"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.
Once upon a time an old woman lived up the river, and she had her grandson there with her.
Tu' 'o chahchew ho soo megetohlkwo'm ku 'u-k'ep'ew.
It was difficult for her to look after her grandson.
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'.
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'i kwen cho kohchewo'mish kem 'ap nahchpu'm ku 'u-kuchos.
Whatever he caught he gave to his grandmother.
Tu' kit 'o sku'y soo 'ok'w ku perey mi' niko'hl ko'l 'we-so'nk'enek' ku
And then the old woman began to live better because the boy was always catching something in his fishing.
Kit 'o pe'l 'emki k'i toomeni sonowoni ch'uch'ish tu' numi chu kegohche'w,
kem 'o ge'm ku perey:
He began to get bigger and then he would catch all sorts of birds, and the old woman said:
- Tos kwelekw skuye'n 'we-re'noh; ko'l sook wi' ki mehl ko hohkume'm;
wek ki neku'.
Child, this one's feather is pretty; you will make something with this; we will put it away.
'Emki kich 'o numi pe'l kich 'o chinomewes, tu' wit so'n chpi
Then he quite grew up and became a young man, and it turned out that all he did was to hunt.
Kwesi kohchi kolo 'o gi', Cho' noohl sohchi sootoo'm.
And once it seemed as if something said to him, Go way up into the hills.
Kwesi 'ap newo'm wi'iit 'oyhl numi chey muntr'ry kepchenish.
And he saw lying there a tiny white fawn.
Kwesi 'ap hlo'm 'o nege'm kolokwin soo sku'y soninep'.
And he took it and carried it away and felt very pleased.
Kwesi 'ap ha'm, Hahl nii'nes, kuch, kwelekw kich kohchewok', tu' nek
ka'ar wi' ki yoh.
And he said, Look, grandmother, I have caught this, and I will make it a pet.
Pekw 'u tewomehl ku perey.
The old woman was very glad.
Kwesi wit kich 'o so'n kich 'o gooro'rep' ku 'u-ka'ar.
And it turned out that his pet ran around there.
Kolchi ko'l sootok'w ku chines kem tu' sega'ni poy 'o chi nu raayo'r ku
Whenever the young man went anywhere his pet would often run right on ahead of him.
Kich 'o pe'l ku ka'ar, tu' 'o sego'n sega'ani 'o menechok'w.
The pet grew up, and it often happened that it disappeared in these runs.
Kem tu' negii'no'w sega'ni noohl sohchi 'u gak'ws.
And he would look for it and frequently found it high up in the hills.
Kohchi 'o ge'we'hl ku chines, 'ap new, temaloh negii'n ku 'u-ka'ar.
Once the young man woke up, looked, (and) searched in vain for his pet.
Kwesi kich mo'ok'w.
It was not there.
Noohl niki 'w-ooro'r 'we-negii'nowok' kus ki won kich sootok'w.
Then he ran straight off to look where else it could have gone.
Ku 'u-kuchos kem 'ema ha'm, Nimi hes newoo'm kuch ku
He also asked his grandmother, Haven't you seen my pet, grandmother?
Kem 'o ge'm, Paa tos mos k'i we'yk'oh 'u-wook ko'l 'o
She said, No, child, I have not seen anything here this morning.
Tu' 'w-ooro'r, tu' 'ok'ws 'we-rahchin ku chines, wishtu' 'o sooto'l.
Then he ran off, and the young man had a friend, and so he went to him.
'Eme ga'm, Chu ku niige'yoh ku negii'nowoh; kwelekw kich menechok'w
He said, Let us both go together and look; my pet has disappeared.
Tu' temaloh ko'si negii'nowohl; kem 'o nuu'm skelish 'o 'oolinehl.
And for a long time they looked everywhere; and they came back and lay down.
Chmeyonen 'o ge's, Nek soo muhlcho' wi'shk'oh neskwecho'l.
In the evening he thought, I believe that maybe it will come back now.
'Owook koy kem 'o nii'n; paa mos chitaa ko'l 'o gegok'w.
The following morning they looked for it again; but no, there was nothing moving about there.
