"The Young Man from Serper" (1951)
Text identifier: LA16-7
Speaker: Florence Shaughnessy
Primary documentation: R. H. Robins
Edition: R. H. Robins, The Yurok Language (1958), pp. 164-165
Note: According to Robins (on the audio recording), this story "belongs to the Serper family."
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Noohl heekon pecheek ho 'okw' perey, tue' wo'oot ho 'ok'ws 'ue-k'ep'ew. Tue' 'o chahchew ho soo megetohlkwom' kue 'ue-k'ep'ew. K'ehl nuemee tom' kue mewah, kwesee keet 'o pel' weet 'o son' keskee chpee nee yegokw' mos wey 'ue-kertkerk'. K'ee kwen cho kohchewo'meesh kem 'ap nahchpuem' kue 'ue-kuechos. Tue' keet 'o skuey' soo 'okw' kue perey mee' neeko'hl kol' 'we-so'nk'enek' kue mewah. Keet 'o pel' 'emkee k'ee toomenee sonowonee ch'uech'eesh tue' nuemee chue kegohchew', kem 'o gem' kue perey: Tos kwelekw skueyen' 'we-re'noh; kol' sook wee' kee mehl ko hohkueme'm; wek kee nekue'. 'Emkee keech 'o nuemee pel' keech 'o cheenomewes, tue' weet son' chpee 'we-tmeeegok'. Kwesee kohchee kolo 'o gee', Cho' noohl sohchee sootoo'm. Kwesee 'ap newom' wee'eeet 'oyhl nuemee chey muenter'ery kepcheneesh. Kwesee 'ap hlom' 'o negem' kolokween soo skuey' soneenep'. Kwesee 'ap ham', Hahl neee'nes, kuech, kwelekw keech kohchewok', tue' nek ka'ar wee' kee yoh. Pekw 'ue tewomehl kue perey. Kwesee weet keech 'o son' keech 'o gooro'rep' kue 'ue-ka'ar. Kolchee kol' sootokw' kue cheenes kem tue' sega'nee poy 'o chee nue raayor' kue 'ue-ka'ar. Keech 'o pel' kue ka'ar, tue' 'o segon' sega'anee 'o menechok'w. Kem tue' negeee'now' sega'nee noohl sohchee 'ue gak'ws. Kohchee 'o ge'we'hl kue cheenes, 'ap new, temaloh negeeen' kue 'ue-ka'ar. Kwesee keech mo'ok'w. Noohl neekee 'w-ooror' 'we-negeee'nowok' kues kee won keech sootok'w. Kue 'ue-kuechos kem 'ema ham', Neemee hes newoom' kuech kue 'ne-ka'ar? Kem 'o gem', Paa tos mos k'ee we'yk'oh 'ue-wook kol' 'o newook'. Tue' 'w-ooror', tue' 'ok'ws 'we-rahcheen kue cheenes, weeshtue' 'o sooto'l. 'Eme gam', Chue kue neeege'yoh kue negeee'nowoh; kwelekw keech menechok'w kue 'ne-ka'ar. Tue' temaloh ko'see negeee'nowohl; kem 'o nuuem' skeleesh 'o 'ooleenehl. Chmeyonen 'o ge's, Nek soo muehlcho' wee'shk'oh neskwecho'l. 'Owook koy kem 'o neee'n; paa mos cheetaa kol' 'o gegok'w. Tue' noo so'n; tue' meykwele'wey' kue cheenes keech son' nekeelet' kue ho 'ue-ka'ar. Kwesee kohchee kolo 'eemee skuey' soo chkey', kolo 'o ko'moy' kolo keech kol' 'o chween. 'O gee', Nah cho he'woneehlkwenem' kue k'e-rahcheen keskee cho' le'mo'w. Cho' poy ko 'o key kue k'e-rahcheen, kel' cho' heenoy 'oolo'oh. Koweecho kwehl mehlownemem' k'-e'goo'; kee nuemee nee koo'ope'm. Weeshtue' 'enuemee so'n. 'Eme ge'wonee'hl kue 'we-rahcheen, keskeesh 'o le'mehl. 'Yoncheesh keech 'o key 'o poyew kue 'we-rahcheen, 'o neee'no'w; 'eemee kol' wo soch. Noohl 'o pahchew kue 'yoch pa'aahl 'eekee cho sloyonekw, tue' neekee 'we-ro'onepek'. Kue nuemee laakaamopeen tue' laayonekw kue 'yoch kolo neemee kaamop' 'o wee' mee' kolo worue nee raayo'r. Kwesee noohl 'o newom' 'w-esek' kwelekw puelekuek wee keet 'we-sonchoyek'. Kwesee hehlkew 'ela new kue kol' weno'omor' kwesee Segep, keech ko'mo'y 'w-egoyek' kwelekw keech hloyehl kue cheenes mehl heeko'ch'uek. 'O ge's Segep, Kwelekw paas ko knokseyek'. 