A Trickster Story: Nihoo3oo and the Ducks

This story is told in Arapaho by elder William J C'Hair. A transcription of the Arapaho is below, along with a word-by-word English translation. You can listen to the story told in Arapaho by clicking here (story is in .wav format).

nih'3oo.
trickster
.
nih'3oo noh ssiik'uu.
trickster and the ducks

tcxo' nhu'no
[this is a story about] long ago about those [ducks]

hoo3too,
a story

nih'3oo tohuucnoo'oniseehk.
trickster he was sauntering along

hnoo tohuuneniih'o',
customarily he traveled alongside streams

toh'niiseehk niyu nhu' niiciihhe'.
because ?? here it is this stream

csey h'ih'oowniihsee niiciihhe'.
one time he was walking down a stream

'oh h'ihciissee; he'icxyeinhi',
and he walked quite a ways after a while

'oh h'ihkxo'snee, tohnosseet.
and he was slowly getting hungry because he was
still walking

'oh h'ihnitwoo...
and he heard something

[h'ih]niitnee tohnituuhun3i ssiik'uu
he heard them as they were calling out ducks

hee3e'seet.
up in front of him

woh htbii3hinoo nih'3etihk.
well Im going to eat he said to himself

he'nxohnee hnee,
you will lead me right to you those

h'in beexoheinseet
at that point?? he just turned around and walked
[towards the sound]

hye'neyseet.
he walked close to them

ne'... n'kxo'seet, n'kkoh'3ecoot.
then then he walked slowly on and then he thought

hiiwot nsiiniih'u.
I wonder how I can get them

h'n'e'no' htnstoot.
and then he knew what he was going to do

ykoxuu h'n'koko'ho'.
willow sticks he cut some off

htne'ni ce'kutiit, ce'kutiit.
then hes going to make a bundle make a bundle

hiisce'kutiit, noh n'-
he finished making the bundle and then

n'ni 3'eiwoonto' nhu' nhu'
then he loaded them on his back this this

nhu'no ykoxuu.
these willow sticks

h'ih3'oi- 3'eiwoon'u.
he loaded... he loaded them on his back

h'n'- h'n'ce'kxo'ce3'oot.
then then he set off slowly again

hiiwonhhe' kxo'seet.
now hes walking slowly

3oo3bnoohseet niyu nhu'
he walked ?? there here it is this place

ssiik'uu hetnenituuhun3i.
the ducks where theyre calling out

noh h'iis3ooxunne' heshin nih'3oo.
and they finally noticed him our uncle! trickster!

cnoot," nih'3et'ehkni'
he is coming! they said to each other

nhu' ssiik'uu.
these ducks

noh tohtoo'seet nhu' hetoon3i,
and after he came to a stop at the spot where they were

woh h'ihnttne' nih'3oo.
well they asked him trickster

"heeyu, heeyu hnee heineheiiniinooxuut?"
what what is that you are carrying(?)

nih'i3hok.
they said to him

"hee hene3'u niibtno,
well these are songs

nen' nenwoh'uyono" hee3oohk.
thats what Im carrying he said to them

"niibtno nen'i ."
songs thats what they are

"cihniibon'ee!" nih'i3hok.
sing us a song they said to him

"hko, hoowni.
no I cant do that

kookn hoowniibohhiinno
for no reason they are not sung

nhu' niibtno," nih'3oohk.
these songs he said to them

h'ihnhi'netne' nhu' ssiik'uu.
they insisted these ducks

hhii h'ihnneesni'woxbe'.
soon he pretended to be convinced by them??

