The Bear And The Rabbit Hunt Buffalo

Once upon a time there lived as neighbors, a bear and a rabbit. The

rabbit was a good shot, and the bear being very clumsy could not use the

arrow to good advantage. The bear was very unkind to the rabbit. Every

morning, the bear would call over to the rabbit and say: "Take your bow

and arrows and come with me to the other side of the hill. A large herd

of buffalo are grazing there, and I want you to shoot some of them for
/> me, as my children are crying for meat."

The rabbit, fearing to arouse the bear's anger by refusing, consented,

and went with the bear, and shot enough buffalo to satisfy the hungry

family. Indeed, he shot and killed so many that there was lots of meat

left after the bear and his family had loaded themselves, and packed all

they could carry home. The bear being very gluttonous, and not wanting

the rabbit to get any of the meat, said: "Rabbit, you come along home

with us and we will return and get the remainder of the meat."

The poor rabbit could not even taste the blood from the butchering, as

the bear would throw earth on the blood and dry it up. Poor Rabbit would

have to go home hungry after his hard day's work.

The bear was the father of five children. The youngest boy was very kind

to the rabbit. The mother bear, knowing that her youngest was a very

hearty eater, always gave him an extra large piece of meat. What the

baby bear did not eat, he would take outside with him and pretend to

play ball with it, kicking it toward the rabbit's house, and when he

got close to the door he would give the meat such a great kick, that it

would fly into the rabbit's house, and in this way poor Rabbit would get

his meal unknown to the papa bear.

Baby bear never forgot his friend Rabbit. Papa bear often wondered why

his baby would go outside after each meal. He grew suspicious and asked

the baby where he had been. "Oh, I always play ball outside, around the

house, and when I get tired playing I eat up my meat ball and then come


The baby bear was too cunning to let papa bear know that he was keeping

his friend rabbit from starving to death. Nevertheless, papa bear

suspected baby and said: "Baby, I think you go over to the rabbit's

after every meal."

The four older brothers were very handsome, but baby bear was a little

puny fellow, whose coat couldn't keep out much cold, as it was short and

shaggy, and of a dirty brown color. The three older brothers were very

unkind to baby bear, but the fourth one always took baby's part, and was

always kind to his baby brother.

Rabbit was getting tired of being ordered and bullied around by papa

bear. He puzzled his brain to scheme some way of getting even with Mr.

Bear for abusing him so much. He studied all night long, but no scheme

worth trying presented itself. Early one morning Mr. Bear presented

himself at Rabbit's door.

"Say, Rabbit, my meat is all used up, and there is a fine herd of

buffalo grazing on the hillside. Get your bow and arrows and come with

me. I want you to shoot some of them for me."

"Very well," said Rabbit, and he went and killed six buffalo for Bear.

Bear got busy butchering and poor Rabbit, thinking he would get a chance

to lick up one mouthful of blood, stayed very close to the bear while he

was cutting up the meat. The bear was very watchful lest the rabbit get

something to eat. Despite bear's watchfulness, a small clot of blood

rolled past and behind the bear's feet. At once Rabbit seized the clot

and hid it in his bosom. By the time Rabbit got home, the blood clot

was hardened from the warmth of his body, so, being hungry, it put Mr.

Rabbit out of sorts to think that after all his trouble he could not eat

the blood.

Very badly disappointed, he lay down on his floor and gazed up into the

chimney hole. Disgusted with the way things had turned out, he grabbed

up the blood clot and threw it up through the hole. Scarcely had it

hit the ground when he heard the voice of a baby crying, "Ate! Ate!"

(father, father). He went outside and there he found a big baby boy. He

took the baby into his house and threw him out through the hole again.

This time the boy was large enough to say "Ate, Ate, he-cun-sin-lo."

(Father, father, don't do that). But nevertheless, he threw him up and

out again. On going out the third time, there stood a handsome youth

smiling at him. Rabbit at once adopted the youth and took him into his

house, seating him in the seat of honor (which is directly opposite

the entrance), and saying: "My son, I want you to be a good, honest,

straightforward man. Now, I have in my possession a fine outfit, and

you, my son, shall wear it."

Suiting his action to his words, he drew out a bag from a hollow tree

and on opening it, drew out a fine buckskin shirt (tanned white as

snow), worked with porcupine quills. Also a pair of red leggings worked

with beads. Moccasins worked with colored hair. A fine otter skin robe.

White weasel skins to intertwine with his beautiful long black locks. A

magnificent center eagle feather. A rawhide covered bow, accompanied by

a quiver full of flint arrowheads.

