"'My father and mother shook him down, but not before he had shot some of his red willows into their sides. Mother was very sick, but she dug some roots and ate them and she was well again.' It was thus that Chotanka was first taught the use of certain roots for curing wounds and sickness," Weyuha added.
"'One day'"--he resumed the grizzly's story --"'when I was out hunting with my mother-- my father had gone away and never came back --we found a buffalo cow with her calf in a ravine. She advised me to follow her closely, and we crawled along on our knees. All at once mother crouched down under the grass, and I did the same. We saw some of those queer beings that we called "two legs," riding upon big-tail deer (ponies). They yelled as they rode toward us. Mother growled terribly and rushed upon them. She caught one, but many more came with their dogs and drove us into a thicket. They sent the red willows singing after us, and two of them stuck in mother's side. When we got away at last she tried to pull them out, but they hurt her terribly. She pulled them both out at last, but soon after she lay down and died.
"'I stayed in the woods alone for two days then I went around the Minnewakan Chantay on the south side and there made my lonely den. There I found plenty of hazel nuts, acorns and wild plums. Upon the plains the teepsinna were abundant, and I saw nothing of my enemies.
"'One day I found a footprint not unlike my own. I followed it to see who the stranger might be. Upon the bluffs among the oak groves I dis- covered a beautiful young female gathering acorns. She was of a different band from mine, for she wore a jet black dress.
"'At first she was disposed to resent my intru- sion; but when I told her of my lonely life she agreed to share it with me. We came back to my home on the south side of the hill. There we lived happy for a whole year. When the autumn came again Woshepee, for this was her name, said that she must make a warm nest for the winter, and I was left alone again.'
"Now," said Weyuha, "I have come to a part of my story that few people understand. All the long winter Chotanka slept in his den, and with the early spring there came a great thunder storm. He was aroused by a frightful crash that seemed to shake the hills; and lo! a handsome young man stood at his door. He looked, but was not afraid, for he saw that the stranger carried none of those red willows with feathered tips. He was unarmed and smiling.
"'I come,' said he, 'with a challenge to run a race. Whoever wins will be the hero of his kind, and the defeated must do as the winner says there- after. This is a rare honor that I have brought you. The whole world will see the race. The animal world will shout for you, and the spirits will cheer me on. You are not a coward, and therefore you will not refuse my challenge.'
"'No,' replied Chotanka, after a short hesita- tion. The young man was fine-looking, but lightly built.