back, Little Ghost said, "K'oté Flesh, your father will come back hungry. Let's boil a piece. Let's do that," he said. Then they went after the water, (65) and there they put it on the fire. And they cut the snake with a knife and filled the bucket with it. And they boiled it. Then they built the fire up and they made the contents boil. And after the contents were cooked, they took it off and lifted it out. (66) Little Ghost tasted a piece. He said, "K'oté Flesh, it sure tastes good," he said. Then Flesh tasted a piece. "K'oté, it sure tastes good." In any case, let's eat this boiled stuff anyhow. (67) And also let's boil an additional piece." And thus they did. Then they took out the boiled stuff and they came and sat on both sides and once they began, they ate it up. After that, "K'oté Flesh, hurry, let's be quick (68) and boil a piece for your father. He too will like it," he said. They ran up bringing back water. And hurrying with the meat, they cut the snake meat up with a knife and put it in the bucket and put it on the fire. (69) And they built up the fire. Just about the time when it was cooked, the hunter came home.

They met him and right away they told him, "Father, we thought you would come back very hungry, so we boiled something for you," they said. (70) "This is it. We already finished boiling one thing," they told him. "Only you will eat the boiled stuff. Don't worry about us. Have it all yourself." (71) And they put it there for him. And after he looked at what he was doing, unexpectedly, it was a snake. And he said, "Ehé," he said, "my dear children, it should not be this way," he said. (72) "This thing was holy. Quickly, pour water over this snake which you have," he said. "Wash the bucket." And thus they did. (73) They poured water into it and washed the bucket and brought it back. And that man boiled something and ate it. Those little boys said, "That piece of snake meat that you have tastes good," they said. "You probably, perhaps, will never eat anything as delicious as this," they said.(74) And thus he repeatedly did. Again they did that for a long period of time afterwards.

Again he said, "Once before, my dear sons, I spoke this way, but you understood incorrectly, (75) but I say this because it is not good. Here sits a high mountain. Never go climbing there," he said. And again once more he went hunting. (76) Right away Little Ghost said, "I think your father wants us to go out somewhere. When will we go?" he said. Then Flesh said, "K'oté, before that you were saying how he had forbidden us," he said. (77) Again Little Ghost said, "K'oté Flesh, you probably said that becauseyou do not understand. It is desired that we go there." And by saying this, he again persuaded Flesh to go on. (78) And after they arrived there where he was talking about, there sat a large, high, rocky mountain. As they went around that mountain, (79) it proved to be solid rock. It was not a good place to climb. Thus it was, but they finally climbed up. Once they climbed up, they found a very big bird nest. There were four young birds there. (80) And these small birds were talking to each other. They said to them, "Why are you doing this?" they said to them. And they said, "Our parents put us here, and once we get big, we'll go back." (81) And again they said to them, "When do your parents usually come?" they said to them. And they said, "Those birds always come when I holler, since they come when we want them to," they said. (82) "Then let them come back on account of your hollering. Whatever it is that you usually say, say it," they said to them. And each one of them hollered. Then it thundered where the sun goes down. (83) The Thunderbirds were coming. Then they asked them their names. And when they asked the first one, he said, "They call me, 'Flattens Trees by Walking' (Ną́raskàpmąniga)." After he said this, they did it to him. They smashed him with their feet. (84) "Even I am not called 'Flattens Trees by Walking'," and they asked this other one. I am called 'Walking Hail' (Núxhik'ísuwumąnį́ga)," he said, and they smashed him with their feet. (85) "Even I am not called 'Walking Hail'," they said. And also they asked this other one. "I am called, 'Breaks the Tree Tops' (Ną́isawagišížká)," he said. They also smashed him with their feet. They also asked this other one. (86) He said, "I am called 'Lightning Passes By' (Ją́pjirehíga)," he said. They also smashed him with their feet. "Even I am not called 'Lightning Passes By'." After they killed all of them, then the Thunders returned. (87) When they arrived, they struck them with lightning. Then Little Ghost said, "K'oté Flesh, there are lots of the pigeons, let's kill some of them," he said. Then they fought the Thunders there. Initially, Flesh was killed. (88) Then they really did it. They knocked down a bunch of Thunders. Then three times each they were killed, but catching hold of the arm, they would always stand each other up. And finally the fight was stopped.. (89) Then Little Ghost said, "K'oté Flesh, it is such fun to kill pigeons, it is wrong for you to take time to sleep," he said to him. Flesh said, "K'oté, I thought you did the same yourself. I was going to knock down lots of them, but every now and then you fell asleep. (90) You wasted my time. K'oté, let's go back right now. The pigeons are very fat. Let's take back one each." (91) And carrying one each, they went back. And those as they talked with themselves, they talked about what they had done and they laughed. As they did thus, they arrived home. Once they had gotten home, (92) they said, "Let's boil them right away," they said, and they took the buck and went to fetch water. Once they had gotten back, they put it on the fire. (93) Then they hurredly cut the pigeons in pieces with a knife and put them in the bucket. Then they built the fire. As the stuff boiled and when it was cooked, they removed it and took it out and ate it. Then they really did it. (94) As the pigeons were fat, it is said that they were good to eat. "K'oté Flesh, we'll put this on to boil right away for your father. He will come back hungry." Again they put in the food to boil. And it cooked.