The rabbit, having dressed his son in all the latest finery, sat back

and gazed long and lovingly at his handsome son. Instinctively

Rabbit felt that his son had been sent him for the purpose of being

instrumental in the downfall of Mr. Bear. Events will show.

The morning following the arrival of Rabbit's son, Mr. Bear again

presents himself at the door, crying out: "You lazy, ugly rabbit, get up

and come out here. I want you to shoot some more buffalo for me."

"Who is this, who speaks so insultingly to you, father?" asked the son.

"It is a bear who lives near here, and makes me kill buffalo for his

family, and he won't let me take even one little drop of blood from the

killing, and consequently, my son, I have nothing in my house for you to


The young man was anxious to meet Mr. Bear but Rabbit advised him to

wait a little until he and Bear had gone to the hunt. So the son obeyed,

and when he thought it time that the killing was done, he started out

and arrived on the scene just as Mr. Bear was about to proceed with his


Seeing a strange shadow on the ground beside him, Mr. Bear looked up and

gazed into the fearless eyes of rabbit's handsome son.

"Who is this?" asked Mr. Bear of poor little Rabbit.

"I don't know," answered Rabbit.

"Who are you?" asked the bear of Rabbit's son. "Where did you come


The rabbit's son not replying, the bear spoke thus to him: "Get out of

here, and get out quick, too."

At this speech the rabbit's son became angered, and fastened an arrow to

his bow and drove the arrow through the bear's heart. Then he turned on

Mrs. Bear and served her likewise. During the melee, Rabbit shouted:

"My son, my son, don't kill the two youngest. The baby has kept me from

starving and the other one is good and kind to his baby brother."

So the three older brothers who were unkind to their baby brother met a

similar fate to that of their selfish parents.

This (the story goes) is the reason that bears travel only in pairs.



There was once a young man whose parents were not overburdened with the

riches of this world, and consequently could not dress their only son in

as rich a costume as the other young men of the tribe, and on account of

not being so richly clad as they, he was looked down upon and shunned by

them. He was never invited to take part in any of their sports; nor was

he ever asked to join any of the war parties.

In the village lived an old man with an only daughter. Like the other

family, they were poor, but the daughter was the belle of the tribe. She

was the most sought after by the young men of the village, and warriors

from tribes far distant came to press their suit at winning her for

their bride. All to no purpose; she had the same answer for them as she

had for the young men of the village.

The poor young man was also very handsome despite his poor clothes, but

having never killed an enemy nor brought home any enemies' horses he was

not (according to Indian rules) allowed to make love to any young or old

woman. He tried in vain to join some of the war parties, that he might

get the chance to win his spurs as a warrior. To all his pleadings,

came the same answer: "You are not fit to join a war party. You have no

horses, and if you should get killed our tribe would be laughed at and

be made fun of as you have such poor clothes, and we don't want the

enemy to know that we have any one of our tribe who dresses so poorly as

you do."

Again, and again, he tried different parties, only to be made fun of and


One night he sat in the poor tepee of his parents. He was in deep study

and had nothing to say. His father, noticing his melancholy mood, asked

him what had happened to cause him to be so quiet, as he was always of a

jolly disposition. The son answered and said:

"Father, I am going on the warpath alone. In vain I have tried to be

a member of one of the war parties. To all of my pleadings I have got

nothing but insults in return."

"But my son, you have no gun nor ammunition. Where can you get any and

how can you get it? We have nothing to buy one for you with," said the


"I don't need any weapons. I am going to bring back some of the enemies'

horses, and I don't need a gun for that."

Early the next morning (regardless of the old couple's pleadings not

to go unarmed) the young man left the village and headed northwest, the

direction always taken by the war parties.

For ten days he traveled without seeing any signs of a camp. The evening

of the tenth day, he reached a very high butte, thickly wooded at the

summit. He ascended this butte, and as he sat there between two large

boulders, watching the beautiful rays of the setting sun, he was

suddenly startled to hear the neigh of a horse. Looking down into the

beautiful valley which was threaded by a beautiful creek fringed with

timber, he noticed close to the base of the butte upon which he sat, a

large drove of horses grazing peacefully and quietly. Looking closer, he

noticed at a little distance from the main drove, a horse with a saddle

on his back. This was the one that had neighed, as the drove drifted

further away from him. He was tied by a long lariat to a large sage


Where could the rider be, he said to himself. As if in answer to his

question, there appeared not more than twenty paces from him a middle

aged man coming up through a deep ravine. The man was evidently in

search of some kind of game, as he held his gun in readiness for instant

use, and kept his eyes directed at every crevice and clump of bush.

So intent was he on locating the game he was trailing, that he never

noticed the young man who sat like a statue not twenty paces away.

