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katie john and fred john sr. Cet’aenn Nal’aen’de When the Tailed Ones Were Seen Let me tell about the ones called Cet’aenn [‘‘The Tailed Ones’’].1 By the water at ‘‘Mouth of Rear River’’ [Slana], there Ahtnas were staying. They stayed there dip-netting for salmon. There was a village there. They did not then know of ‘‘Roasted Salmon Place’’ [Batzulnetas]. There was a young man, a young man. Now this young man had gone off and he disappeared. ‘‘I am going to go upriver,’’ he said. They knew that he had gone that way, that young man. Upriver the Cet’aenn had moved to ‘‘Roasted Salmon Place.’’ There he came upon one. A Cet’aenn killed him. They [the Ahtnas] missed him and started to look for him. ‘‘The man is smart. What is he doing?’’ they said. They sent a man after him. They sent him. He walked upriver alongside the river and he came up to ‘‘Roasted Salmon Creek’’ [Tanada Creek] and here there were signs of some kind of life. There were trails. There were people’s trails and he looked down and there were stalks of grass across the trail [as a marker]. He stepped over it. Then he walked ahead toward the place called ‘‘On the Hill’’ [hill south of Batzulnetas]. katie john and fred john sr.: when tailed ones were seen  Ah-ha! There were creatures with long tails! Out there at ‘‘On the Hill’’ they were playing catch with that young man’s head! It was a man’s head. He was smart and he walked against the wind toward them. Then he sat there watching. Somehow it started sprinkling. Oh-ho, they went back into their dens. Then he counted them. They had eight dens. They disappeared into them. Then the wind shifted back toward them and as he walked against the wind, they caught his scent. They became excited. Meanwhile, he ran away. Then he returned home. ‘‘It looks as if he was killed among them [the Cet’aenn]. The monsters were playing with his head,’’ he said. Then there were medicine people. ‘‘What can be done?’’ he said to them. ‘‘When it rains they go into their dens. As the rain approached, they all rushed into their dens in a group. Then there was no one at ‘On the Hill,’’’ he told them. Then the medicine people directed their thoughts toward rain. They went upriver and off a distance [from ‘‘On the Hill’’]. As they walked, they gathered together ‘‘brushy spruce’’ [parasitic growth in spruce]. They tied that onto the ends of poles. Then they stopped off at a distance from them [the Cet’aenn]. Then came the rain that those medicine people had tried to make. They had caused it to rain on them. Then many of them went back into their dens. Then they [the Ahtnas] set those ‘‘brushy spruce’’ on fire around their dens. Those ‘‘brushy spruce’’ burned. They threw the fire inside. That stone [bests’ae] was then called ‘‘Cet’aenn’s arrowhead.’’2 Those [stones] exploded like rain from holes in the ground.  Ahtna They [the Ahtnas] sat away from them. They were not close to them. Thus they killed them with fire. Then they went down to the river. Salmon were down there. ’Ii! Here there were salmon. At that time they were dip-netting only downriver [at Slana]. This is how that first became a village, because they had discovered the Cet’aenn. ‘‘Roasted Salmon Place’’ [Batzulnetas] was then a village. Now when was that? Maybe one hundred years ago. Probably longer than that. Those Cet’aenn, I am telling how the ancestors used to tell us about those Cet’aenn. From then on they never saw the Cet’aenn again.3 They say that the Cet’aenn looked like a human. It had body hair. There was no hair on its face. They say its face was like a man’s. Its hands were like a man’s hands. It had a long tail. They say that it was as big as a tall person. That is what I heard about it. They made their dens like bear dens. They stayed down below the ground. When my mother was a child, and first went there where the people used to stay [Batzulnetas], they led her around it [the den area]. Because of them she saw the Cet’aenns’ dens. It still was not overgrown with brush. It...


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