The Squirrel and the Turtle
(narrator currently unknown)
Nátao'sêhósemoo'o no'ee'e naa ma'ëno
I’m gonna tell about a squirrel and a turtle.
1. No'ee'e naa ma'ëno éstaéveamêhnésesto.
A squirrel and a turtle were walking along.
2. Éhmé'oevósesto tséohkemévaevose. Éstanâha'enaevóhoono.
They were found by those who eat them. They were caught by them.
"Nétana'hóneo'o. Nêstamévoneo'o," éxhésesto.
"Let’s kill them. Let’s eat them," they said.
3. "Táaxa'e éohketónê$évêsesto?" no'ee'e éxhestóhesêstse.
"Let’s see, what do they do?" the squirrel was talked about.
4. "Náohkêho'soo'e," éxhesêstse. "Naa venáho'sóeoestse!" éxhestohesêstse.
"I dance," he said. "Well, dance!" he was told.
5. Éstâho'sóeoohéhoo'o. Hévámóhe éstanôhtsevóa'xé'tánôse hestsévóxe.
He danced. Apparently he was looking for his hole.
6. Tséstavóóhto, tse tse tse tse, éstaéseka'a'xesêstse.
When he saw it, tse tse tse tse, he jumped inside.
7. "Tsé'tóhe ma'ëno tsetaaseta'xe. Nâha'enóhéne." Ma'ëno
"This turtle will take off. Let’s catch him. The turtle
8. "Nétâhonótone. Nêstâsé'a'hamone ho'êstáva," éxhestóhesêstse
"Let’s roast him. Let’s throw him into the fire," he was said about,
9. Ma'ëno éstâhe$eméohéhoo'o ho'êstáva.
The turtle went toward the fire.
9. Ma'hóóhe naa ó'kôhóme éssé'a'hamóvôhoono ma'enóne
The fox and the coyote threw him in, the turtle,
into the pond.
10. Ma'éno éstaasetó'honasêstse.
The turtle swam away.
Copyright © 1997
(This was often told as a bedtime story. Our records, unfortunately, do not indicate who first told this version of the story and who first transcribed it. Two other versions of this story, told by the Oklahoma sisters Jeannette Howlingcrane and Minnie Bearbow, were first published in the book Cheyenne Texts: An Introduction to Cheyenne Literature, copyright 1980. Note that in the published stories it is a ground squirrel, rather than a regular squirrel, which was one of the smart animals. Is this originally an Indo-European folktale?)
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