(95) Just about then, the hunter came back. And they said to him, "And they said to him, "We boiled something for you, since we thought you would come home hungry," they said to him. They took the boiled things over to him. (96) And after this man looked at the boiled food, "They boiled Thunderbirds as well!," he said. He said to them, "My dear sons, you did not do right. These are holy things," he said to them. (97) "Pour the boiled stuff that you have into the water. Then wash the bucket and bring it back," he said. Then they carried the bucket back. That man boiled something for himself. He ate. "The pigeons were delicious, but you did not eat them. (98) In reality you hurt yourself, as you did not have something good to eat," they said to him. And because they kept doing this, in time that man became afraid of his own sons.3

Commentary. "red turtles" — the Hočąk, given more than once, is a very unusual kisuč. The standard form would be ke-šuč, where ke means "turtle" and šuč means "red." The interlinear, however, translates this as "turtle" as does the published version. It obviously makes perfect sense that the leeches, called "blood suckers," should be mistaken for turtles noted for their red color.

"it was not like anything (hąké wažą žeganįže)" — this is a Hočąk idiom. In the interlinear text it is translated as "it grew very difficult."

"it would always cut" — the Hočąk is waikųnųks'aže. Miner defines wakųnųk as, "to break by pressure or pushing something having length, leaving a clean break ."

"they used their own bodies" — in other words, they thrust themselves through the leech, because, as we learn further on, he was not vulnerable to conventional weapons.

"a Wood Spirit (Wakaį́čañk)" — Radin at the top of page 35 of Jasper Blowsnake's version, writes the following: "Wak'aį́čañk = a half-mythical animal in appearance like a cat which is occasionally seen by the W[innebago]. When seen at night, they appear to have fire in their eyes. If they are seen they cause the person seeing them to become sick."

"with their feet" — in other stories, the Thunderbirds are said to conquer by stamping down with their feet. It was by this means that they created the hills and valleys (hierarchy). So it is ironically appropriate that the Thunderbird nestling die underfoot from those higher still in the supernatural hierarchy.

Meanings in the Story. In part, the worak deals with a coincidentia oppositorum of pollution. At first the Twins commit ritual pollution by eating something paradigmatically holy (wáką-čąk), the Holy Ones (wak'ą), or snakes, an animal that no Hočąk would ever eat. The Twins are so powerful that they do not see the difference between the Holy Ones and common serpent-like gar fish. They also eat the opposite of snakes, a kind of bird that is equally holy — the Thunderbird. They bear a name similar to wak'ą ("snake"), e.g., Waką-ja, "The Divine Ones." At the opposite extreme are giant leeches which they call "turtles." It is a form of pollution to eat leeches not only because they are repulsive, but inasmuch as they suck human blood, eating them can be an act of either cannibalism or autophagy. In both extremes the kettle needs to be purified of pollutants. These two extremes — embracing the repulsive and violating the holy — are both polluting, because they are so radically out of place,4 belonging to distant extremes of a spectrum in which man is the center. Eating is a process of taking within oneself, so that the Twins take within themselves the holy, which is not to be consumed, and the repulsive, which is equally not to be consumed. In one case consuming the holy denigrates its position in the cosmic order, in the other, consuming the repulsive does likewise by denigrating the person who consumed it. This forms a model of what takes place in the case of Flesh and Ghost (Soul). The soul takes to itself flesh. The soul is a holy thing, and by consuming profane flesh as it does, it is rather like a person consuming leeches. This consumption is of a twin, a self-image, so that union with it is like cannibalism or autophagy. Conversely, when the flesh takes within itself the soul, it is like eating the sacred (wak'ą).

