Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/173

This page has been validated.

a creature whose body is made of stone, and weapons make no wound in so sturdy a constitution. The blacks refuse to visit the range haunted by the mythic stone beast. "Some black fellows were once camped at the lakes near Shaving Point. They were cooking their fish when a native dog came up. They did not give him anything to eat. He became cross and said, 'You black fellows have lots of fish, but you give me none.' So he changed them all into a big rock. This is quite true, for the big rock is there to this day, and I have seen it with my own eyes."[1] Another native, Toolabar, says that the women of the fishing party cried out yacka torn, "very good." A dog replied yacka torn, and they were all changed into rocks. This very man, Toolabar, once heard a dog begin to talk, whereupon he and his father fled. Had they waited they would have become stones. "We should have been like it, wallung," that is, stones.

Among the North American Indians any stone which has a resemblance to the human or animal figure is explained as an example of metamorphosis. Three stones among the Aricaras were a girl, her lover, and her dog, who fled from home because the course of true love did not run smooth, and who were petrified. Certain stones near Chinook Point were sea-giants who swallowed a man. His brother, by aid of fire, dried up the bay and released the man, still alive, from the body of the giant. Then the giants were turned into rocks.[2] The rising sun in

  1. Native narrator, ap. Brough Smyth, i. 479.
  2. See authorities ap. Dorman, Primitive Superstitions, pp. 130–138.