'Inee kee cho kwelekw tenoo kee mehl 'e'gah k'ee kwenee keet 'we-le'mehl. Pekwsue 'elekw megelok' nek. Hehlkue nee raayor', kwesee kolchee kol' 'okw' hehlkue neskwee 'emehl raayor' kue 'yoch. Kem weet 'ela myah Segep kem 'ap new kwesee hasee puer noohl keech weno'monekw weno'omor' kue 'yoch. Kem neekee 'we-ro' Segep hehlkue nee raayor' so Hop'ew. Kem noohl 'ela myah 'ap new kwesee noohl heepuer keech weno'monekw kue 'yoch. Neekee chpeewee ko soo nor' Segep hehlkue 'we-raayor', keech no'p'en' kue 'yoch. Kwesee 'O Regos noohl 'ela myah kwesee kue hewon 'we-seeyowek'. Kue 'O Regos keet 'o maayonew kue 'yoch, kwesee wee'eeet 'yoncheek 'o ko ho myah Segep noohl wonekw mehl tekwonue'r. Noohl 'o gam', 'Ey, 'ne-k'ep'eworoh, nek kwelekw kee megelok' k'ee kwenee k'e-le'mow', 'ohlkuemee nek soo kelew kwelekw neemee kee skuey' soo hoole'mow' mo neemee 'okw' weesh k'ee mehl chwegeenkep' k'ee kwen cho soo hoole'mo'w. Tue' neekee 'we-rooyonew kue 'yoch; wehlowaa neema kohchee seeyow' 'o puelekw, noohl 'o maayonekw kue 'yoch. Tue' wee'eeet 'o son' 'emkee neekee 'we-ro'onepek'; wohpew neekee ro'onep'. To' chpaanee noohl 'o go'ohko'hl, soo nee ro'onep' kue 'yoch. Kwesee kue weet 'owook kechoyk 'o newee' kolo 'ee newee' 'w-eseyek' kwelekw ko'l sook poy 'ue-weno'omuerehl. Tue' kem Segep kem keech 'ekwehl keech mee chweenkep', mee' ho tomowo'hl tue' hlow keech 'o chkeereeshee' kue wee 'o key, tue' neemee wo hewon newom' 'w-esek' kwelekw kolo hlkehl wee'. Noohl 'o newee' kwesee mueschen hlkehl wee' woop'eek nuemee 'olonekw. Tue' koosee muenchey k'ee chaahl, to' kwehl na'a'mow' 'o wee'eeet noohl reeek'ew nee ko'oh kue 'we-neee'nowoyk' kue wee 'ee ko 'ue-myah kue 'yoch. Noohl 'o schep'oo; kue so schep'oo noohl 'o newee' kue hehlkue 'we-le'mek' kue 'echkwoh, kwesee wo'hl tue' weesh ho reweyetehl kue 'yoch. Kwesee noohl kue nee'eeen we'yon wee 'ela nuuem' 'o gam', Weno'e'mekw kue nekah 'no-'o'hl; kee le'moh. Nek soo keech kegeychek mee' chpaaneek' wee k'e-me'wome'mo'w. Segep poy neekee 'oo'rep', tue' keech ro'op' kue 'we-negeeen' kues soo 'oole'mo'w k'ee wee nee 'oole'monee. Wonew 'o lem' 'o'lep 'ela nohpewee'm; kwesee 'o koo'op' cheenes. Noohl 'o gam', Wokhlew keech k'e-neskwechok' tey. 'O gam', Chue cho' nue ko wegesah. Lekwseek 'o lem' keech tegoo'mehl kue nee 'ohkween cheenes. Kwesee Segep noohl 'o ge's, To' ch'uemey' 'ue-mergermery k'ee we'yon. Nek soo wee kol' cheenermerwerh kwehl nek. Mechee 'ee rek'eeen kue keech 'ue-wey 'ue-pewomue', 'enuemee wogee 'ap key Segep. Kwesee mos cheetaa wo neee'nowee' kue wee 'o key. Kwesee kue wee 'o nohpeweem' keech 'ela 'e'gah kue nuue'monee. Noohl kues kee shoo mee' kolonee kahselopehl, kues k'ee kwenee ho wee' nuue'mehl, mee' koosee muenchey k'ee chaahl, mos wee nuuewee' weet 'we-soo ko 'oole'mo'w. Noohl 'o gam' kue we'yon, Noohl kee skuey' soo 'rperchek' k'ee wee k'e-mehl neskwechok'. Nek wee' kue ho k'e-ka'ar. Keech chpaaneek' 'ee lekwsee 'ne-'e'goolo'oh kem tue' 'eekee newochek' kue ho soo 'oolom. 'Ikee newook' kue k'e-skuey' soo 'ook' tue wee'eeet mehl peerwerkseechek'. Tue' nek wee' ko'oyuemek' kue 'echkwoh 'n-eksek', Chee nue hl'os. Tue' 'ne-let, kem 'o gesek' kwelokw kee serhkermerypewem' 'o yoh mo keemee neeege'yue' kue k'e-rahcheen; tue' wo'oot weeshtue' kee 'w-ahpew kue 'ne-let. 'O ge's, Chuue'. Noohl weeshtue' 'o soo's 'w-esek', Kwesee we'yon wee' kue ho 'ne-ka'ar, kwesee weet 'ee mehl ko'mee ho soo nooluemek'. Noohl keech 'o skuey' soo kem peerwerkseepew, keech noohl 'o 'wegah, weesh 'o chpaanar' keech 'o skuey' soo 'oole'mehl, keech 'oolem' '-uuek. Kwesee 'eeshkuue newom' kue wenchokws weet keech son' kue 'we-nos noohl wonue noohl nee yegokw' kem tue' kol' 'ee key. Chpaanee neee'now' ho pa'aahl. Kwesee kohchee heenoy 'o 'orogokw' kue wenchokws 'ap ham', 'Aawokw, 'ne-nos, kolo kol' sook nee shoose'm. 'O gam', Paa, to' wee 'ee key, mos kol' soosek'. Kwesee yem' kue 'w-ahpew, Nek soo, nek komchuemek' k'ee wee mehl sonowo'm; kol' kee 'ela key kolo k'e-neee'n. Nek soo kwelekw k'e-serhkermery wee'. Skewokseemem' hes kee k'e-kemeyek'? Kem 'o gam', Paa. 