Old Man Above And The Grizzlies

Shastika (Cal.)

Along time ago, while smoke still curled from the smoke hole of the

tepee, a great storm arose. The storm shook the tepee. Wind blew the

smoke down the smoke hole. Old Man Above said to Little Daughter: "Climb

up to the smoke hole. Tell Wind to be quiet. Stick your arm out of the

smoke hole before you tell him." Little Daughter climbed up to the smoke

hole and put out her arm. But Little Daughter put out her head also. She

wanted to see the world. Little Daughter wanted to see the rivers and

trees, and the white foam on the Bitter Waters. Wind caught Little

Daughter by the hair. Wind pulled her out of the smoke hole and blew her

down the mountain. Wind blew Little Daughter over the smooth ice and the

great forests, down to the land of the Grizzlies. Wind tangled her hair

and then left her cold and shivering near the tepees of the Grizzlies.

Soon Grizzly came home. In those days Grizzly walked on two feet, and

carried a big stick. Grizzly could talk as people do. Grizzly laid down

the young elk he had killed and picked up Little Daughter. He took

Little Daughter to his tepee. Then Mother Grizzly warmed her by the

fire. Mother Grizzly gave her food to eat.

Soon Little Daughter married the son of Grizzly. Their children were not

Grizzlies. They were men. So the Grizzlies built a tepee for Little

Daughter and her children. White men call the tepee Little Shasta.

At last Mother Grizzly sent a son to Old Man Above. Mother Grizzly knew

that Little Daughter was the child of Old Man Above, but she was afraid.

She said: "Tell Old Man Above that Little Daughter is alive."

Old Man Above climbed out of the smoke hole. He ran down the mountain

side to the land of the Grizzlies. Old Man Above ran very quickly.

Wherever he set his foot the snow melted. The snow melted very quickly

and made streams of water. Now Grizzlies stood in line to welcome Old

Man Above. They stood on two feet and carried clubs. Then Old Man Above

saw his daughter and her children. He saw the new race of men. Then Old

Man Above became very angry. He said to Grizzlies:

"Never speak again. Be silent. Neither shall ye stand upright. Ye shall

use your hands as feet. Ye shall look downward."

Then Old Man Above put out the fire in the tepee. Smoke no longer curls

from the smoke hole. He fastened the door of the tepee. The new race of

men he drove out. Then Old Man Above took Little Daughter back to his


That is why grizzlies walk on four feet and look downward. Only when

fighting they stand on two feet and use their fists like men.

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