In traditionalist ideology, for someone set apart in a position of authority, to commit acts of pollution is empowering. For the Twins to embrace the repulsive and to consume the holy is to set themselves radically apart from the disempowering restraints of the cosmic order. They now become like Hobbes' Leviathan, a power beyond the established order, but a power instituted to maintain that order against its enemies. This, of course, generates a paradox, the contradiction of maintenance through partial destruction. (This is the paradox of the sacrifice as well.) When the soul unites with its twin, the flesh, both are empowered beyond what they could ever be by themselves. Yet in the end, the proper realm of the flesh is within the earth, and the proper realm of the soul is in the heavens (or some other radical Elsewhere). It is only by violating this cosmic natural order that Man can be made of this coincidentia oppositorum. Indeed, culture itself is a violation (by transcendence) of the natural order, and from it comes an empowerment that creates man in another sense.

As among the Homeric Greeks, death is viewed as almost identical with sleep. Therefore, life is very similar to consciousness. To come to life, therefore, must be like awakening. Indeed, this is how Earthmaker himself first came into being. However, when a person is lacking his soul, he is not conscious. Therefore, the soul must participate in, and appears to be sufficient for, awakening the flesh to life. On the other hand, a person cannot exist as such without a body. Consequently, for a person to awaken into existence, his soul must be awakened within his body This would seem to suggest that the soul of a fetus sleeps until the body matures to a point that awakens it to consciousness again. With life impossible except that the soul and the flesh awaken one another to it, we see why Ghost (Soul) and Flesh awaken one another when one of them has died.

Comparative Material. The closely related Ioway tell a parallel story to the snake and leech episodes. "The two brothers now played together, and after a while both grew in size and stature. One day their father said to them, 'Now you must not go to such and such a place, that pond that is near hear.' As soon as he was out of sight, Wahre'dua said to Dore, 'Father said for us to visit that pond.' 'Oh no,' replied Dore, 'He said for us to stay away from it.' 'Well then,' answered Wahre'dua, 'if you will not go with me, give me back my scalp lock.' Dore, it seems, wore Wahre'dua's scalp lock attached to his belt, and when his brother demanded it, Dore decided to go with him. When they arrived at the lake, they found that it was full of leeches. They took off their clothes and waded in until the leeches covered their bodies, then they came out and scraped them off into pieces of bark. 'Our father will be very pleased to see these,' said Wahre'dua, so they took them home and cooked and ate some, and they put the rest away for their father to eat when he came back. When the older man returned and they set the leeches before him, however, he refused them and threw them out in disgust. The next day he ordered the boys not to go to another place in the neighborhood, but as soon as he was gone Wahre'dua said to Dore, 'Father said for us to go to that place.' 'Oh no,' answered Dore, 'He said for us to stay away from it.' 'Well then, if you don't want to go with me, give me back my scalp lock.' When Wahre'dua said this, Dore decided to accompany him, and when they arrived at the spot they found there a great den of snakes. The twins took four box-turtle shells and made for themselves two pairs of moccasins. Then they entered the den and trod on the heads of the greatest rattlesnakes and crushed them. They took the biggest ones home as before, and cooked and ate some of them, the rest they set aside for their father. They also took the biggest rattlesnakes and hung them from a stick over the lodge entrance making a door that jingled when the snake's bodies were pushed aside to enter the lodge. 'Our father will be pleased when he sees this,' said Wahre'dua. When their father came home he was frightened and angry. He made the boys tear down the rattling door and throw the cooked snake flesh back where they got it. He scolded them for their disobedience."5

To the episode in which the boys kill the Thunderbirds, the Ioway substitue swans. One of the Twins actually rides a swan, but when he is reunited with his brother, the two of them ring the necks of countless swans. That is why, they say, swans have bent necks today.6 There exists a more exact parallel given in the Comparative Material to "The Lost Blanket."

