Unktomi And The Arrowheads

There were once upon a time two young men who were very great friends,

and were constantly together. One was a very thoughtful young man, the

other very impulsive, who never stopped to think before he committed an


One day these two friends were walking along, telling each other of

their experiences in love making. They ascended a high hill, and on

reaching the top, heard a ticking noise as if small s
ones or pebbles

were being struck together.

Looking around they discovered a large spider sitting in the midst of

a great many flint arrowheads. The spider was busily engaged making the

flint rocks into arrow heads. They looked at the spider, but he never

moved, but continued hammering away on a piece of flint which he had

nearly completed into another arrowhead.

"Let's hit him," said the thoughtless one. "No," said the other, "he is

not harming any one; in fact, he is doing a great good, as he is making

the flint arrowheads which we use to point our arrows."

"Oh, you are afraid," said the first young man. "He can't harm you, just

watch me hit him." So saying, he picked up an arrowhead and throwing it

at "Unktomi," hit him on the side. As Unktomi rolled over on his side,

got up and stood looking at them, the young man laughed and said: "Well,

let us be going, as your grandfather, "Unktomi," doesn't seem to like

our company." They started down the hill, when suddenly the one who had

hit Unktomi took a severe fit of coughing. He coughed and coughed, and

finally small particles of blood came from his mouth. The blood kept

coming thicker and in great gushes. Finally it came so thick and fast

that the man could not get his breath and fell upon the ground dead.

The thoughtful young man, seeing that his friend was no more, hurried

to the village and reported what had happened. The relatives and friends

hurried to the hill, and sure enough, there lay the thoughtless young

man still and cold in death. They held a council and sent for the chief

of the Unktomi tribe. When he heard what had happened, he told the

council that he could do nothing to his Unktomi, as it had only defended


Said he: "My friends, seeing that your tribe was running short of

arrowheads, I set a great many of my tribe to work making flint

arrowheads for you. When my men are thus engaged they do not wish to

be disturbed, and your young man not only disturbed my man, but grossly

insulted him by striking him with one of the arrowheads which he had

worked so hard to make. My man could not sit and take this insult, so

as the young man walked away the Unktomi shot him with a very tiny

arrowhead. This produced a hemorrhage, which caused his death. So now,

my friends, if you will fill and pass the peace pipe, we will part

good friends and my tribe shall always furnish you with plenty of flint

arrowheads." So saying, Unktomi Tanka finished his peace smoke and

returned to his tribe.

Ever after that, when the Indians heard a ticking in the grass, they

would go out of their way to get around the sound, saying, Unktomi is

making arrowheads; we must not disturb him.

Thus it was that Unktomi Tanka (Big Spider) had the respect of this

tribe, and was never after disturbed in his work of making arrowheads.