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174 | 19. The Stolen Wife (second version)1 one time a woman camped alone with her little boy. The woman went picking wild seeds which she put in a basket. When she had plenty she came home. Her baby boy killed birds and hung them up where they camped. When the woman came home she threw them away. This happened every day and the woman always threw the birds away. The woman did not think that her baby had killed the birds. When the baby cried all the time, she took a bird and roasted it. Then the baby stopped crying. When the baby boy grew a little bigger, he always killed rabbits and jackrabbits while the woman went after seeds. When the boy grew up he always hunted. Once he saw some Indian tracks. He found a track with some things near it. He came back and asked his mother, “Did you ever see any Indians around here? Why do you not stay with the Indians?” “I am very sorry. There are no Indians around here; just we two live here,” the woman said. “I just stayed here alone and after a while I made you. For a long time I have seen no Indians around here.” The boy hunted every day, killing deer. His mother took the hides and tanned them. One day he saw some Indian camps. He saw their tracks and the horn and bones of deer. When he came back he asked his mother again, “I want you to tell me something about the Indians. I saw their tracks and what they do around the country. I want you to tell me about them.” But his mother said, “There is nobody around here. I have seen no Indians around here. We are all alone.” The boy said, “What made you make me? Who is my father? If there is nobody around here, how did you make me?” She said, “I tried to do it. I walked around and saw the trees and the weeds. That is how I made you. There is nobody around here.” the stolen wife (second version) | 175 Then he said nothing more to his mother, but went hunting every day and got many deer and antelope. He saw many Indian tracks, but he did not ask his mother because she would not tell him anything. His mother tanned the skins and made moccasins, pants,2 and shirts for her boy. She dressed him up; he wore them. Then he hunted game, climbing up big mountains and looking around. He saw the Indian tracks and their ashes. Then while up on the mountain he saw smoke a long way off. When he came home he did not tell his mother, but the next morning he went again and saw the smoke. Then he said to his mother again, “How did you make yourself if you are all alone here? How did you make me? I saw some smoke.” “That is a long way off,” she told him. “I have never seen any Indians around here.” The boy said, “I am a big boy now; I do not want to stay around here any longer. I want a girl to marry. I have plenty of buckskins. I wonder where the Indians live that have girls. You tell me, for I want to go after them.” His mother said, “No Indian around here has a daughter. There are no girls around here. You saw the smoke a long way off; that was made by no Indian. That one always kills good Indians like you.” The boy did not hunt again; he just thought about the girls. He made some clothes for himself. Then he said to his mother, “I want to get married. You are too old to cook and get seeds. That is why I want to get married and have my wife cook for you. Now you just lie down.” His mother said, “I know I am old, but I do not want you to do that. There are no girls around here and you will get killed over there. I know I am old, but I do not want you to get married.” She was very old now and could not stand. “You are too old to carry water and cook things to eat. I want to get a young girl to do it for us.” Then he ran away to the big mountain where he saw the smoke again. When...

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