Tewitech hechit’ – the Nephew Story or, The Girl & Her Pet
This is a story Jim Buchanan told of a young woman who encounters a baby sea serpent, which becomes her spirit power. The sea serpent becomes friends with her and her family, and brings wealth at first in the form of deer, then whales. It returns to its ocean world at the end of the story, but promises to send gifts of whales ashore from time to time.
As a spirit power, it is often referred to in the story with the terms tewitech (Nephew) and shiit’a (pet). These are terms to denote the close relationship a person feels with his or her spirit power.
Also in the story, the girl is alternately referred to by the terms gweis and huu’mis. The former refers to a very young woman from the age of about 15 to age 20. The latter is the term for woman from age 20 to 50, or when she becomes married if she is younger than 20. So, by referring to her as gweis and huu’mis this girl in the story is probably in her late teens, which was an important time in life when people sought to find a spirit power or powers. So it makes sense within the story that she is about that age for finding a power.
katomis ihl tilaqai
Five were living there.
They were brothers.
Tluuwakats he’ihl ekwtlech
Their father lived there.
Tluuwakats he’ihl e’nech
Their mother lived there.
Guus milech tsistlaqa’ai le’ihl kwenetl
All the time their sister was bathing.
His he tsxayat stlaqa hla, ta his he qaumicha hla stlaqa
At dawn she went to bathe and also in the evening she went to bathe.
Guus milech he xwench
All the time she did that.
Yixen stlaqa hla
Once she went to bathe.
hi’nii giikwa tokelmixom lau hi’nii he milat lo gweis
It was a little deep there where the girl was swimming.
She swam without clothes.
Yixen tsi tseyuxw xuuwayas milat
One day a small snake was swimming there.
Hats kwa xnek hemistos ho xuuwayas, to lau yuu chi’naam
The snake was like the size of a hair, and it was very cute.
Hexe’ich lau jii u mille
Towards her came its swimming.
Chii hila’iiwat ho kihla
She stretched out her hand.
Hen kihla la’atsxom lo xuuwayas ala
The snake child [‘little snake’] put itself into her hand.
Nlehii yuukwe ch’e’ech
She came ashore with it.
Tseyuxw gwaht sqats lox huumis
The woman picked up a little moss.
There she put it down.
Tsuu tl’hatsqom lo huumis
Then the woman put on her clothes.
She went home with it.
She brought it into the house.
Qanch lo ch’wexom, lau chii wutxaiyat.
The place where she lies down, there she returned it.
“Yikwantl xchiich niitsitsiiwat?”
“Whatever shall I do with it?”
Thus she was thinking.
Tsuu gwaht yakwtit
She gathered moss.
A’yuu xnuuwe sh’alshtit
Indeed she worked hard. [indeed she worked in a good way]
chii tsxawiiyat lo shiit’a
There she put down the pet.
“iitl hantl xchiich xahlahl?”
“What will it do?”
wench chinehenii lo huumis
Thus the woman was thinking.
In kwa’aniiya lox ma’aniiyas lo huumis
The woman’s family did not know.
Denk he qahlimiiye yiqa he hla stlaqa
Every day as dawn broke she went to bathe.
Tsuu tl’xiint lo shiit’a
Then she examined her pet.
Heihats manch hemis
It was already big.
Lowii u ilwechis, I lau hemis kihluuwit
Her heart was glad when she saw it was big.
His inhlheniiyeos lau hla u hauwe
Not long afterwards it grew even more.
Asuu gwaht yakwiiwat lox huumis
Again the woman gathered moss.
Guus milech tsistlaqa’ai lo huumis
All the time the woman was bathing.
Denk he wutxe, yiqa he tl’xiint
And every time she returned, right away she examined it.
Once she examined it.
Hats kwa diihl pinauwiihlxom len xwiluxw
There was something like a lump on its head.
She was examining it.
Hei shil ho kuumaix oitiiye lo kihluuwit
To her surprise she saw horns developing.
Manch hemis kihluuwit
She saw they were already large.
Thus she said
“E’hluuxtiiyoxtais hantl nox shiit’a.”
“You will take care of me, my pet.”
Thus she said.
Lowii u ilwechis, I lau kwina’iiwat
Her heart was glad, when she looked at it.
Kwa’aniiyahaya lox hetlech, his lex e’nech, his lex ekwtlech
Her mother, her father and her elder brothers came to know it.
“Xchiichuu oit e’xahlt?”
“What do you intend to do?”
wench tl’exom ho gweis
Thus the young woman [girl] was speaking.
“Tsi nhawiwat il.”
“I will just raise it indeed.”
Manch hats enikiiye kumaix
Already horns were sticking out.
Yixewoxech chinatl le kumaix
The horns stretched out of the house.
Wench iilt le hetlech
Thus she told her elder brother
“Yuutotse to quwais!”
“Tear off those boards!”
a’yuu yuutits lex hetlech
Indeed the elder brother tore them off.
Yixewoxiich liixlii ux xwiluxw, I lau hewii lo kumaix.
The two heads [tips] passed out of the house, when those horns grew.