The Wichita also have a version of this story. The father of After Birth Boy and his brother makes a special hoop for them and warns them not to roll it in a westward direction. He also tells the boys that they are not to visit certain places because of the danger that lurks there. Just the same, After Birth Boy persuades his brother to come with him as they visit one of these places. This is where Spider Woman lived. When they got there she placed them in a kettle of boiling water, but they tipped it over onto her and she was scalded to death. After they told their father about their adventure, he reiterated that they were not to visit the place where the Thunderbird had its nest. After Birth Boy persuaded his brother that this was the place they should go. They reached a place where there was a large cottonwood tree that had no branches except at the very top, where there was a nest. After Birth Boy began climbing the tree. When he got about half way up, he was suddenly attacked by a Thunderbird. This bird fired lightning that took off one of his legs. Just the same, he continued his climb. When he got a bit farther, he was attacked again. This time he lost one of his arms. That did not stop him as he continued his ascent. Again he was attacked, and this time he lost his remaining leg. This didn't stop him. Just as he got to the top, the Thunderbirds took off his remaining arm, but by now he was in the nest. He asked the first bird there what his name was. "My name," he said, "is Early Morning Weather when there is no Wind the Sun Rising Slowly Followed by Clear Weather." With his mouth, he put this Thunderbird chick back, saying, "You're a good bird." Then he asked the same question of the next one. This bird said, "My name is Hard windy Weather followed by Hard Rain accompanied by Lightning that Strikes." After Birth Boy bit this one and threw him out of the nest. Then he asked the same of the next bird. "My name is Quiet Foggy Day Weather such as Comes in Early Morning." This one he put back saying, "You're the kind of bird I like." Then he asked the last one his name, and the bird replied, "My name is Cyclone Weather." Upon hearing that, After Birth Boy threw him out of the nest, then he slid down the tree. His brother had collected his limbs, and reattached each one back to his body so that he was as good as new. They went back home. The next day they went to where a stone was lying on the ground. It was shaped like a human being, so they picked it up and took it back home to show their father. When the man saw the stone he was shocked. "Return that to where you got it at once," he said. So they did what he had told them. The stone was the body of their murdered mother. The next day they went to another place their father had forbidden them to visit. This was the cave of the Double Headed Monsters. They encountered a host a young Double Headed Monster there. After Birth Boy asked them what the two sacks of meat were that were hanging from the ceiling. They said that it was the lungs of their parents. So After Birth Boy shot the lungs, causing both parents to die. Then he turned his attentions to the offspring. He shot dead each of these save one, which he took home to be a pet for his father. However, the man said, "Take him back, I don't want him." So they returned him and set him free. The next time they went out, they visited another place their father had forbidden them to go. This was where the Headless Man lived. They challenged him to play a game of shinny. They played using his ball, which was black. Their sticks and ball were green, symbolizing the spring. After wearing out the Headless Man, they scored the winning goal. The Headless Man had wagered his life, but now begged that they spared him. Nevertheless, After Birth Boy killed him. Since that time the shinny game has been played in the spring under the patronage of After Birth Boy.7 [previous episode of this story] [next episode of this story]

The Sauk version has completely different incidents from the Hočąk, but it has some similarities to the Ioway version. Here, instead of winged men being abducted, it has "angels," and the theme of the scalp lock is also found. In time their father told them, "Boys, you must never go over there where that big bank is, as no one ever goes there." After their father left, the younger twin said, "Let's go over to the big bank." His brother said, "We can't, since father told us not to go there." "Well then," said the other, "give me my scalp lock and I'll go home." His brother decided that he would go along rather than do that. When they got there they found it infested with snakes, so they took a great many of them home. Some of these they chopped up and boiled, the rest they let roam around inside the lodge. When their father came home, he walked in to find the place crowded with snakes. He became afraid and ordered the boys to take the snakes back. The next day, the father told them not to go to another place, a place where there was a very big rock. So once again the younger twin told his brother that they ought to go there, and they had much the same conversation, and rather than give his brother his scalp lock back, the older brother decided to go along. When they got to the giant rock, the younger boy said, "Grandmother, there is going to be a big council, so you must come along with us. I'll pack you on my back." "Very well, grandson," she replied. However, when he got home with her, he found that he couldn't get the rock of his back. So his father returned only to find that one of his sons had a rock on his back. "What are you boys doing with your grandmother here? Take her back where you got her." So they returned her whence they had come, and the rock then came off his back. Then their father told them not to go to a certain place, since an invulnerable white bull lived there. The next day, just after their father had gone off hunting, the younger brother said that they should go see the white bull. After the usual argument, the older brother gave in. When they got there, the bull charged them, but they stood firm and kept shooting arrows into him until they had killed him. They skinned him and took his hide home. Then they stuffed him so that he looked very life-like, and they posted him just outside the lodge. When their father came home, he saw this frightening creature, and fled. But the boys chased him down and explained things to him. They said that he looked rather harmless to them. Once again he told them not to go to a certain place, but again the younger brother persuaded his twin to go with him to the very place their father had forbidden them to go. This time they brought back three angels. When their father saw them, he scolded his sons, and told them to take them back.8 [the previous episode of this story], [the next episode in this story]