Slowly and cautiously the man approached, and when he had advanced to

within a few paces of the young man he stopped and turning around, stood

looking down into the valley. This was the only chance that our brave

young friend had. Being unarmed, he would stand no show if the enemy

ever got a glimpse of him. Slowly and noiselessly he drew his hunting

knife (which his father had given him on his departure from home) and

holding it securely in his right hand, gathered himself and gave a leap

which landed him upon the unsuspecting enemy's shoulders. The force with

which he landed on the enemy caused him (the enemy) to lose his hold on

his gun, and it went rattling down into the chasm, forty feet below.

Down they came together, the young man on top. No sooner had they struck

the ground than the enemy had out his knife, and then commenced a hand

to hand duel. The enemy, having more experience, was getting the best of

our young friend. Already our young friend had two ugly cuts, one across

his chest and the other through his forearm.

He was becoming weak from the loss of blood, and could not stand the

killing pace much longer. Summoning all his strength for one more trial

to overcome his antagonist, he rushed him toward the chasm, and in his

hurry to get away from this fierce attack, the enemy stepped back one

step too far, and down they both went into the chasm. Interlocked in

each other's arms, the young man drove his knife into the enemy's

side and when they struck the bottom the enemy relaxed his hold and

straightened out stiff and dead.

Securing his scalp and gun, the young man proceeded down to where the

horse was tied to the sage bush, and then gathering the drove of horses

proceeded on his return to his own village. Being wounded severely he

had to ride very slowly. All the long hours of the night he drove the

horses towards his home village.

In the meantime, those at the enemies' camp wondered at the long absence

of the herder who was watching their drove of horses, and finally seven

young men went to search for the missing herder. All night long they

searched the hillsides for the horses and herder, and when it had grown

light enough in the morning they saw by the ground where there had been

a fierce struggle.

Following the tracks in the sand and leaves, they came to the chasm

where the combatants had fallen over, and there, lying on his back

staring up at them in death, was their herder. They hastened to the camp

and told what they had found. Immediately the warriors mounted their war

ponies (these ponies are never turned loose, but kept tied close to the

tepee of the owner), and striking the trail of the herd driven off by

our young friend, they urged forth their ponies and were soon far from

their camp on the trail of our young friend. All day long they traveled

on his trail, and just as the sun was sinking they caught sight of him

driving the drove ahead over a high hill. Again they urged forth their

tired ponies. The young man, looking back along the trail, saw some dark

objects coming along, and, catching a fresh horse, drove the rest ahead

at a great rate. Again all night he drove them, and when daylight came

he looked back (from a high butte) over his trail and saw coming over a

distant raise, two horsemen. These two undoubtedly rode the best ponies,

as he saw nothing of the others. Driving the horses into a thick belt

of timber, he concealed himself close to the trail made by the drove of

horses, and lay in ambush for the two daring horsemen who had followed

him so far. Finally they appeared on the butte from where he had looked

back and saw them following him. For a long time they sat there scouring

the country before them in hopes that they might see some signs of their

stolen horses. Nothing could they see. Had they but known, their horses

were but a few hundred yards from them, but the thick timber securely

hid them from view. Finally one of them arose and pointed to the timber.

Then leaving his horse in charge of his friend, he descended the butte

and followed the trail of the drove to where they had entered the

timber. Little did he think that he was standing on the brink of

eternity. The young man hiding not more than a hundred yards from him

could have shot him there where he stood, but wanting to play fair, he

stepped into sight. When he did, the enemy took quick aim and fired. He

was too hasty. Had he taken more careful aim he might have killed our

young friend, but his bullet whizzed harmlessly over the young man's

head and buried itself in a tree. The young man took good aim and fired.

The enemy threw up both hands and fell forward on his face. The other

one on the hill, seeing his friend killed, hastily mounted his horse

and leading his friend's horse, made rapidly off down the butte in the

direction from whence he had come. Waiting for some time to be sure the

one who was alive did not come up and take a shot at him, he finally

advanced upon the fallen enemy and securing his gun, ammunition and

scalp, went to his horse and drove the herd on through the woods and

crossing a long flat prairie, ascended a long chain of hills and sat

looking back along his trail in search of any of the enemy who might

continue to follow him.

Thus he sat until the long shadows of the hills reminded him that it

would soon be sunset, and as he must get some sleep, he wanted to find

some creek bend where he could drive the bunch of ponies and feel safe

as to their not straying off during the night. He found a good place for

the herd, and catching a fresh horse, he picketed him close to where he

was going to sleep, and wrapping himself in his blanket, was soon fast

asleep. So tired and sleepy was he that a heavy rain which had come up,

during the night, soaked him through and through, but he never awakened

until the sun was high in the east.

