"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 hikon pechik ho 'ok'w perey, tu' wo'oot ho 'ok'ws 'u-k'ep'ew. Tu' 'o chahchew ho soo megetohlkwo'm ku 'u-k'ep'ew. K'ehl numi to'm ku mewah, kwesi kit 'o pe'l wit 'o so'n keski chpi ni yegok'w mos wey 'u-krtkrk'. K'i kwen cho kohchewo'mish kem 'ap nahchpu'm ku 'u-kuchos. Tu' kit 'o sku'y soo 'ok'w ku perey mi' niko'hl ko'l 'we-so'nk'enek' ku mewah. Kit 'o pe'l 'emki k'i toomeni sonowoni ch'uch'ish tu' numi chu kegohche'w, kem 'o ge'm ku perey: Tos kwelekw skuye'n 'we-re'noh; ko'l sook wi' ki mehl ko hohkume'm; wek ki neku'. 'Emki kich 'o numi pe'l kich 'o chinomewes, tu' wit so'n chpi 'we-tmiigok'. Kwesi kohchi kolo 'o gi', Cho' noohl sohchi sootoo'm. Kwesi 'ap newo'm wi'iit 'oyhl numi chey muntr'ry kepchenish. Kwesi 'ap hlo'm 'o nege'm kolokwin soo sku'y soninep'. Kwesi 'ap ha'm, Hahl nii'nes, kuch, kwelekw kich kohchewok', tu' nek ka'ar wi' ki yoh. Pekw 'u tewomehl ku perey. Kwesi wit kich 'o so'n kich 'o gooro'rep' ku 'u-ka'ar. Kolchi ko'l sootok'w ku chines kem tu' sega'ni poy 'o chi nu raayo'r ku 'u-ka'ar. Kich 'o pe'l ku ka'ar, tu' 'o sego'n sega'ani 'o menechok'w. Kem tu' negii'no'w sega'ni noohl sohchi 'u gak'ws. Kohchi 'o ge'we'hl ku chines, 'ap new, temaloh negii'n ku 'u-ka'ar. Kwesi kich mo'ok'w. Noohl niki 'w-ooro'r 'we-negii'nowok' kus ki won kich sootok'w. Ku 'u-kuchos kem 'ema ha'm, Nimi hes newoo'm kuch ku 'ne-ka'ar? Kem 'o ge'm, Paa tos mos k'i we'yk'oh 'u-wook ko'l 'o newook'. Tu' 'w-ooro'r, tu' 'ok'ws 'we-rahchin ku chines, wishtu' 'o sooto'l. 'Eme ga'm, Chu ku niige'yoh ku negii'nowoh; kwelekw kich menechok'w ku 'ne-ka'ar. Tu' temaloh ko'si negii'nowohl; kem 'o nuu'm skelish 'o 'oolinehl. Chmeyonen 'o ge's, Nek soo muhlcho' wi'shk'oh neskwecho'l. 'Owook koy kem 'o nii'n; paa mos chitaa ko'l 'o gegok'w. Tu' noo so'n; tu' meykwele'we'y ku chines kich so'n nekilet' ku ho 'u-ka'ar. Kwesi kohchi kolo 'imi sku'y soo chke'y, kolo 'o ko'mo'y kolo kich ko'l 'o chwin. 'O gi', Nah cho he'wonihlkwene'm ku k'e-rahchin keski cho' le'mo'w. Cho' poy ko 'o key ku k'e-rahchin, ke'l cho' hinoy 'oolo'oh. Kowicho kwehl mehlowneme'm k'-e'goo'; ki numi ni koo'ope'm. Wishtu' 'enumi so'n. 'Eme ge'woni'hl ku 'we-rahchin, keskish 'o le'mehl. 'Yonchish kich 'o key 'o poyew ku 'we-rahchin, 'o nii'no'w; 'imi ko'l wo soch. Noohl 'o pahchew ku 'yoch pa'aahl 'iki cho sloyonekw, tu' niki 'we-ro'onepek'. Ku numi laakaamopin tu' laayonekw ku 'yoch kolo nimi kaamop' 'o wi' mi' kolo woru ni raayo'r. Kwesi noohl 'o newo'm 'w-esek' kwelekw pulekuk wi kit 'we-sonchoyek'. Kwesi hehlkew 'ela new ku ko'l weno'omo'r kwesi Segep, kich ko'mo'y 'w-egoyek' kwelekw kich hloyehl ku chines mehl hiko'ch'uk. 'O ge's Segep, Kwelekw paas ko knokseyek'. 