"The Owl" (1951)
Text identifier: LA16-4
Speaker: Robert Spott
Primary documentation: R. H. Robins
Edition: R. H. Robins, The Yurok Language (1958), pp. 162-163
|Yurok audio:||| Download: LA16-4.mp3|
|English translation:||| Download: LA16-4English.mp3|
|Yurok audio (2002 re-recording by Glenn Moore):||| Download: GM10.mp3 [password required]|
Tekwe's kohchee weet son' kue '-uueksoh keech tegahtok. Kwesee kohchee 'we-neskwechok' 'ap ko'moy', 'ue-worue wonuekuek neenee ko'moy' kue 'w-ahpeleen kue huueksoh 'w-omtah. Kwesee 'ap hegoomuem' kue 'w-ahpew, Kues sonehl k'ee huueksoh? 'O lem', Kwelekw keech hekwsue' k'ee k'e-ke'mow k'ee k'e-s'eyoh 'we-heemar. Kwesee 'o legoyhl kue huueksoh, Cho' nue pewahchkeye'mow' 'o raak. Kwesee temaloh pewahchkeye'mehl. Kue nepuey 'ue-'wers ho merner'skwery 'ue-koosee pemey kue 'we-luehl. Kwesee noohl pontet 'o hlee', noohl weet 'we-luelohl 'enee muelonee' wee'eeet. Noohl keech 'emee newee' kue 'ue-pemeyomonee kue 'we-rewoh. Tue' weet 'ee mehl 'w-ew wey' kue Tege'muer tue' weeshtue' nee shoo nohsuenowohl. Noohl 'o gegoomuem' kue 'we-nos hegee' kue tekwe's: Kel' kwelekw k'ee soo no'omuenowonee k'ee 'wes'onah tue' k'ee nee tegeytko'hl kee chpee nee 'e'goloyew. Tue' neekeechyue son hoore'mos kue ch'uech'eesh tue' kee ruerowoo'm. Tue' kel' 'o so kor' neemee kee ruerowom' keet chpee k'e-wegaaneyoochek' k'ee nee tegeytko'hl kee shoo heweche'm. Nek kwelekw k'ee nee pegarkohl 'we-heemech kee ko nee chyeguuek'wenek'. Tue' weet too' 'we-tekwe's 'we-'er'gerp.
Once the owl acted in such a way that his children were starving. Then once as he came home he heard, around and overhead he heard the happy children playing. So he said to his wife, What are the children doing? She said, Well, they found your food under your pounding stone. The children had been told, Go and wash your faces in the stream. And for a long time they washed them. Where they had pulled off the salmon skin their mouths were all grease. Then they took ashes, and they rubbed them on their mouths there. Then no longer did the greasy part of their lips show. And that is why their name is Snowbird, and so they grow like that. Then the owl's wife spoke to her husband and told the owl: As long as the heavens endure you will just be hooting in the canyons. All the animals and the birds will be singing. But you alone will not be able to sing so that you will just make noise foretelling evil in the canyons (and) so you will live. As for me, I shall sit in front of where people live. And thus ends the story of the owl.