He awoke and going to the place where he had left the herd, he was

glad to find them all there. He mounted his horse and started his herd

homeward again. For two days he drove them, and on the evening of the

second day he came in sight of the village.

The older warriors, hearing of the young man going on this trip alone

and unarmed, told the parents to go in mourning for their son, as he

would never come back alive. When the people of the village saw this

large drove of horses advancing towards them, they at first thought

it was a war party of the enemy, and so the head men called the young

warriors together and fully prepared for a great battle. They advanced

upon the supposed enemy. When they got close enough to discern a lone

horseman driving this large herd, they surrounded the horses and lone

warrior, and brought him triumphantly into camp. On arriving in the camp

(or village) the horses were counted and the number counted up to one

hundred and ten head.

The chief and his criers (or heralds) announced through the whole

village that there would be a great war dance given in honor of the Lone


The whole village turned out and had a great war dance that was kept

up three days and three nights. The two scalps which the young man had

taken were tied to a pole which was placed in the center of the dance

circle. At this dance, the Lone Warrior gave to each poor family five

head of horses.

Being considered eligible now to pay his respects to any girl who took

his fancy, he at once went to the camp of the beautiful girl of the

tribe, and as he was always her choice, she at once consented to marry


The news spread through the village that Lone Warrior had won the belle

of the nation for his bride, and this with the great feat which he had

accomplished alone in killing two enemies and bringing home a great herd

of horses, raised him to the rank of chief, which he faithfully filled

to the end of his days. And many times he had to tell his grandchildren

the story of how he got the name of the Lone Warrior.


A war party of seven young men, seeing a lone tepee standing on the edge

of a heavy belt of timber, stopped and waited for darkness, in order to

send one of their scouts ahead to ascertain whether the camp which they

had seen was the camp of friend or enemy.

When darkness had settled down on them, and they felt secure in not

being detected, they chose one of their scouts to go on alone and find

out what would be the best direction for them to advance upon the camp,

should it prove to be an enemy.

Among the scouts was one who was noted for his bravery, and many were

the brave acts he had performed. His name was Big Eagle. This man they

selected to go to the lone camp and obtain the information for which

they were waiting.

Big Eagle was told to look carefully over the ground and select the best

direction from which they should make the attack. The other six would

await his return. He started on his mission, being careful not to make

any noise. He stealthily approached the camp. As he drew near to the

tent he was surprised to note the absence of any dogs, as these animals

are always kept by the Sioux to notify the owners by their barking of

the approach of anyone. He crawled up to the tepee door, and peeping

through a small aperture, he saw three persons sitting inside. An

elderly man and woman were sitting at the right of the fireplace, and a

young woman at the seat of honor, opposite the door.

Big Eagle had been married and his wife had died five winters previous

to the time of this episode. He had never thought of marrying again, but

when he looked upon this young woman he thought he was looking upon the

face of his dead wife. He removed his cartridge belts and knife, and

placing them, along with his rifle, at the side of the tent, he at once

boldly stepped inside the tepee, and going over to the man, extended his

hand and shook first the man's hand, then the old woman's, and lastly

the young woman's. Then he seated himself by the side of the girl, and

thus they sat, no one speaking.

Finally, Big Eagle made signs to the man, explaining as well as possible

by signs, that his wife had died long ago, and when he saw the girl she

so strongly resembled his dead wife that he wished to marry her, and

he would go back to the enemy's camp and live with them, if they would

consent to the marriage of their daughter.

The old man seemed to understand, and Big Eagle again made signs to him

that a party were lying in wait just a short distance from his camp.

Noiselessly they brought in the horses, and taking down the tent, they

at once moved off in the direction from whence they had come. The war

party waited all night, and when the first rays of dawn disclosed to

them the absence of the tepee, they at once concluded that Big Eagle had

been discovered and killed, so they hurriedly started on their trail for


In the meantime, the hunting party, for this it was that Big Eagle

had joined, made very good time in putting a good distance between

themselves and the war party. All day they traveled, and when evening

came they ascended a high hill, looking down into the valley on the

other side. There stretched for two miles, along the banks of a small

stream, an immense camp. The old man made signs for Big Eagle to remain

with the two women where he was, until he could go to the camp and

prepare them to receive an enemy into their village.

The old man rode through the camp and drew up at the largest tepee in

the village. Soon Big Eagle could see men gathering around the tepee.

