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