hé'tóhe na'êstse máto hová'éhe ta'se tsééemaehéne'enátanó'tomo This is just one more (of), like, what you want to know, // vá'nêhóhta'heonôtse // vo'êstane tsé'éveó'ôsetanôse // heva the regular stories, a person who was not very observant, like, tséstaéveó'ôsenétâhévo'eetaese // na'êstse ma'háhkése tâháóhe évaveto //. when he did something stupid, one old man, long ago. nánêxhéne'enövo // ôhméseestse é'ôhkêhestohe //. vétanovéo'hé'e I knew him, Eater he was called. At Tongue River éhvo'êstanéheve //. he lived. nêhe'xóvéva é'ôhkeosée'évêhoháeméoto'eo'o // tsééêhátaa'éhahese. At that time they used to get up very early, the older people. mósto'seméoasêto'eohtsêhevóhe // tsé'ôhkêsó'hoxomevôse // They were going to go very early in the morning to go after rations tsêhéóhe méave'ho'eno //vó'aehéo'hé'e //. here at the agency in Lame Deer (lit. antelope-creek). ta'méo'éxaneneo'o, nâhtsenêxhého'eoha'ovoo'o mo'éhno'häme //, "Get ready early, I'm going after the horses," éxhetósesto he'óho tséá'enose2 //. he told his wife. mó'osáaneotá'méoto'éotsêhéhe tsésto'seéevó'neotsetse //. He got up early when it was almost daylight. móstâho'eohtsé'tovôhevóhe hestotseho tséhnéetsêse //. He came to his horses where they (obv.) were standing. na'êstse móhnâha'enôhevóhe. mó'osáanetáxevonêhnêhnotóhe //. One he caught. He got on it. móstaosáaneasêhoemôhevóhe tséhestôxetsêse // He started counting them, how many there were of hestotseho. éxaeno'têhováneehésesto3 na'êstse //. his animals. It was simply gone one (of them). tséstaéetêêhóvo'ooha'ovôse // éstasenôhtséoohé'tovósesto After he rounded them up he started looking for néhe // né=tsétáhoese. éhvóhpe'xoénêsesto //. it (the missing horse), the one which he was riding. It was grayfaced. tâháóhe tséstamé'a'xêse // tsésta'óma'o'etse // There when he came over the hill where it had been obscured éssáavóomóhesesto //. nêhe'e mó'asetá'hasó'hehéhe // he didn't see it (the horse). Then he started loping his horse. nonó'hónó'e háá'êe éstâheenôhtsé'ovósesto //. nêhe'e nonó'hónó'e On and on quite a ways he went looking for it. Then more and more móstanêenó'nêeveohtsêhéhe //. nêhe'e tséhne'éemé'êhnetsêse ée'hóho he was galloping his horse. Then after the sun had come up éhnéhnetameotsesêstse //. nêhe'e móhnêêhóohta'ovo'hamêhéhe //. he gave up. Then he drove his horses home. éstâho'a'ovo'hamesêstse hevenôtse tséxho'tatse. he'óho tséá'enose He drove his animals to where his tepee was. His wife anósema é'amóeóesesesto. móhnêhnôhtsevóomaehevóhe //. outside was standing. She was looking for him. éstâho'etáhoeotsé'tovósesto //. éxaeno'kêhovánee'e na'êstse He rode up to her. "Its just missing one mo'éhno'ha //. ta'se éxamae'éstsêhévoeotse4 // vóhpe'xoénéhe, horse. It's just like it went under water, Grayface " éxhetósesto //. he told her. naa néváéso né=tsétáhoeto? éxhetaesesto. "And who is this one you're riding?" she (obv.) said to him. éstamónêhéne'enánôse //. né=tséno'kêhováneehétsese He came to his senses. The one that was missing móstáhoehénotóhe //. éstatêeánôhetsêheta'éotsesêstse. tsêhéóhe he was riding. He lowered his head down. Here hemé'kóne he'ama // tsêhéóhe néhmâsóoomêstse! on his head on the top (he indicated), "Here hit me hard!" éxhetósesto hestse'emo //. he told his wife. hená'hanehe né=ma'háhkése tséheeó'ôsetänôse //.5 That's the way that old man was not observant.
1This text was first recorded and transcribed by Kenneth Croft, 1948, under a grant from the American Philosophical Society. We retranscribed and retranslated the text in September 1986. We have retained Croft's double slash (//) pause notation, but omitted his single slash (/) notation which appears simply to indicate a word boundary. We found Croft's interlinear English glosses to be very helpful. Punctuation and paragraphing guesses are by the editor (W. Leman). Croft's title of this section of his fieldnotes was "Absent-Minded Indians" (see fn. 5, below). Croft did not note the name of the Cheyenne narrator, but it would appear to be a Montana Cheyenne, quite possibly John Standsintimber who enjoyed telling such stories, as can be seen from accounts which appear in Stands In Timber and Liberty (1967).
2Literally, 'the woman (obv.) that he owns', which used to be a common way to designate a wife. It is not used as commonly today, perhaps due to its paternalistic connotation. Similarly, the common term hestse'èmo 'his woman' for 'his wife' has fallen into disuse. A neutral substitute for both terms has been tsévéstoemose 'his/her spouse', literally, 'the one he/she sits with'.
3The narrator occasionally palatalizes Cheyenne k before e, a mark of an old style of male speech. Today a few male speakers pronounce palatalized forms, and then not always consistently. Others pronounce this word in the unpalatalized form, éxaeno'kêhováneehésesto.
4That is, it's just as if he vanished.
5In Croft's fieldnotes the transcription continues from this point with an account of another episode of absentmindedness, and with no indication of a major break. This next episode is about when a man called Squint Eye got irritated because he kept finding a gate open. (He, of course, was the one who kept leaving the gate open.) Following that text is yet another episode, again with no major break indicated, about forgetfulness on the part of Squint Eye. Croft was able to collect many interesting texts, many are humorous, others are of historical importance. His entire collection deserves to be retranscribed and made available to the public.
This text was first published in Náévâhóo'ôhtséme / We are going back home: Cheyenne history and stories told by James Shoulderblade and others, edited by Wayne Leman. Memoir 4. Winnipeg: Algonquian and Iroquoian Linguistics. Copyright 1987. Used by permission. The text presentation here has been adjusted so that English translations align better with the Cheyenne words; this includes adjustment of some of the English word order.