The crowd grew larger and larger, until the whole village had assembled

at the large tepee. Finally they dispersed, and catching their horses,

mounted and advanced to the hill on which Big Eagle and the two women

were waiting. They formed a circle around them and slowly they returned

to the village, singing and riding in a circle around them.

When they arrived at the village they advanced to the large tepee, and

motioned Big Eagle to the seat of honor in the tepee. In the village was

a man who understood and spoke the Sioux language. He was sent for, and

through him the oath of allegiance to the Crow tribe was taken by Big

Eagle. This done he was presented with the girl to wife, and also with

many spotted ponies.

Big Eagle lived with his wife among her people for two years, and during

this time he joined in four different battles between his own people

(the Sioux) and the Crow people, to whom his wife belonged.

In no battle with his own people would he carry any weapons, only a long

willow coup-stick, with which he struck the fallen Sioux.

At the expiration of two years he concluded to pay a visit to his own

tribe, and his father-in-law, being a chief of high standing, at once

had it heralded through the village that his son-in-law would visit his

own people, and for them to show their good will and respect for him by

bringing ponies for his son-in-law to take back to his people.

Hearing this, the herds were all driven in and all day long horses were

brought to the tent of Big Eagle, and when he was ready to start on his

homeward trip, twenty young men were elected to accompany him to within

a safe distance of his village. The twenty young men drove the gift

horses, amounting to two hundred and twenty head, to within one day's

journey of the village of Big Eagle, and fearing for their safety from

his people, Big Eagle sent them back to their own village.

On his arrival at his home village, they received him as one returned

from the dead, as they were sure he had been killed the night he had

been sent to reconnoiter the lone camp. There was great feasting and

dancing in honor of his return, and the horses were distributed among

the needy ones of the village.

Remaining at his home village for a year, he one day made up his mind

to return to his wife's people. A great many fancy robes, dresses, war

bonnets, moccasins, and a great drove of horses were given him, and his

wife, and he bade farewell to his people for good, saying, "I will never

return to you again, as I have decided to live the remainder of my days

with my wife's people."

On his arrival at the village of the Crows, he found his father-in-law

at the point of death. A few days later the old man died, and Big Eagle

was appointed to fill the vacancy of chief made by the death of his


Subsequently he took part in battles against his own people, and in the

third battle was killed on the field. Tenderly the Crow warriors bore

him back to their camp, and great was the mourning in the Crow village

for the brave man who always went into battle unarmed, save only the

willow wand which he carried.

Thus ended the career of one of the bravest of Sioux warriors who ever

took the scalp of an enemy, and who for the love of his dead wife, gave

up home, parents, and friends, to be killed on the field of battle by

his own tribe.


A boy went on a turtle hunt, and after following the different streams

for hours, finally came to the conclusion that the only place he would

find any turtles would be at the little lake, where the tribe always

hunted them.

So, leaving the stream he had been following, he cut across country to

the lake. On drawing near the lake he crawled on his hands and knees in

order not to be seen by the turtles, who were very watchful, as they had

been hunted so much. Peeping over the rock he saw a great many out on

the shore sunning themselves, so he very cautiously undressed, so

he could leap into the water and catch them before they secreted

themselves. But on pulling off his shirt one of his hands was held up

so high that the turtles saw it and jumped into the lake with a great


The boy ran to the shore, but saw only bubbles coming up from the

bottom. Directly the boy saw something coming to the surface, and soon

it came up into sight. It was a little man, and soon others, by the

hundreds, came up and swam about, splashing the water up into the air to

a great height. So scared was the boy that he never stopped to gather

up his clothes but ran home naked and fell into his grandmother's tent


"What is the trouble, grandchild," cried the old woman. But the boy

could not answer. "Did you see anything unnatural?" He shook his head,

"no." He made signs to the grandmother that his lungs were pressing so

hard against his sides that he could not talk. He kept beating his side

with his clenched hands. The grandmother got out her medicine bag,

made a prayer to the Great Spirit to drive out the evil spirit that had

entered her grandson's body, and after she had applied the medicine, the

prayer must have been heard and answered, as the boy commenced telling

her what he had heard and seen.

The grandmother went to the chief's tent and told what her grandson had

seen. The chief sent two brave warriors to the lake to ascertain whether

it was true or not. The two warriors crept to the little hill close to

the lake, and there, sure enough, the lake was swarming with little men

swimming about, splashing the water high up into the air. The warriors,

too, were scared and hurried home, and in the council called on their

return told what they had seen. The boy was brought to the council

and given the seat of honor (opposite the door), and was named "Wankan

Wanyanka" (sees holy).

The lake had formerly borne the name of Truth Lake, but from this time

on was called "Wicasa-bde"--Man Lake.