The Doctor Who Told His Secret

There were two little boys playing all the time together. They were tesha. The folks of one lived away at some distance. The other was the chief’s son. One day they went bird hunting. The chief’s son came back without his friend. On a mountain they had found a big hole. The chief’s son threw the other boy into it. (A chief’s son may be like that overbearing.) He was down there six days. He was crying. Two ravens (o’wa`) flew down. One said, “My boy, we heard you crying. We are going to get you out. Hold to our wings. Put one hand on one of us, one hand on the other. Don’t open your eyes.” They took him up to the sky-where there was another world. They took him back to earth. “Now you are going to be a fine doctor (kona).” They gave him a drum to call them by and a song. “Don’t use it unless it is important! Don’t call for nothing! Don’t tell how you got out, keep it secret.” Now he was p’itauniwan’ha ku o’wa`, partner with Raven. When he came back, they asked him where he had been. “In a hole.” They went to see it. “How did you get out?” He did not know. They kept on asking him and asking him. The little boy cried, finally he said, “They told me not to tell, but now I am going to tell you. From now on you won’t have any powerful doctor.” They sat in a circle around him. He played on the drum and sang. Two ravens flew down, each with two centipedes (saiwachai) around its neck. “What is the matter? Why do you call? Is any one sick” “No. They kept questioning me. Finally I got tired and called you.”–“Well, get ready! Put your hands on us.” Then they flew off with him. They saw his bones dropping down. The centipedes were eating him. Since then they have never had any powerful doctor.

Caddo, Legends,

Parsons, Elsie Clews. Notes on the Caddo, Memories of the American Anthropological Association. Supplement to American Anthropologist, Volume 43, No. 3, Part 2. 1921.

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