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

  was caught.

8.  "Nétâhonótone.     Nêstâsé'a'hamone ho'êstáva,"      éxhestóhesêstse 
  "Let’s roast him. Let’s throw him   into the fire," he was said about, 
 the turtle.
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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