"woh tous" hee3oohk.
well okay then he said to them

"htiino htbeexni s'ob' huut
around here where the ground is flat here

htbeexuuyto'b'.
where theres a nice clean [open] spot

htciinnowoo nhu' niibtno,
I will put them down these songs

noh htcihn'usnee.
and and you will come over here

noh htno'eeko'yooknee."
and you will stand around me in a circle

noh h'ihcihno'seenno nn[e'eenno]
and they came here here they are

nhu' ssiik'uu.
these ducks

noh h'ih'itn cse' nhu' ykox.
and he took it one this willow stick

"woh" nih'3oohk nhu' ssiik'uu,
well he said to them these ducks

(h'ihtn nhu' niibt), "nhu' niibt,
he held it this song this song

htniibtowoo.
I will sing it

'oh bbeet," hee3oohk, "
but only he said to them

niibtobnoohhk, htbeteenee
when you hear me singing. you will dance

noh beteeneehk, htno'us'oonee,
and when you dance you will close your eyes

htno'us'oonee.
you will close your eyes

noh h3ebni betootneenoohhk,
and over there when I finish singing

htnenituuhnee,
you will all call out

noh htniinenh'oow3etneekoohnee,"
and you will all flap your wings real hard

h'ih'3ee nhu' ssiik'uu.
he said to them these ducks

'oh nhu' ssiik'uu h'ihceceh'e3he'.
and these ducks they all listened to him

h'n'no'eeno- h'n'noo'eeyooktonht.
then around then they stood all around him

h'n'c3ootneet.
then he started to sing

h'n'betee3i' nhe' ssiik'uu.
then they danced these ducks

n'eebetootinto' niyu nhu' niibt,
then he finished singing here it is this song

ssiik'uu h'n'nenituuhun3i.
the ducks then they all called out

nhe' nih'3oo h'ihne'khunno.
this trickster he ran up to them??

htneh'eit
he will kill them

he'ne'heeni3- heeni3k3oot.
then he grabbed he grabbed one

3o3'ou' h'ihtbe'eik3ee,
right in the middle of the head he busted his head

noh htiino h'ih'iisciink3ee.
and around here he would just throw the heads down

htiino he'tox h'ihn'eestoo,
around here I dont know how many he did like that

he'tox h'ihn'eestoo.
I dont know how many he did like that

hniib'i nhu' nhu' ssiiko'.
while he was singing this this duck

h'ih'woo3too tohouuwotee'eeni3i'
he was enjoying himself since there were many songs

hnoot, hnoot he'iic-
until until a while...

he'iic[xooyeiniihi'] sii'oo
after a while eyes closed...

cse' ssiiko' h'ihkxo'knook'oo.
one duck he slowly opened his eyes to look

h'ihkxo'knook'oo.
he slowly opened his eyes to look

h'ih'soohbe' nih'3oo.
he watched him trickster

hei'betootneet,
when he finished singing

hei'nenituuhun3i hoo3'o' ssiik'uu,
when they all called out the other ducks

nhe' nih'3oo ne'khun3i.
this trickster then he ran up to them??

htnoohwoot nih'3oo tih'e3k3oon3i
he will see him trickster when he grabbed them

nuhu' ssiik'uu tohuutbe'eik3oot.
these ducks when he was busting their heads

"heii! hho'! hho'! koyh'ohukhu'!
hey! look out look out fly the heck out of here!

nih'3oo htnni... htnni noh'nee,
trickster he will he will kill you all

htnoh'no'" heehhk.
he will kill us he said

nhi'neebskoyh'ohukoh3i'
they all flew the heck out of there quick as they could

nhu' ssiik'uu.
these ducks

nih'3oo h'ih3xun'oohbee koyh'ohun3i.
trickster he looked after them the ones flying away

"hee woonce'eniniisooni'.
yes they got away this time??

heetwoo3nee," hee3oohk
there will be a lot of you he said to them

nhu' ssiik'uu.
these ducks

h'n'oo'einootee,
then he gathered and layed them out

co'oo- [h'ih]co'iisbee.
the ones he put them in a pile

h'ihn'otooyisbee nhu' ssiik'uu.
he made a big pile of them these ducks

"hohoo," nih'iihok, "neebhtoonhinoo"
darn?? he said I might almost have enough??

nih'3etihk nhe' nih'3oo.
he said to himself this trickster

noh hiiwonhhe' nee'tox hi3oo3ii-
and now it is enough his...

h3eence' ce'ni he'iheenb.
later ...?? again he thought??

"heenboo3ttowoo nhu'":
I will sing it these [willow sticks].

htniisbi3w3oot nhu' ssiik'uu.
thats how he will cook them these ducks

woh.
thats it.

 

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