Tu' noo so'n; tu' meykwele'we'y ku chines kich so'n nekilet' ku ho
So it went on; and the young man mourned its loss and came to pine for his pet.
Kwesi kohchi kolo 'imi sku'y soo chke'y, kolo 'o ko'mo'y kolo kich ko'l 'o
Then once it seems he was not sleeping soundly, and he heard something apparently talking to him.
'O gi', Nah cho he'wonihlkwene'm ku k'e-rahchin keski cho'
He was told, Wake your friend up and both of you go down to the water.
Cho' poy ko 'o key ku k'e-rahchin, ke'l cho' hinoy 'oolo'oh.
Your friend is to sit in the front of the boat, and you stand behind.
Kowicho kwehl mehlowneme'm k'-e'goo'; ki numi ni koo'ope'm.
Don't touch your paddle; you are just to stand there.
Wishtu' 'enumi so'n.
So he did just as he was told.
'Eme ge'woni'hl ku 'we-rahchin, keskish 'o le'mehl.
His friend woke up, (and) they went down to the water.
'Yonchish kich 'o key 'o poyew ku 'we-rahchin, 'o nii'no'w; 'imi ko'l wo
His friend sat in the boat in front and watched; they did not speak.
Noohl 'o pahchew ku 'yoch pa'aahl 'iki cho sloyonekw, tu' niki
Then the boat moved and slid down into the water, and then sped along.
Ku numi laakaamopin tu' laayonekw ku 'yoch kolo nimi kaamop' 'o wi' mi' kolo
woru ni 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.
Kwesi noohl 'o newo'm 'w-esek' kwelekw pulekuk wi kit 'we-sonchoyek'.
Then he saw that it was being taken down the river.
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.
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.
'Ini ki cho kwelekw tenoo ki mehl 'e'gah k'i kweni kit
There is bound to be plenty more to eat wherever they are going.
Pekwsu 'elekw megelok' nek.
Shan't I go too?
Hehlku ni raayo'r, kwesi kolchi ko'l 'ok'w hehlku neskwi 'emehl raayo'r ku
He ran along the bank, and whenever he got to any point on the riverside the boat was passing near him.
Kem wit 'ela myah Segep kem 'ap new kwesi hasi pur noohl kich weno'monekw
weno'omo'r ku 'yoch.
And in this way Coyote jumped along and saw the boat floating down and moving toward the mouth of the river.
Kem niki 'we-ro' Segep hehlku ni raayo'r so Hop'ew.
Then Coyote ran and came along the bank to Hop'ew (Klamath).
Kem noohl 'ela myah 'ap new kwesi noohl hipur kich weno'monekw ku
He jumped and saw the boat already moving far down stream.
Niki chpiwi ko soo no'r Segep hehlku 'we-raayo'r, kich no'p'e'n ku
The Coyote ran for all his might along the bank to pass it, and chased after the boat.
Kwesi 'O Regos noohl 'ela myah kwesi ku hewon 'we-siyowek'.
Then he leaped on to the rock Oregos as the boat was first breasting the breakers.
Ku 'O Regos kit 'o maayonew ku 'yoch, kwesi wi'iit 'yonchik 'o ko ho myah
Segep noohl wonekw mehl tekwonu'r.
It was just going to pass the rock, and Coyote jumped in and came crashing down from high up into it.
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
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.
Tu' niki 'we-rooyonew ku 'yoch; wehlowaa nima kohchi siyo'w 'o pulekw, noohl
'o maayonekw ku '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.
Tu' wi'iit 'o so'n 'emki niki 'we-ro'onepek'; wohpew niki ro'onep'.
So it was that it sped on; it sped on toward the west.
To' chpaani noohl 'o go'ohko'hl, soo ni ro'onep' ku 'yoch.
Then it was dark for a long time, and the boat still sped on.
Kwesi ku wit 'owook kechoyk 'o newi' kolo 'i newi' 'w-eseyek' kwelekw ko'l
sook poy 'u-weno'omurehl.
The next morning they looked and fancied they saw some things swimming ahead of them.
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'.
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 newi' kwesi muschen hlkehl wi' woop'ik numi 'olonekw.
Then they saw that it really was land lying right out in the ocean.
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.