Hei kwa’iin lowii u xkwinauch, I lau hewii.
They were very good looking, when they grew.
Hats heniihen tiiwixom, I lau tsxuu.
The snake was coiled many times where it lay.
Asitl eniikoxom lo xwiluxw.
The head was sticking out half way.
Guus qanch kwinait
It looked everywhere.
Yixen qahlimiiye tsi in diihl
One morning there was nothing.
“Yikwa qanch hla?”
“Where did it go?”
wench chinehenii lo gweis
So the young woman [girl] thinking.
Heihats diihl ihl k’want
Suddenly they heard something.
Ch’e’ech diihl ihl k’want
They heard something in the woods.
Tsuu chii ihl kwinait
So they looked there.
Ihl kihluuwit iilahachom chii xuuwayas ma’aniyas
They saw before them there the full grown snake.
Wench tl’exom lo gweis
Thus the young woman [girl] was speaking.
“Ma sho nen shiit’a to chii.”
“Oh my pet is coming.”
shima’iiwaq lo shiit’a.
The pet was dragging something.
Nkumaxa lo shiit’a.
The pet had horns.
He dragged many deer.
Hei kwa’in lowii u ilwechis lo gweis, I lau xwitsxut wutxaita.
The young woman’s [girl] heart was glad, when it returned with deer.
Asuu chii wutxe lo shiit’a
Again the pet returned there.
Asuu chii ch’uu lo tsxuuwiich
Again it lay down there.
Tsuu katomisen ch’e’ech hla
Now 5 times it went into the backwoods.
His jiliiye westen, katomisen shima’iitox
Also elk many times, five times it dragged them.
Ta his xwitsxut shima’iitox katomisen.
And deer it dragged (home) five times.
Hei kwa’in lowii he’ihl ilwechis
Their hearts were very glad.
Ihl hetiiye I lau tluutluuwiiyeqom le’ihl wixiilis.
They became wealthy, when people bought their food.
Yixewoxiich liixlii ux xwiluxw lo kumaix
The two horns passed out of the house.
Hatsiiye kwa alqasaya lo shiit’a lox gweis
It began to seem as though the girl feared the pet.
Tsuu hamiitl hlhetqom
So they thought it best to let it rest.
Pa’ats le’ihl yixewox xwixiilisoch
their house was full of food.
Tluutluuwiiyeqom le’ihl wixiilis
People were buying their food.
Tsuuwe in diihl le shiit’a
Whenever the pet left
“Yikwa qanch to lau hla?”
“Where might it have gone?”
wench chinehenii lo gweis
Thus the young woman [girl] was thinking.
Hei hats q’wesis kihluuwit xapach
Suddenly she saw a wind on the water.
“Yikwe diihl to nkihluuwit xapach?
“What is that thing I see on the water?
Nii he xwench q’wesis kwina’iiwat.”
I have never seen such a wind.”
Hei hats lau kihluuwit xapach jii u mile
Suddenly she saw it come swimming through the water.
Pintluuwai yiqanchom jii
A whale came behind.
Ch’e’ech hiit’otsuuwat ho pintluuwai, I lau wutxe lo shiit’a
It brought the whale ashore, when the pet returned.
Tseyuxwiich lau ihl yoqtsuuwat
They butchered it into pieces.
Asuu chii wutxe lo shiit’a, qanch he lo tsxuu
again the pet returned these, where it always rested/lay.
Katomisen balticha shimshima’iiwaq
Five times it was dragging something from the ocean.
Yiqa he westen pintluuwai wutxaiiyat.
Right away it returned with as many whales
Ihl hetiiye lo sikinxom, I lau tluutluuwiiyeqom
The owners became rich, when (the food) was being bought.
Wench iilt he sikinxom
Thus said to the owner
“Balticha hantl npiixpii.
“I’ll go home to the ocean.
Nii hantl asuu wutxe.
I will not return again.
Tsuu hantl yiqainii helq.
Now this will go so far.
Kwiiyahl hantl e’hakwtuuwitami
Now I shall leave you.
En hantl chinchinais.
You will not think of me.
Tsuu hantl he milech.
Now all the time.
Tsuu hantlawe asuu atsami pintluuwayoch
(Now) I will give you a whale.
Lau hantlawe e’hluuxtaya
You will watch for it.”
Wench iilt le sikinxom
Thus it spoke to its headman/master.
“Yiqa hantlawe nne, yantlawe qauwenisenii to xap.”
“Nevertheless it is I when that water is angry.”
Thus he was speaking.
“Yantlawe me xixoch yixume,
“Whenever a person travels in a canoe,
Yantlawe qauwenisenii to xap,
Whenever that water is angry,
hantlawe xqahlin nyixumiiyat to ixiich to xap.”
I shall cause that water to go under the canoe.”
And so it was.
Balticha piixpii lo tewitech
The nephew went home to the ocean.
Hi’nii kw lo tewitech tiixtse.
There perhaps is the nephew to this day.
Tl’iich qaimisech, hi’nii tokelmitsqom.
It went out of the river bar, and there it dove.
Tsuu xwench kumiiye
So it is ending.