The Grasshopper and the Ant

told by Jeannette Howlingcrane

This is the traditional Indo-European story of the grasshopper and the ant, with a unique, but culturally required, Cheyenne ending. We do not know how the story made its way into Cheyenne oral literature. This story was told to Mr. Donald Olson in Oklahoma in the 1960's when he was collecting Cheyenne texts under a Phillips Fund grant from the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia.

To understand the abbreviations used in the text read the prefatory comments to the story of the Rolling Head.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 1

\tx  Hhkota     naa hteke.
\mr  hhkota     naa hteke 
\mg  grasshopper and ant

\ft  The grasshopper and the ant.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 2

\tx  Hteke hma'xhotse'hesstse.     
\mr  hteke -h  -ma'xe-hotse'he-sest  
\mg  ant      3-PST-big  -work     -ATTRIB

\ft  An ant worked hard.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 3

\tx  hnema'xestovhtsnse               hstme     hemhene.      
\mr  -h  -ne-ma'xe-stovohts -n -s      h   -htam he   -mhen-  
\mg  3-PST-CONT-big 3POSS-food  3POSS-house -LOC

\ft  She brought in lots her food to her house.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 4

\tx  Manva        hov'he  m'eho'tshhe                        
\mr  mane -v      hov'he  m -h  -e   -ho'ts   -h   -h       
\mg  summer-OBL     something DUB-PST-about-have.s.t.-NEG  -NONAFFIRM

\tx  tsxhemhense.         
\mr  ts-h  -he  -mhen-  -s
\mg  CJT-OBL-have-house -FAI-3

\ft  In the summer she had something where she had her house.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 5

\tx  Naa ts't=hhkota       'hkenmensstse.      
\mr  naa ts'the hhkota     -h  -ohke -nmen-sest  
\mg  and this.AN  grasshopper 3-PST-HABIT-sing  -ATTRIB

\ft  And this grasshopper sang.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 6

\tx  E'hkev'hho'sesstse                 manva.  
\mr  -h  -ohke -v'   -h    -ho'se-sest   mane -v 

\ft  He would just dance during summer.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 7

\tx  "Hp'e   me'hotse'hestove.      
\mr  \ hp'e   -me'   -hotse'he-htove 
\mg  \ likewise 3-should-work     -IMPERS

\ft  "Likewise you should work.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 8

\tx  Hp'e   hov'he  me'seotsehe              nemhene       
\mr  hp'e   hov'he  -me'   -seotseh     -e   ne   -mhen-  
\mg  likewise something  -PSV 2POSS-house -LOC

\tx  nonhpa mxho'tonto              nstsemse         
\mr  nonhpa mx       -ho'   -tonto  ne   -htse-mse    
\mg  so.that CJT.IRREAL-arrive-be.cold 2POSS-FUT -eat.s.t.

\tx  hov'he,"
\mr  hov'he  
\mg  something

\ft  Likewise something should be put in your house so that when it's cold 
you'll eat something,"

\ref GRASSHOP clause 9

\tx  xhetaesesto                     htkeho.  
\mr  -h  -het        -ae -sest  -o   htekeh-o  
\mg ant      -OBV

\ft  He was told by the ant.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 10

\tx  "Hov'hne,"
\mr  \ hov'hne  
\mg  \ no

\ft  "No,"

\ref GRASSHOP clause 11

\tx  xhesstse        hhkota.   
\mr  -h  -h -sest    hhkota    
\mg  3-PST-say-ATTRIB  grasshopper

\ft  said the grasshopper.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 12

\tx  "Nto'seeho's'e,   
\mr  \ n-to'se-e   -ho'se
\mg  \ 1 -gonna-about-dance

\ft  "I'm gonna dance.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 13

\tx  naa mto nto'senmne. 
\mr  naa mto n-to'se-nmen
\mg  and also 1 -gonna-sing

\ft  and also I'm gonna sing.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 14

\tx  Nsahotse'hetanhe.    
\mr  n-sa-hotse'he-tan-h 
\mg  1 -NEG-work     -want-NEG

\ft  I don't want to work.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 15

\tx  Ehemhohaeh'ta."        
\mr  -heme    -ho   -haeho't
\mg  3-excessive-REDUP-be.sunny

\ft  It's too sunny."

\ref GRASSHOP clause 16

\tx  Nhe'e tsstatontotse             
\mr  nhe'e ts-h  -ta      -tonto -tse
\mg  then    CJT-PST-TRANSLOC-be.cold-OBV

\tx  staosanemshtansstse.               
\mr  -h  -ta      -osane  -msehe-tan-sest  
\mg  3-PST-TRANSLOC-commence-eat   -want-ATTRIB

\ft  Then when it was cold, he wanted to eat.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 17

\tx  "Otshmhe,
\mr  \ otshmhe 
\mg  \ oh.yes

\ft  "Oh yes,

\ref GRASSHOP clause 18

\tx  hteke ma'xestvhtse    hstme    
\mr  hteke -ma'xe-stovohts  h   -htam
\mg  ant      3-big 3POSS-food

\tx  hemhene.      
\mr  he   -mhen-  
\mg  3POSS-house -LOC

\ft  the ant stored a lot (of) her food in her house.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 19

\tx  Nto'shmshtno,"      
\mr  n-to'se-h    -msehe-tan
\mg  1 -gonna-INTENT-eat   -want

\ft  I want to go eat,"

\ref GRASSHOP clause 20

\tx  xhesstse.     
\mr  -h  -h -sest  
\mg  3-PST-say-ATTRIB

\ft  he said.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 21

\tx  Esthmshtansstse.                 
\mr  -h  -ta      -h    -msehe-tan-sest  

\ft  He went to eat.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 22

\tx  E'emhaenhetaesesto,                                  
\mr  -h  -e    -mhae     -n   -het        -ae -sest  -o  

\ft  She had already told him,

\ref GRASSHOP clause 23

\tx  "Nstssahoxomatshe              mxheanato."          
\mr  \ ne   -htse-sa-hoxom    -atse-h  mx       -hean   -to
\mg  \ 2POSS-FUT -NEG-feed.s.o.-1:2 -NEG CJT.IRREAL-be.hungry-2

\ft  "I'll not feed you when you're hungry."

\ref GRASSHOP clause 24

\tx  Naa stanevtamsesto                      hteke
\mr  naa -h  -ta      -ne-evtam-  -sest  -o   hteke
\mg  but 3-PST-TRANSLOC-CONT-pity   -DIR-ATTRIB-OBV ant

\tx  hhkotaho      
\mr  hhkotah   -o  
\mg  grasshopper-OBV

\ft  But the ant had pity on the grasshopper.

\ref GRASSHOP clause 25

\tx  xhoxomsesto.                
\mr  -h  -hoxom    -  -sest  -o  
\mg  3-PST-feed.s.o.-DIR-ATTRIB-OBV

\ft  She fed him.

This story was first published in the book Cheyenne Texts: An Introduction to Cheyenne Literature, copyright 1980, used here by permission.

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