The theme of the defiant children is seen in Omaha stories told about Hare. Grandmother says to Hare, "There is a very bad hill over there. Stay away from it. Don't go there." Yet the first thing that Hare does is to check it out for himself.9

The Creek Twins' story has many interesting similarities to the Hočąk tale. [previous part of the story] The father of the Twins cautions them never to visit a person living nearby called "Sharp Hooves." When their father is gone, the boy from the thicket says to his brother, "Say, our father said 'Be sure to visit Sharp Hooves,' so we had better get started." The older Twin would always refuse, but one day he gave in and they paid this demon a visit. On the wall Sharp Hooves had many nice small bows that the boys really wished to have, so the demon said, "Go ahead and take some." The boys each grabbed a bow and ran off, but as they were going, Sharp Hooves shot himself hooves-first at them. However, he missed and stuck fast in a tree. While he was immobile, the Twins came back and shot him dead. The boys cut off his nose and decided that they could make a nice pipe out of it for their father. They gave this pipe to their father, but as he smoked it, he said, "Chek, Chek, this is something very bad. Take this and throw it away!" So they tossed it out. The next day they were told that their were Thunder eggs nearby, but that they were to avoid them at all cost, since the Thunders were very protective of them. So the thicket boy said to his brother, "Say, didn't your father tell us to go and get some Thunder eggs?" The other boy emphatically denied that his father had said such a thing, but the younger boy climbed the cliffs and retrieved them. Because they handled these eggs, something came over them. Now people say that these boys are responsible for the thunder. One is a real human, but the other is not.10

In another Creek variant, the boys go where their father told them not to. The wild boy, Not Doing Right, began to climb the forbidden tree, but his brother reminded him, "Our father told us not to do that." The two argued about it for some time until the wild boy said, "If you don't climb up there with me, I'll hit you with our father's ax." So they both went up the tree where they found some eggs. They began to play with them until a great storm arose. Then their father returned and told them to put them back in the nest. They did so as the lightning struck all around them.11

The Skidi Pawnee also have a version of this tale. There the Twins are called "Handsome Boy" and "After-Birth Boy." One day their father told them not to take a ride in the bull-boat since it would tip over in the middle of the river. Despite what they were told, After-Birth Boy shamed his brother into going with him for a ride in this boat. When the boat got to midstream, it started to tip over, but After-Birth Boy changed into a goose and after much urging, got his brother to do the same. And so they escaped unharmed. In time their father again warned them not to go to a certain place, but once again After-Birth Boy persuaded his brother to go there with him. There they found a nest of snakes, many of them rattlers. The boys were able to change the skin of their legs into turtle shells, and they stamped the snakes to death without the snakes being able to penetrate their armor. The boys hung some of the snakes over the door to the lodge, and when their father returned, he was annoyed and told them to get rid of them. Then he warned them not to go to a hill nearby, since anything that ventured there was felled by lightning. Nevertheless, once again After-Birth Boy shamed his brother into going where his father had forbidden them to venture. They climbed the steep hill up to a tree that grew out of its slope, about midway up. After-Birth Boy reached into the hollow tree and pulled out a human being who was painted entirely red. This person said that his name was "Thunder." He threw this being down to his brother. Then he reached down and pulled up another, who was also painted read. "What is your name?" he asked. "Lightning," replied the strange being. So the boy threw him down to his brother as well. Again he reached in and pulled out another like the others, and his name was "Loud Thunder." He too was thrown down. Then a fourth being like the rest the boy pulled out of the hollow tree. This being was named "Wonderful Lightning." He too was cast down. Then the boys took these being back to their father's lodge, but when he saw them, he was horrified. "You have done wrong. These are holy beings and must not be molested. You have to take them back where you found them," he said. But After-Birth Boy said, "Tirawa did not intend for them to be on earth killing humans. Instead, they shall be stationed in the sky in different places and from there they shall make lightning and thunder." So it was that the Lightnings and Thunders were scattered. From then on the father of the boys began to fear them.12 [the previous episode of this story], [the next episode in this story]