'O gam', Nek kwelokw komchuemek' mueschen k'e-serhkermerypewk'. Kwelekw kee yekchek' mocho kee yesem', Kee kemeyek', nek kee kem 'o gohkuemek' kee shoo kemeye'm. Kwesee ye's, Kwelekw kue geksek' kue 'ne-rahcheen, nek kwelekw keetee kemeyek'. Kwesee 'o nohpew' 'o kue 'we-rahcheen 'ohkween 'ap ham', Chue kee keme'yoh. Kwelokw kee yohkue' kee 'ne-keme'yoh. Kwesee 'o ge's kue 'we-rahcheen, Paa, now, nek kwelekw neemoksue megelok'. Keech noweenepek' yok 'no-'ook' mee' keech 'oolem' 'ne-mekey tue' neemoksue knokseemek'. 'O gam', Nek kwelekw kee kemeyek'; nek kwelekw kee kwomhlechok'. 'Aawokw, 'aawokw, 'we-lepehlek' 'w-ewechek' kue 'ne-kuechos, mee' nek soo neemee komchuem' k'ee kwenee so 'ne-menechok'. Kwesee keech 'ee 'o son' kee kem 'we-lahchue'. Kwesee 'o new to' na'a'mow' kol' sook wee laamenetkwelesee'. Kwesee kue Segep wee keech ma 'ue-menetkwelesoyk'. Kwelekw keech koosee maama'epoyew, 'yoncheek 'eme loo, mee' keech chegeyonahpee' kue Segep kue keech no'omehl 'o wee'. Kolchee kol' 'o pegar kem tue' 'o'lep 'o myah 'w-egolek', Kuech, nee mokw' hes 'oyhl kee nepek'? Kem 'o gee', Lekwseek soot'os! Teen' k'ee kwenee sonowonee teen' kwenee nuek'wo 'o yoh? Yo' kem 'o ro': Yaha, kolo wek 'o ket'op' 'ahspeyue'r; hahl kee ko nooych. 'Ikee markuem', kem 'o ko'moy' kem kue perey 'ue-koweesh nege'm. Chee now soot'os! Kwehl kem keet kemolem' nee wee'. 'Ih! Tyohpeyokseechek'. Koweecho kem nuek'wo laaye'm! Koweecho kem 'o'lep nuek'wo laayem' kol' k'e-kemolek'! Wee keech cho ko'see chegeyonahpee', kwesee wee'eeet noohl 'yoncheek me ko loo. Kue keech 'w-egoo noohl 'o lahchue'. Kem noohl 'o neskwechol' ho k'ee wek 'we-hlkelonah. 'O pechues 'eekee shootol', kue 'we-neskwechok' ho pechues 'ap new kwesee choomee' keech kol' son' kue ho 'ue-kuechos. Mos cheetaa kue 'wo-'o'hl; kem keech lekwo'hl, mos cheetaa kol' sook koma ko 'ok'w. Noohl 'o ge's, To' weseeneek' keech sonowok'! Noohl keech yok 'ee nue kergerk'. Ch'uemey' keech me 'ne-skuey' soo 'ook' 'o heekoh, tue' keech knokseemek'. Tue' wee'eeet mehl heeegee' 'oohl pekwsue 'o skueyen' mocho ko'mee ha's, Keekee chue 'ok'w. Kwelekw wee'eeet skuey' soo hewech' 'oohl mo nee kol' 'oolem' tenem' 'we-too'mar 'emsee 'we-cheeek. Kem 'okw' paas weeshtue' yo' nee yegol' 'w-esek' kee nuemee chue kue neemee kwelas k'ee 'we-nah, ha's, Kos'ela nek 'ne-nah.
Once upon a time an old woman lived up the river, and she had her grandson there with her. It was difficult for her to look after her grandson. The boy was very small, but as he began to grow up it turned out that all he would do was to go down to the water's edge and was never done with fishing for trout. Whatever he caught he gave to his grandmother. And then the old woman began to live better because the boy was always catching something in his fishing. He began to get bigger and then he would catch all sorts of birds, and the old woman said: Child, this one's feather is pretty; you will make something with this; we will put it away. Then he quite grew up and became a young man, and it turned out that all he did was to hunt. And once it seemed as if something said to him, Go way up into the hills. And he saw lying there a tiny white fawn. And he took it and carried it away and felt very pleased. And he said, Look, grandmother, I have caught this, and I will make it a pet. The old woman was very glad. And it turned out that his pet ran around there. Whenever the young man went anywhere his pet would often run right on ahead of him. The pet grew up, and it often happened that it disappeared in these runs. And he would look for it and frequently found it high up in the hills. Once the young man woke up, looked, (and) searched in vain for his pet. It was not there. Then he ran straight off to look where else it could have gone. He also asked his grandmother, Haven't you seen my pet, grandmother? She said, No, child, I have not seen anything