Tale of The Man And The Dog Who Became Stars

A young man had a Dog which he always took with him whenever he went to hunt. When he was at home he did not pay much attention to the Dog, and the Dog acted like any other dog, but when they were off alone the Dog would talk to his master just as if he were a man. He had the power of a prophet and could always tell what was going to happen. One time, while they were out hunting, the Dog came running back to his master and told him that they were about to come to a very dangerous place. The young man asked where the place was, and the Dog said that he did not know just where it was, but that he knew it was not far away. In another instant the Dog scented a deer and started out on its trail, and the man followed. Soon they came upon the deer. The man shot it, but only wounded it, and it continued to run until it reached the lake, and then jumped into the water. The Dog jumped in after it and soon caught it, because he could swim faster than the wounded deer. He held it while the young man threw off his clothes and swam to his assistance. Soon they killed the deer, and then the man put it on his shoulders and started to swim to the shore. All at once the Dog cried out, “Look out!” There before them and all around them were all kinds of poisonous and dangerous water animals. The man thought that they would surely be killed, for the animals were so numerous that they could not possibly swim past them. He began to pray to the spirits to help him, and as he prayed the water leaped up and threw them on the shore. The young man felt so grateful to the spirits who had saved his and his Dog’s lives that he cut some of the flesh from the deer and threw it into the water as a sacrifice. Then he and the Dog decided that they would not stay longer in this dangerous world, and so they went to the sky to live. There they can be seen as two bright stars in the south. The one to the east is the young man, and the one to the west is the Dog.

Caddo, Legends,

Dorsey, George A. Traditions of the Caddo. Washington: Carnegie Institution. 1905.

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