The Blackfoot also have the theme of the Twins disobeying their father, but the episodes are quite different. Their Twins are called "Beaver" and "Rock." [previous part of the story] The father of the Twins cautioned them not to play "Roll the Hoop" in the same direction as the wind. When they did so, they found themselves in the company of a witch. She induced them to come into a rock lodge and smoke with her. Normally, she suffocated her victims by filling the room with tobacco smoke until they could not breathe, but in this case, it was she who was suffocated Next their father told them to stay away from a certain tree, but Rock persuaded Beaver to climb it. Once up there, a great serpent climbed up after him, but Rock killed the snake. Then their father warned them not to shoot at morning birds, but they also violated that command. Rock hit one such bird with an arrow and it fell into a tree. Rock finally climbed the tree to get the bird, but the tree grew fast and tall until it disappeared into the sky, leaving Beaver at its base to morn for his brother.13

The Cherokee have a story about the Twins that has interesting parallels to the Hočąk story. [previous part of the story] The boys were so bad that their father had to flee for his life. They followed after him and caught up to him. He warned them about going into a swamp along the way because of the panther there, but they fought the panther with no ill effects. Then their father warned them about the cannibals in a village along the way, but they went there anyway, killing all the cannibals.14

The Natchez have a counterpart in their Twins myths to the story of the fight against the leeches. "When he was about to start out to hunt again he [their father] said, 'If you want to go in swimming you must not swim in the creek toward the west. You must swim toward the east. You must not swim toward the west because there are lots of leeches in the creek there.' Then he set out. Not long afterwards the boys said, "Let us go in swimming,' and they swam eastward in the creek. When they came back the strange boy said, 'Let us go in swimming to find out about the leeches of which he spoke.' 'I think he forbade us,' said the other. The strange boy replied, 'If you do not agree I will hack you with father's ax,' so he became frightened and they set out. They went in swimming. When they came out, leeches were all over their bodies. Then they wallowed in the sand and mashed them. When their skins got dry they made a noise, tsagak tsagak, and the boys danced in order to hear the noise. When their father came home he said, 'Have you been right here?' and the strange boy answered, 'We have been nowhere else.' But his own child said, 'We went in swimming where you said, Do not swim there, and when we came out leeches hung all over our bodies. We rolled in the sand and mashed them, and when their skins were dried they made a noise and we danced'."15

The northern Cree parallel is more remote. It combines some elements of this story with that of "The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee." The more dynamic Twin (Che-che-puy-ew-tis) has been raised by a mouse. After he is reunited with his father, and the truth of his identity is made known, his father seemed to be glad and sent them to the mouse with a large supply of beaver meat and an expression of gratitude. Just the same, the father was hoping to get rid of the two boys and to marry again. One day he went off hunting. He would always go off in the same direction, so the boys, being curious about this, decided to follow him. His tracks led to a lake and seemed to disappear into it, so Che-che-puy-ew-tis told his brother to fastened some spruce roots to him and lower him into the lake. There Che-che-puy-ew-tis found a wigwam at its bottom with two lynxes posted at its door. The boy grabbed both of them and signaled his brother to pull him up. Once on land, they killed both lynxes and took them home to their father. When he saw them, he wept. He stormed out of the lodge, leaving the boys concerned that he might be back with a vengeance, so they prepared by making arrows through the night. Their father did indeed return the next morning with a warparty of lynxes, but the boys fought them off, killing every one of them. Then the next night their father returned with another warparty, but this time the twins not only rubbed out the lynxes, but they also killed their father. After that the boys lived together alone.16 [previous episode of this story], [next episode of the Cree story]

The distant Yuki of California also have Divine Twins whose adventures show some similarity to our Hočąk story. Kroeber summarizes: "Perhaps the most important of these is a myth of the twins Burnt-sling and Hummingbird. These two boys, being dirty, are repudiated by their parents, and live with their grandmother. They develop great supernatural powers. Going out to hunt crickets, they make springs of water. When hunting butterflies, they kill condors in the sky. They are attacked by war parties from the north, and kill them by waving a supernatural wand. ... They kill their evil parents, turning their father into harmless thunder. They make a lake, and, to terrify their grandmother, catch water monsters."17

Links: The Twins, Gottschall, The Twins Cycle, Wood Spirits, Snakes, Thunderbirds, Leeches.

Links within Sam Blowsnake's Twins Cycle: §1. The Birth of the Twins (v. 1), §3. The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee (v. 1).

Links within Jasper Blowsnake's Twins Cycle: §1. The Birth of the Twins (v. 2), §3. The Twins Get into Hot Water (v. 2).

Links within Amelia Susman's Twins Cycle: §1. The Birth of the Twins, §3. The Father of the Twins Attempts to Flee.