'Ini ki cho kwelekw tenoo ki mehl 'e'gah k'i kweni kit 'we-le'mehl. Pekwsu 'elekw megelok' nek. Hehlku ni raayo'r, kwesi kolchi ko'l 'ok'w hehlku neskwi 'emehl raayo'r ku 'yoch. Kem wit 'ela myah Segep kem 'ap new kwesi hasi pur noohl kich weno'monekw weno'omo'r ku 'yoch. Kem niki 'we-ro' Segep hehlku ni raayo'r so Hop'ew. Kem noohl 'ela myah 'ap new kwesi noohl hipur kich weno'monekw ku 'yoch. Niki chpiwi ko soo no'r Segep hehlku 'we-raayo'r, kich no'p'e'n ku 'yoch. Kwesi 'O Regos noohl 'ela myah kwesi ku hewon 'we-siyowek'. Ku 'O Regos kit 'o maayonew ku 'yoch, kwesi wi'iit 'yonchik 'o ko ho myah Segep noohl wonekw mehl tekwonu'r. Noohl 'o ga'm, 'Ey, 'ne-k'ep'eworoh, nek kwelekw ki megelok' k'i kweni k'e-le'mo'w, 'ohlkumi nek soo kelew kwelekw nimi ki sku'y soo hoole'mo'w mo nimi 'ok'w wish k'i mehl chweginkep' k'i kwen cho soo hoole'mo'w. Tu' niki 'we-rooyonew ku 'yoch; wehlowaa nima kohchi siyo'w 'o pulekw, noohl 'o maayonekw ku 'yoch. Tu' wi'iit 'o so'n 'emki niki 'we-ro'onepek'; wohpew niki ro'onep'. To' chpaani noohl 'o go'ohko'hl, soo ni ro'onep' ku 'yoch. Kwesi ku wit 'owook kechoyk 'o newi' kolo 'i newi' 'w-eseyek' kwelekw ko'l sook poy 'u-weno'omurehl. Tu' kem Segep kem kich 'ekwehl kich mi chwinkep', mi' ho tomowo'hl tu' hlow kich 'o chkirishi' ku wi 'o key, tu' nimi wo hewon newo'm 'w-esek' kwelekw kolo hlkehl wi'. Noohl 'o newi' kwesi muschen hlkehl wi' woop'ik numi 'olonekw. Tu' koosi munchey k'i chaahl, to' kwehl na'a'mo'w 'o wi'iit noohl riik'ew ni ko'oh ku 'we-nii'nowoyk' ku wi 'i ko 'u-myah ku 'yoch. Noohl 'o schep'oo; ku so schep'oo noohl 'o newi' ku hehlku 'we-le'mek' ku 'echkwoh, kwesi wo'hl tu' wish ho reweyetehl ku 'yoch. Kwesi noohl ku ni'iin we'yon wi 'ela nuu'm 'o ga'm, Weno'e'mekw ku nekah 'no-'o'hl; ki le'moh. Nek soo kich kegeychek mi' chpaanik' wi k'e-me'wome'mo'w. Segep poy niki 'oo'rep', tu' kich ro'op' ku 'we-negii'n kus soo 'oole'mo'w k'i wi ni 'oole'moni. Wonew 'o le'm 'o'lep 'ela nohpewi'm; kwesi 'o koo'op' chines. Noohl 'o ga'm, Wokhlew kich k'e-neskwechok' tey. 'O ga'm, Chu cho' nu ko wegesah. Lekwsik 'o le'm kich tegoo'mehl ku ni 'ohkwin chines. Kwesi Segep noohl 'o ge's, To' ch'ume'y 'u-mrgrmry k'i we'yon. Nek soo wi ko'l chinrmrwrh kwehl nek. Mechi 'i rek'iin ku kich 'u-wey 'u-pewomu', 'enumi wogi 'ap key Segep. Kwesi mos chitaa wo nii'nowi' ku wi 'o key. Kwesi ku wi 'o nohpewi'm kich 'ela 'e'gah ku nuu'moni. Noohl kus ki shoo mi' koloni kahselopehl, kus k'i kweni ho wi' nuu'mehl, mi' koosi munchey k'i chaahl, mos wi nuuwi' wit 'we-soo ko 'oole'mo'w. Noohl 'o ga'm ku we'yon, Noohl ki sku'y soo 'rprchek' k'i wi k'e-mehl neskwechok'. Nek wi' ku ho k'e-ka'ar. Kich chpaanik' 'i lekwsi 'ne-'e'goolo'oh kem tu' 'iki newochek' ku ho soo 'oolom. 'Iki newook' ku k'e-sku'y soo 'ook' tu wi'iit mehl pirwrksichek'. Tu' nek wi' ko'oyumek' ku 'echkwoh 'n-eksek', Chi nu hl'os. Tu' 'ne-let, kem 'o gesek' kwelokw ki srhkrmrypewe'm 'o yoh mo kimi niige'yu' ku k'e-rahchin; tu' wo'oot wishtu' ki 'w-ahpew ku 'ne-let. 