The Feast Of The Mountain Goats





In the old days the hunters were many and skillful. They killed

hundreds of mountain goats for their flesh and skins and left their

bones lying unburned on the rocks, which was a great dishonor.

Moreover, their children were thoughtless.



One day, a young man whose name was Really Black Raven Feather was

walking along the beach, and he saw a group of boys making merry with

a kid. They would seize it and throw it into the water, watch its

struggles for a time, then drag it ashore half drowned, and as soon

as the poor creature was able to walk, they would throw it in again.

When they tired of this sport, they built a fire and put the kid in

the fire, to dry, as they said; but before it was more than scorched

this young man pulled it out and scolded the boys severely for their

cruelty, so that they all ran away.



Not long after this, a messenger came down from the hills inviting all

the villagers to a feast, and as was the custom they followed the

messenger. They came to a large wigwam on the mountain side which they

had never seen before, and all were seated within this immense tent.

Really Black was given a seat immediately behind the tent pole, which

was unusually heavy.



Soon a crowd of people wearing goats' headdresses came dancing and

singing over the rocks. They danced around and in front of the wigwam,

and presently the chief dancer kicked so high that he touched the

tent covering with his goat's hoof. Instantly it fell down on the

heads of the guests and became a mountain which crushed them to death.

Only Really Black was saved. He clung to the tent pole, which became a

giant spruce growing out of the side of the mountain. Therefore he and

his descendants have always respected the goats, and taken care to

burn their bones when it was necessary to hunt them for food or

clothing.





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