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; ku so schep'oo noohl 'o newi' ku hehlku 'we-le'mek' ku
'echkwoh, kwesi wo'hl tu' wish ho reweyetehl ku '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.
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.
And then two girls arrived there and one said, Come to our house; we will be going.
Nek soo kich kegeychek mi' chpaanik' wi k'e-me'wome'mo'w.
I am sure you are tired for your voyage here has been long.
Segep poy niki 'oo'rep', tu' kich ro'op' ku 'we-negii'n kus soo 'oole'mo'w
k'i wi ni 'oole'moni.
Coyote went on ahead, and ran to see how people lived who lived there.
Wonew 'o le'm 'o'lep 'ela nohpewi'm; kwesi 'o koo'op' chines.
The two young men went up to the house and entered; and there stood another young man.
Noohl 'o ga'm, Wokhlew kich k'e-neskwechok' tey.
Then he said, I am glad that you have come, brother-in-law.
'O ga'm, Chu cho' nu ko wegesah.
And then he said, Let us go and bathe ourselves.
Lekwsik 'o le'm kich tegoo'mehl ku ni 'ohkwin chines.
They went outside and were all together at the young man's dwelling.
Kwesi Segep noohl 'o ge's, To' ch'ume'y 'u-mrgrmry k'i
Then Coyote thought, How very pretty that girl is.
Nek soo wi ko'l chinrmrwrh kwehl nek.
I think I will get acquainted a little with her.
Mechi 'i rek'iin ku kich 'u-wey 'u-pewomu', 'enumi wogi 'ap key Segep.
They were sitting by the fire when the cooking was finished, and Coyote sat down right in the middle.
Kwesi mos chitaa wo nii'nowi' ku wi 'o key.
No notice whatever was taken of him where he sat.
Kwesi ku wi 'o nohpewi'm kich 'ela 'e'gah ku nuu'moni.
The two who had arrived had a meal when they came in.
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.
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 ga'm ku we'yon, Noohl ki sku'y soo 'rprchek' k'i wi k'e-mehl
Then one of the girls said, Now I will tell you in full why you have come here.
Nek wi' ku ho k'e-ka'ar.
I am your former pet.
Kich chpaanik' 'i lekwsi 'ne-'e'goolo'oh kem tu' 'iki newochek' ku ho
For a long time I stayed outside, and then I saw how you lived.
'Iki newook' ku k'e-sku'y soo 'ook' tu wi'iit mehl
I saw that you were good and I loved you for it.
Tu' nek wi' ko'oyumek' ku 'echkwoh 'n-eksek', Chi nu hl'os.
It was I who engaged the seals, saying to each of them, Go and fetch him.
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
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, Chuu'.
He thought, Well.
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'.
And then he thought, So this girl is my former pet, and that is why I loved her so much.
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.
Then they loved one another well, and were married, and lived long and happily, and had children.
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.
Then gradually the woman noticed that it happened that her husband would go far up in the hills and sit somewhere there.
Chpaani nii'no'w ho pa'aahl.
For a long time he would gaze out over the water.
Kwesi kohchi hinoy 'o 'orogok'w ku wenchokws 'ap ha'm, 'Aawokw,
'ne-nos, kolo ko'l sook ni shoose'm.
And one day the woman followed him and said, Alas, my husband, you seem to have something on your mind.
'O ga'm, Paa, to' wi 'i key, mos ko'l soosek'.
He said, No, I sit here, but I have nothing on my mind.
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.
Then his wife said, I think, nay I know, how you are; you keep sitting here and gazing.
Nek soo kwelekw k'e-srhkrmry wi'.
I think you are homesick here.
Skewoksime'm hes ki k'e-kemeyek'?
Do you want to go back home?
Kem 'o ga'm, Paa.
Again he said, No.
'O ga'm, Nek kwelokw komchumek' muschen k'e-srhkrmrypewk'.
She said, Well, I know that really you are homesick.
Kwelekw ki yekchek' mocho ki yese'm, Ki kemeyek', nek ki kem 'o
gohkumek' ki 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.
Kwesi ye's, Kwelekw ku geksek' ku 'ne-rahchin, nek kwelekw kiti
Then he thought, I will go and tell my friend, and I shall go home.