here this morning. Then he ran off, and the young man had a friend, and so he went to him. He said, Let us both go together and look; my pet has disappeared. And for a long time they looked everywhere; and they came back and lay down. In the evening he thought, I believe that maybe it will come back now. The following morning they looked for it again; but no, there was nothing moving about there. So it went on; and the young man mourned its loss and came to pine for his pet. Then once it seems he was not sleeping soundly, and he heard something apparently talking to him. He was told, Wake your friend up and both of you go down to the water. Your friend is to sit in the front of the boat, and you stand behind. Don't touch your paddle; you are just to stand there. So he did just as he was told. His friend woke up, (and) they went down to the water. His friend sat in the boat in front and watched; they did not speak. Then the boat moved and slid down into the water, and then sped along. The boat passed through patches of very rough water as though it was quite smooth, as it seemed to move along on top of the water. Then he saw that it was being taken down the river. From up in the hills Coyote had seen where something was moving along, (and) had heard tell that the two young men were being carried down from across the river. Coyote thought, Well, I will not be left behind. There is bound to be plenty more to eat wherever they are going. Shan't I go too? He ran along the bank, and whenever he got to any point on the riverside the boat was passing near him. And in this way Coyote jumped along and saw the boat floating down and moving toward the mouth of the river. Then Coyote ran and came along the bank to Hop'ew (Klamath). He jumped and saw the boat already moving far down stream. The Coyote ran for all his might along the bank to pass it, and chased after the boat. Then he leaped on to the rock Oregos as the boat was first breasting the breakers. It was just going to pass the rock, and Coyote jumped in and came crashing down from high up into it. Then he said, Yes, my grandchildren, I will come with you wherever you are going, for I think you will not get on well if there is no one who will speak on your behalf wherever you may go. Then the boat sped on; eleven times it broke through the waves at the mouth of the river, and then the boat went on its way. So it was that it sped on; it sped on toward the west. Then it was dark for a long time, and the boat still sped on. The next morning they looked and fancied they saw some things swimming ahead of them. Even Coyote was now afraid and did not talk, because he had been chattering and at last had felt drowsy where he was sitting, and was not the first to see that it looked like land in sight. Then they saw that it really was land lying right out in the ocean. And the sand was all white, and a crowd of people were standing on the shore to watch the boat bounding in there. Then they landed; when they landed they saw that there were seals going ashore, and that it was they that had towed the boat. And then two girls arrived there and one said, Come to our house; we will be going. I am sure you are tired for your voyage here has been long. Coyote went on ahead, and ran to see how people lived who lived there. The two young men went up to the house and entered; and there stood another young man. Then he said, I am glad that you have come, brother-in-law. And then he said, Let us go and bathe ourselves. They went outside and were all together at the young man's dwelling. Then Coyote thought, How very pretty that girl is. I think I will get acquainted a little with her. They were sitting by the fire when the