'O ge's, Chuu'. Noohl wishtu' 'o soo's 'w-esek', Kwesi we'yon wi' ku ho 'ne-ka'ar, kwesi wit 'i mehl ko'mi ho soo noolumek'. Noohl kich 'o sku'y soo kem pirwrksipew, kich noohl 'o 'wegah, wish 'o chpaana'r kich 'o sku'y soo 'oole'mehl, kich 'oole'm '-uuk. Kwesi 'ishkuu newo'm ku wenchokws wit kich so'n ku 'we-nos noohl wonu noohl ni yegok'w kem tu' ko'l 'i key. Chpaani nii'no'w ho pa'aahl. Kwesi kohchi hinoy 'o 'orogok'w ku wenchokws 'ap ha'm, 'Aawokw, 'ne-nos, kolo ko'l sook ni shoose'm. 'O ga'm, Paa, to' wi 'i key, mos ko'l soosek'. Kwesi ye'm ku 'w-ahpew, Nek soo, nek komchumek' k'i wi mehl sonowo'm; ko'l ki 'ela key kolo k'e-nii'n. Nek soo kwelekw k'e-srhkrmry wi'. Skewoksime'm hes ki k'e-kemeyek'? Kem 'o ga'm, Paa. 'O ga'm, Nek kwelokw komchumek' muschen k'e-srhkrmrypewk'. Kwelekw ki yekchek' mocho ki yese'm, Ki kemeyek', nek ki kem 'o gohkumek' ki shoo kemeye'm. Kwesi ye's, Kwelekw ku geksek' ku 'ne-rahchin, nek kwelekw kiti kemeyek'. Kwesi 'o nohpe'w 'o ku 'we-rahchin 'ohkwin 'ap ha'm, Chu ki keme'yoh. Kwelokw ki yohku' ki 'ne-keme'yoh. Kwesi 'o ge's ku 'we-rahchin, Paa, now, nek kwelekw nimoksu megelok'. Kich nowinepek' yok 'no-'ook' mi' kich 'oole'm 'ne-mekey tu' nimoksu knoksimek'. 'O ga'm, Nek kwelekw ki kemeyek'; nek kwelekw ki kwomhlechok'. 'Aawokw, 'aawokw, 'we-lepehlek' 'w-ewechek' ku 'ne-kuchos, mi' nek soo nimi komchu'm k'i kweni so 'ne-menechok'. Kwesi kich 'i 'o so'n ki kem 'we-lahchu'. Kwesi 'o new to' na'a'mo'w ko'l sook wi laamenetkwelesi'. Kwesi ku Segep wi kich ma 'u-menetkwelesoyk'. Kwelekw kich koosi maama'epoyew, 'yonchik 'eme loo, mi' kich chegeyonahpi' ku Segep ku kich no'omehl 'o wi'. Kolchi ko'l 'o pegar kem tu' 'o'lep 'o myah 'w-egolek', Kuch, ni mok'w hes 'oyhl ki nepek'? Kem 'o gi', Lekwsik soot'os! Ti'n k'i kweni sonowoni ti'n kweni nuk'wo 'o yoh? Yo' kem 'o ro': Yaha, kolo wek 'o ket'op' 'ahspeyu'r; hahl ki ko nooych. 'Iki marku'm, kem 'o ko'mo'y kem ku perey 'u-kowish nege'm. Chi now soot'os! Kwehl kem kit kemole'm ni wi'. 'Ih! Tyohpeyoksichek'. Kowicho kem nuk'wo laaye'm! Kowicho kem 'o'lep nuk'wo laaye'm ko'l k'e-kemolek'! Wi kich cho ko'si chegeyonahpi', kwesi wi'iit noohl 'yonchik me ko loo. Ku kich 'w-egoo noohl 'o lahchu'. Kem noohl 'o neskwecho'l ho k'i wek 'we-hlkelonah. 'O pechus 'iki shooto'l, ku 'we-neskwechok' ho pechus 'ap new kwesi choomi' kich ko'l so'n ku ho 'u-kuchos. Mos chitaa ku 'wo-'o'hl; kem kich lekwo'hl, mos chitaa ko'l sook koma ko 'ok'w. Noohl 'o ge's, To' wesinik' kich sonowok'! Noohl kich yok 'i nu krgrk'. Ch'ume'y kich me 'ne-sku'y soo 'ook' 'o hikoh, tu' kich knoksimek'. Tu' wi'iit mehl hiigi' 'oohl pekwsu 'o skuye'n mocho ko'mi ha's, Kiki chu 'ok'w. Kwelekw wi'iit sku'y soo hewech' 'oohl mo ni ko'l 'oole'm tene'm 'we-too'mar 'emsi 'we-chiik. Kem 'ok'w paas wishtu' yo' ni yego'l 'w-esek' ki numi chu ku nimi kwelas k'i '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.