Updated: Jan 12
A child was heard to cry from a buffalo skin. An old woman went
toward it and found a child sitting among the hairs which had been scraped
from the buffalo skins. She took up the child and because she felt sorry for
it, took care of it and raised it, although the others tried to dissuade her.
It grew quickly. "Put nothing but grass under me, grandmother,"
he said. She put some grass under him but in the night she saw it was
gone; there was nothing but bare ground under him. "What are you
doing, grandchild?" she said to herself. She watched him through her
ragged blanket one night and saw him stand up, a large buffalo. He ate
up the grass he was lying on. "My grandson is a buffalo," she thought.
A famine was killing the people when someone saw a herd of buffalo.
There were many people camping there who decided to go together and kill
the buffalo. The boy saw the buffalo and at night, while the people were
asleep, took an arrow from each man's supply. He went to the buffalo
during the night and shot them all because they were not afraid of him.
"The buffalo will belong to the man whose arrow is on it," he said to him-
self, and distributed the arrows on the dead buffalo. "We will make meat
of this one for my grandmother," he said, and placed two of his arrows on
one of the animals.
He went back to the camp to find someone had built a big fire. His
grandmother was sitting on the wood, crying. "What is the matter,
grandmother?" he asked. "You went for the people's animals and they
say they will burn you." "Who says that about me?" he asked. "They
all say it of you. They are not pleased." "None of your animals ran
away. They are still where they were last night. Go to them," he said.
An old man was sitting there after the others had left. He took a seat
by this old man and said, "I saw the wolves kill a young buffalo, grand-
father." They two followed along the way the others had gone. They
found some of the Indians lying in front of the dead buffalo while others
were trying to surround them. When they came up to the buffalo they
found they had all been killed and the arrows were lying on the bodies.
The people were all very much pleased.
The stories of Agait’osdûnne (the hair-scrapings man) describe a person with a strong connection to buffalo: as an infant he emerged from buffalo hair scrapings and he consumed grass every night, transforming from human form into a buffalo. When Agait’osdûnne was older, his community was starving, so he decided to go out and kill a herd of buffalo by himself. However, when the people discovered he had hunted buffalo alone, they threatened to kill him. The prohibition against hunting buffalo alone is also found in other stories told by Beaver people and recorded by Goddard (1916) (for example, ‘Atcecǫ Kills Buffalo’).