Stories: mentioning the Twins: The Twins Cycle, The Man with Two Heads, The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, The Children of the Sun, Bluehorn's Nephews, The Two Boys, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket; in which leeches occur: The Seduction of Redhorn's Son, The Two Boys, The Two Brothers (blood-suckers); mentioning snakes: The First Snakes, The Woman who Married a Snake, Blessing of the Yellow Snake Chief, Snake Clan Origins, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, A Snake Song Origin Myth, The Serpents of Trempealeau, Rattlesnake Ledge, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Two Boys, Wears White Feather on His Head, Creation of the World (vv. 2, 3, 4), The Twins Retrieve Red Star's Head, Waruǧápara, The Green Man, Holy One and His Brother, The Man who was Blessed by the Sun, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Turtle and the Merchant, The Lost Blanket, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, The Shell Anklets Origin Myth; mentioning Thunderbirds: The Thunderbird, Waruǧápara, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Traveler and the Thunderbird War, The Boulders of Devil's Lake, Thunderbird and White Horse, Bluehorn's Nephews, How the Hills and Valleys were Formed (vv. 1, 2), The Man who was a Reincarnated Thunderbird, The Thunder Charm, The Lost Blanket, The Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth, Story of the Thunder Names, The Hawk Clan Origin Myth, Eagle Clan Origin Myth, Pigeon Clan Origins, Bird Clan Origin Myth, Adventures of Redhorn's Sons, Brave Man, Ocean Duck, Turtle's Warparty, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Quail Hunter, The Twins Join Redhorn's Warparty, Redhorn's Sons, The Dipper, The Stone that Became a Frog, The Race for the Chief's Daughter, Redhorn Contests the Giants, The Sons of Redhorn Find Their Father, The Warbundle of the Eight Generations, Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, Origin of the Hočąk Chief, The Spirit of Gambling, Wolf Clan Origin Myth, Aračgéga's Blessings, Kunu's Warpath, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, The Glory of the Morning, The Nightspirits Bless Čiwoit’éhiga, The Green Waterspirit of the Wisconsin Dells, A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga, Baldheaded Warclub Origin Myth, The Big Stone, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, Song to Earthmaker, The Origins of the Milky Way; mentioning pigeons: Pigeon Clan Origins, Thunderbird Clan Origin Myth (v. 1), Waruǧápara, The Lost Blanket, How the Thunders Met the Nights, Bird Origin Myth, Origin of the Hočąk Chief, The Creation Council, Hočąk Clans Origin Myth, The Creation of Man (v. 2), The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Gottschall: A New Interpretation; about Wood Spirits (Wakąčųna): Visit of the Woodspirit, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, Pete Dupeé and the Ghosts, The Completion Song Origin; mentioning red cedar (juniper, waxšúč): The Journey to Spiritland (vv. 4, 5) (used to ascend to Spiritland), The Seer (sacrificial knife), A Waterspirit Blesses Mąnį́xete’ų́ga (sacrificial knife), Redhorn's Sons (coronet of Thunders, lodge), Aračgéga's Blessings (coronet of Thunders), Partridge's Older Brother (smoke fatal to evil spirit), Hawk Clan Origin Myth (purifying smoke), The Creation Council (purifying smoke), The Dipper (incense), Sun and the Big Eater (arrow), The Brown Squirrel (arrow), Hare Kills a Man with a Cane (log used as weapon); mentioning teeth: The Animal who would Eat Men, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans, Hare and the Dangerous Frog, The Girl who Refused a Blessing from the Wood Spirits, The Two Boys, The Birth of the Twins, Wears White Feather on His Head, The Dipper, Wolves and Humans, The Commandments of Earthmaker, The Children of the Sun, The Green Man, Holy One and His Brother, Partridge's Older Brother, The Brown Squirrel, Hare Secures the Creation Lodge of the Medicine Rite, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, East Shakes the Messenger, Lifting Up the Bear Heads, White Wolf, Buffalo Clan Origin Myth.

Versions of this story are found embedded in The Two Boys, and The Two Brothers.

