The Wrestler

There was a village. They would gather the boys to wrestle. One boy was an orphan. He went from place to place. When he found a family good to him he would stay with them. An old man gave him a gun and he went hunting. He brought in a turkey. One evening he did not come back. Next morning he came back. In the evening he left again. They wondered why he was staying out all night. He told them he went turkey hunting. He shot a turkey, it fell across the creek. He heard a voice saying, “My friend, don’t you come. I’ll bring in that turkey.” The boy was scared. The haiyoshötsi brought in the turkey. He and the boy picked it, cooked it, ate it. “Well, my friend, let’s have some fun!” They built a fire. “I will wrestle with you.” He threw him down. They wrestled four times. The haiyoshötsi threw him. Next morning he took the turkey to camp. The haiyoshötsi told him to come back the next night. He went the next night. The haiyoshösi had the fire already built. They wrestled a little while. “Let’s go!” They went through the brush and came to a clearing-nice smooth ground, but it was full of pointed bamboo. The haiyoshötsi was thrown by another haiyoshötsi, the chief. Then the boy wrestled with the chief and the boy threw him. After this they left together, the boy and his friend, the haiyoshötsi. The haiyoshötsi said, “I am the strongest wrestler of my people. I was never thrown before, but the chief threw me, and then let you throw him, so you would get my power. Now don’t ever wrestle with your people, you would kill them. Always come to us when you want to wrestle. Don’t tell the people about us.” The boy did not tell about it.

One evening the boy was lying out in the brush. It was moonlight. The Puma gathered the boys to wrestle, to see who was the strongest. The Puma told him to wrestle to get strong. “No. The other boys have kinsfolk, they feel good. I have none. I don’t feel like wrestling.” T’uma dragged the boy over. “Don’t be a coward!”–“No. I take no exercise. I can’t wrestle.” Still they dragged him along to where the boys were wrestling. “You brought me to wrestle with that boy. If anything happens, don’t blame me for it.”–“What can you do? Even strong boys can not throw that boy.” They wrestled. He threw the boy. He went deep into the ground, down to his waist, he was killed. It was not the boy’s fault, he had told them he did not want to wrestle.

That is the reason they send the children out to the river to bathe, to get power. That haiyoshötsi was his friend,–p’itauuiwan’hd k u 1 yaiyoshötsi. The haiyoshötsi live in a hollow tree, sleep there. That boy was able to find them; nobody else could find them.

Told by Grayson PardonCitations:

  1. Properly the form used should be kammi’taniwanha.[]

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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