The Deer Who was a Wolf Slave

as told by Louis Miranda

What I will be relating here is a story that was quite often told to all of the young children by our mother, fathers, grandparents, and all of our elders. This is how they would start their story.

It is something that happened long time ago, when all the animals and birds were human beings but it seemed that some of them had more powers than others. In the case of the Wolf, he seemed to have more power than the Deer people. So there was one Wolf person who had a Deer person for his slave. They used the Deer to take care of the children and do all other work to be done around the house.

It came a time when the Deer became tired of his captivity and being used as a slave. He was always on the alert for an opportunity to make his escape from the people who are holding him as a slave. So one night, he thought, should it be foggy tomorrow morning, I will find some manner for escaping from this place. And sure enough , the next morning, there was a very heavy fog on the waters and in the bushes, but it happened that the Wolf children woke early and were moving around and disturbing the sleep of their parents.

The parents commanded the deer to put the children back into bed and see that they went to sleep again. The Deer obeyed what he was told to do. He put all of the children back into their beds and he said to them, "If you all promise to be good and listen to me, I will tell you all a story." All of the children promised to be good and listen to him.

So this is how he started: 1helexw s7i:tut 1helexw s7i:tut ta menmens kwa 1hiyam ta menmens kwa 1hiyam, 1hi:xw 1hi:xw, 1helexw s7i:tut 1helexw s7i:tut ta menmens kwa 1hiyam kwa menmens kwa 1hiyam 1hi:xw 1hi:xw. He kept on repeating the same word over and over and sure enough, all of the children went back to sleep. He stood up and sneaked slowly towards the door; as he reached the door he looked back and could see all of the people and children were fast asleep.

So he hurried down to where all of the canoes were kept, he launched one and got aboard and started to paddle out into the dense fog. But he didn't realize that there was one old person was awake. He watched and seen everything that the Deer was doing. And it that this old man, who was watching was ritualistic. He just allowed the Deer to go. He started to use his power so that the fog would very, very heavy, for that was one of his gifts of power.

He went seriously to work on the mind of the Deer, got him confused and after a lot of paddling, he got the Deer to return to the very spot that he started out from. And since, the fog was so heavy, the Deer never realized that he was heading back to were he had started from. As he paddled along, he finally felt that had touched the beach so he put his paddle into the canoe and he sat there to take a rest.

Then, he said, I really did beat them people, I escaped and they will never catch me again. Therefor, I will never be a slave again. While he was thinking this, he got up and went ashore to pull up his canoe. And as he was doing that, the Wolves pounced upon him and tore him all apart. He realized what had happened and that he had come right back to where he had taken off from.

He knew that they were going to eat him all up. So, he call out and said, "wa na na; (expression of pain) men txwhuy shayap tim skelulaxen a sli7elx, just only you, all my hooves is laying stay, ap txwnam tkwi awt stelmexws, around for the future generation." And it was just at that time that the Raven was passing by.

Then he said, "kilus ek'en s7ilen ta spexw, I will have a lovely meal from your bowels." So that is what happened to the Deer that didn't like the way he had been treated and he thought he would better himself when he tried to escape.

It has not changed up to now, that, when a hunter kills a Deer, he always leaves the lower joints of the hoofs and the bowels and intestines. It always seems to happen, that whenever a hunter makes a kill, the Raven seems to know and always appeared. For he knew that the lower joints, hoofs, and bowels will left there, just as it happened to the first Deer that was slain by the Wolves. So ends the story of the Deer who tried to better himself. This was related to all us children.


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