Themes: the Twins disobey the commands of someone with fatherly authority over them: The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Two Boys, The Lost Blanket, The Two Brothers; a knowledgeable person tells someone not to go to a certain place because of the danger, but that person goes there anyway: The Fox-Hočąk War, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Two Boys, The Two Brothers, The Lost Blanket, Bladder and His Brothers, The Thunderbird, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle; traveling over the whole earth: Deer Clan Origin Myth, The Pointing Man, Trickster and the Dancers, The Medicine Rite Foundation Myth, The Necessity for Death, Death Enters the World, Spear Shaft and Lacrosse, The Twins Get into Hot Water, The Twins Cycle, The Two Boys, The Lost Blanket, The Two Brothers, Bluehorn's Nephews; powerful spirits refer to strong animals by names denoting smaller and weaker animals: How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Two Boys, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧápara, The Thunderbird, The Lost Blanket, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, Redhorn's Sons (cf. the inverse theme, Buffalo Spirits calling grass "bears" in, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle); a Waterspirit that has been killed for food is called a "beaver" by spirits: The Thunderbird, The Boy who was Captured by the Bad Thunderbirds, Waruǧápara, Earthmaker Sends Rušewe to the Twins, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Bluehorn's Nephews; powerful spirits eat snakes (even though they are sacred): The Two Boys, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, The Dipper; burying something sacred in purified ground in conjunction with tobacco offerings: Disease Giver, cf. The Two Boys (negation); a hero kills Thunderbirds and uses their feathers to make arrows: Hare Acquires His Arrows; someone kills Thunderbird nestlings and makes use of their feathers: Hare Acquires His Arrows, The Lost Blanket; bringing someone back to life by picking them up and putting them on their feet: The Two Boys, The Shaggy Man.


1 Paul Radin, The Evolution of an American Indian Prose Epic. A Study in Comparative Literature, Part I (Basil: Ethnographical Museum, Basil Switzerland, 1954) 87-90. Informant: Sam Blowsnake of the Thunderbird Clan, ca. 1912. The original text is Sam Blowsnake, "Waretcawera," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Winnebago V, #11: 54-129.

2 Jasper Blowsnake, "Waretcawera," in Paul Radin, Winnebago Notebooks, Freeman Numbers 3850, 3896, 3897 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, n.d.) Notebook 67: 2-41 [13-30].

3 Amelia Susman, Notebooks (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, May 29 - Oct. 10, 1938) Book 2.53-98.

4 Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966) 35-40.

5 Robert Small (Otoe, Wolf Clan) and Julia Small (Otoe), "Dore and Wahredua," Alanson Skinner, "Traditions of the Iowa Indians," The Journal of American Folklore, 38, #150 (October-December, 1925): 427-506 [429-439].

6 Small and Small, "Dore and Wahredua."

7 Ahahe, "12. The Deeds of After-Birth-Boy," in George A. Dorsey, The Mythology of the Wichita (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995 [1904]) 88-102 [95-100].

8 Mary Lasley, "Sac and Fox Tales," The Journal of American Folk-lore, 15 (1903): 170-178. Mary Lasley (Bee-way-thee-wah) was the daughter of Black Hawk.

9 Roger Welsch, Omaha Tribal Myths and Trickster Tales (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1981) 22; for other examples, see pp. 29, 33.

10 Earnest Gouge, "Two Boys become Thunder," from Totkv Mocvse: New Fire, The Creek Folktales of Earnest Gouge, translated by Margaret McKane Mauldin and Juanita McGirt, edited by Jack B. Martin and Margaret McKane Mauldin (August, 2002), Story 15: 65-70. Original texts taken from Earnest Gouge, Creek texts, with English titles and occasional English translations by John R. Swanton (Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, 1906-1930) Manuscript 4930.

11 "2. Bead-Spitter and Thrown-Away," in John Reed Swanton, Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians, Bulletin of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 88 (1929): 2-7 [5-6].

12 Woman Newly Made Chief, "Handsome-Boy and After-Birth Boy," in George A. Dorsey, The Pawnee Mythology (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997 [1906]) 147-150.

13 Clark Wissler and D. C. Duvall, Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995 [1908]) 45-46.

14 "Kanáti and Selu: The Origin of Game and Corn," in James Mooney, History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (Asheville, North Carolina: Bright Mountain Books, 1992 [1891/1900]) Story 3, p. 242, 246-247.

15 "6. Lodge Boy and Thrown-Away," in Swanton, Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians, 227-230 [228].

16 Robert Bell, "The History of the Che-che-puy-ew-tis, A Legend of the Northern Cree," The Journal of American Folk-lore,10 (1897): 1-8.

17 A. L. Kroeber, "Indian Myths of South Central California," University of California Publications, American Archaeology and Ethnology, 4 (1907), #4: 169-250 [186].