Kwesi 'o nohpe'w 'o ku 'we-rahchin 'ohkwin 'ap ha'm, Chu ki
He went in where his friend lived and said, Let us both go home.
Kwelokw ki yohku' ki 'ne-keme'yoh.
Arrangements can be made for us to go home.
Kwesi 'o ge's ku 'we-rahchin, Paa, now, nek kwelekw nimoksu
Then his friend thought, No, friend, I will not go with you.
Kich nowinepek' yok 'no-'ook' mi' kich 'oole'm 'ne-mekey tu' nimoksu
I now like living here; I have my children and I will not leave them.
'O ga'm, Nek kwelekw ki kemeyek'; nek kwelekw ki
The other said, Well, I shall go home; I shall return.
'Aawokw, 'aawokw, 'we-lepehlek' 'w-ewechek' ku 'ne-kuchos, mi' nek
soo nimi komchu'm k'i kweni 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.
Kwesi kich 'i 'o so'n ki kem 'we-lahchu'.
And so it came about that the boat was launched.
Kwesi 'o new to' na'a'mo'w ko'l sook wi laamenetkwelesi'.
And then they saw there was a crowd and that something was being dragged along there.
Kwesi ku Segep wi kich ma 'u-menetkwelesoyk'.
It was Coyote being dragged along.
Kwelekw kich koosi maama'epoyew, 'yonchik 'eme loo, mi' kich chegeyonahpi'
ku Segep ku kich no'omehl 'o wi'.
He was all tied up, and thrown into the boat, because people were fed up with Coyote ever since he had been there.
Kolchi ko'l 'o pegar kem tu' 'o'lep 'o myah 'w-egolek', Kuch, ni
mok'w hes 'oyhl ki 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 gi', Lekwsik soot'os!
And he was told, Be off outside!
Ti'n k'i kweni sonowoni ti'n kweni nuk'wo 'o yoh?
Who are you and what on earth are you doing here?
Yo' kem 'o ro': Yaha, kolo wek 'o ket'op' 'ahspeyu'r; hahl ki ko
He ran up again: Yaha, it seems there is some soup in the pot here; I think I will have some.
'Iki marku'm, kem 'o ko'mo'y kem ku perey 'u-kowish nege'm.
Then he gobbled it all up, and heard the old woman pick up her stick.
Chi now soot'os! Kwehl kem kit kemole'm ni wi'.
Be off! You are just going to steal again.
'Ih! Tyohpeyoksichek'. Kowicho kem nuk'wo laaye'm!
Ugh! I hate you. Don't come here again!
Kowicho kem 'o'lep nuk'wo laaye'm ko'l k'e-kemolek'!
Don't come to the house again to steal something!
Wi kich cho ko'si chegeyonahpi', kwesi wi'iit noohl 'yonchik me ko loo.
So he was now hated by everyone, and therefore he was thrown into the boat.
Ku kich 'w-egoo noohl 'o lahchu'.
After a shout the boat was thrust out into the sea.
Kem noohl 'o neskwecho'l ho k'i wek 'we-hlkelonah.
Then the young man came back again to this part of the world.
'O pechus 'iki shooto'l, ku 'we-neskwechok' ho pechus 'ap new kwesi choomi'
kich ko'l so'n ku ho 'u-kuchos.
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 chitaa ku 'wo-'o'hl; kem kich lekwo'hl, mos chitaa ko'l sook koma ko
His house was no more; it had fallen down, and nothing remained.
Noohl 'o ge's, To' wesinik' kich sonowok'!
Then he thought, What a terrible thing has befallen me!
Noohl kich yok 'i nu krgrk'.
Now I have come to be here alone.
Ch'ume'y kich me 'ne-sku'y soo 'ook' 'o hikoh, tu' kich
Now happily I was living across the water, and I have left it all.
Tu' wi'iit mehl hiigi' 'oohl pekwsu 'o skuye'n mocho ko'mi ha's, Kiki
And so for this we say that it is not good if a person thinks too much, I will have everything.
Kwelekw wi'iit sku'y soo hewech' 'oohl mo ni ko'l 'oole'm tene'm 'we-too'mar
But a person lives happily if somewhere he has plenty of friends and his money.
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.
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.