cooking was finished, and Coyote sat down right in the middle. No notice whatever was taken of him where he sat. The two who had arrived had a meal when they came in. Then how could they feel strange, (wondering) where on earth they had come to at this place, for the sand was all white, and they had never seen people living like this. Then one of the girls said, Now I will tell you in full why you have come here. I am your former pet. For a long time I stayed outside, and then I saw how you lived. I saw that you were good and I loved you for it. It was I who engaged the seals, saying to each of them, Go and fetch him. I have a sister, and I thought that you would be lonely here if you did not bring your friend; and my sister may be his wife. He thought, Well. And then he thought, So this girl is my former pet, and that is why I loved her so much. Then they loved one another well, and were married, and lived long and happily, and had children. Then gradually the woman noticed that it happened that her husband would go far up in the hills and sit somewhere there. For a long time he would gaze out over the water. And one day the woman followed him and said, Alas, my husband, you seem to have something on your mind. He said, No, I sit here, but I have nothing on my mind. Then his wife said, I think, nay I know, how you are; you keep sitting here and gazing. I think you are homesick here. Do you want to go back home? Again he said, No. She said, Well, I know that really you are homesick. And I will tell you that if you decide, 'I will go home', I will arrange it that you shall go home. Then he thought, I will go and tell my friend, and I shall go home. He went in where his friend lived and said, Let us both go home. Arrangements can be made for us to go home. Then his friend thought, No, friend, I will not go with you. I now like living here; I have my children and I will not leave them. The other said, Well, I shall go home; I shall return. Alas, alas that my grandmother's life is a burden to her, as I fear that she does not know where I have disappeared to. And so it came about that the boat was launched. And then they saw there was a crowd and that something was being dragged along there. It was Coyote being dragged along. He was all tied up, and thrown into the boat, because people were fed up with Coyote ever since he had been there. Whenever anyone was at home he leaped into the house and said, Grandmother, isn't there anything lying here for me to eat? And he was told, Be off outside! Who are you and what on earth are you doing here? He ran up again: Yaha, it seems there is some soup in the pot here; I think I will have some. Then he gobbled it all up, and heard the old woman pick up her stick. Be off! You are just going to steal again. Ugh! I hate you. Don't come here again! Don't come to the house again to steal something! So he was now hated by everyone, and therefore he was thrown into the boat. After a shout the boat was thrust out into the sea. Then the young man came back again to this part of the world. At once he went up the river, and when he arrived there he saw that it was now a long time since his grandmother had died. His house was no more; it had fallen down, and nothing remained. Then he thought, What a terrible thing has befallen me! Now I have come to be here alone. Now happily I was living across the water, and I have left it all. And so for this we say that it is not good if a person thinks too much, I will have everything. But a person lives happily if somewhere he has plenty of friends and his money. Then he does not go around thinking that what is not his property should all be his, (and he does not) think, Would that it were mine.