Manataka American Indian Council

 

 

 

 

Apache Stories III

 

 

Fox and Deer Story

 

 

 


As Fox was going along he met a Deer with two spotted fawns beside her. "


What have you done," said he, "to make your children spotted like that?"

 

"I made a big fire of cedar wood and placed them before it. The sparks thrown off burned the spots which you see," answered the Deer.

 

Fox was pleased with the color of the fawns, so he went home and told his children to gather cedar wood for a large fire. When the fire was burning well, he put the young foxes in a row before the fire, as he supposed the Deer had done.

 

When he found that they did not change color, he pushed them into the fire and covered them with ashes, thinking he had not applied sufficient heat at first. As the fire went out, he saw their white teeth gleaming where the skin had shriveled away and exposed them. "Ah, you will be very pretty now," said he.

 

Fox pulled his offspring from the ashes, expecting to find them much changed in color, and so they were, -- black, shriveled, and dead. Fox next thought of revenge upon the Deer, which he found in a grove of cottonwoods. He built a fire around them, but they ran through it and escaped. Fox was so disappointed that he set up a cry of woe, a means of expression, which he has retained from that day to this.

Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories.
 


 

 

Fox and Mountain Lion

 


Fox could find nothing to eat for a long time, so that he grew weak and thin. While on a journey in search of food he met the Mountain Lion, who, taking pity upon his unhappy condition, said, "I will hunt for you, and you shall grow fat again." The Fox agreed to this, and they went on together to a much-frequented spring. Mountain Lion told Fox to keep watch while he slept; if a cloud of dust was to be seen arising from the approach of animals Fox was to waken him. Fox presently beheld the dust caused by the approach of a drove of horses.

Fox wakened Mountain Lion, who said, "just observe how I catch horses." As one of the animals went down to the spring to drink, he sprang upon it, and fastened his fangs in its throat, clawing its legs and shoulders until it fell dying at the water's edge. Mountain Lion brought the horse up to the rock, and laid it before the Fox. "Stay here, eat, drink, and grow fat," said he.

Fox thought he had learned how to kill horses, so when the Coyote came along he volunteered to secure one for him. Fox jumped upon the neck of the horse, as Mountain Lion had done, but became entangled in its mane and was killed


Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories

 


 

Fox and Wildcat



As soon as his life was restored, Fox went to the Buffalo head, and cut off the long pendent hair, i-yn-e-pi-ta-ga, beneath its under jaw. Fox took this to a prairie-dog village near at hand, and told the inhabitants that it was the hair of a man, one of that race dreaded by the prairie-dogs because of its attacks upon them, which he had killed.

 

He easily persuaded the prairie-dogs to celebrate his victory with feasting and dancing. With a stone concealed in his hand, he killed all the prairie-dogs as they circled around in the dance. Fox then placed them in a pit, and built a huge fire over them, leaving them to roast while he slept.

 

Nn-ko-jn, the Wildcat, came along, and stole all the roasted prairie-dogs while Fox slept, save one at the end of the pit, leaving the tails, which were pulled off. Fox awoke after some time, and flew into a great rage when he found only the tails left; the solitary dog was thrown over his shoulder in his fit of passion.
 

The gnawings of hunger soon induced him to search for the dog he had thrown away. In the stream close by he thought he saw the roasted body; taking off his clothes, he swam for it, but could not grasp it. Again and again he tried, and finally dove for it until he bumped his nose on the stony bottom.

 

Tired out with his efforts, he laid down upon the bank to rest, and, as he glanced upward, saw the body of the prairie-dog lying among the branches which projected over the water. Fox recovered the coveted morsel, ate it,
and set off on the trail of the Wildcat. He found Wildcat asleep under a tree, around which he set a fire. With a few quick strokes he shortened the head, body, and tail of Wildcat, and then pulled out the large intestine and
roasted it. Fox then awakened Wildcat, and invited him to eat his (Wildcat's) flesh, but to be careful to save a small piece, and put it back in its place, for he would need it. Fox then left him.

Wildcat followed Fox, intent upon revenge. He found Fox asleep, but instead of shortening that animal's members he lengthened them; the ears were only straightened, but the head, body, and tail were elongated as we see them at the present day. The intestine scene was repeated with the Fox as victim.

Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories


 


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