Ponca Tribe of Nebraska
Ponca Tribe - Circa 1906
Once upon a time, a snake lay across a well traveled path by all animals.
Pahangadi, wes’a ka u’he kidi zhan, wanitama bthuga u’he ke a’nange nan te.
The Coyote came to him and said, “Why don’t you lie further off the path?”
Mikasi aka, “e’ta a’hi bigan,” abiama.
“If I step over you, you shall die,” said the Coyote.
“Awizhade ti di, tha-t’e ta’nike,” abiama Mikasi aka.
“This path is not big enough for the both us,” said the Snake.
“U’he ke wetanga azhi,” abiama Wes’a aka.
“It is you that must go around to the other side,” said the Snake.
“Thi u’thushi manthinga,” abiama wes’a aka.
The Snake and the Coyote did not agree, and they began to argue.
Wes’a aka Mikasi ethanba, i’e akikitha.
“Whew!” said the Coyote, “do as I say, move out of the way!”
“Bah!” abiama Mikasi aka, “wi e’gipe, gudiha ga!”
“It is you, that must leave this path to go to the other side,” said the Snake.
“Thi u’he ke, u’thishan manthinga,” abiama wes’a aka.
“Well, I shall step over you and you shall die,” said the Coyote.
“Ki, awiansi tamike, ganki, tha-t’e tanike,” abiama Mikasi aka.
“No,” said the Snake, “when a person steps over me, he usually dies.”
“Ankazhi,” abiama Wes’a aka, “atan niashinga agazha’de
wimikedi, t’e nan.”
Yes, I will die. Let us see which one has told the truth,” said the Coyote.
“Anhan, wi a’t’e tamike, a’wiwan xti i’e ke e’ganxti ta’te,”
abiama Mikasi aka.
Then, the Coyote suddenly stepped over the Snake.
Ganki, Mikasi aka, sabazhixti wes’a ke agazhade athai te.
When he stepped over, the Snake bit him on the foot.
Ganki agazhade athai ti–di, wes’a ka si–te thaxtai te.
“Aho,” said the Coyote, “you shall die, as I have stepped over you.”
“Aho,” abiama Mikasi aka, “tha t’e ta’nike, a’wigazhide.”
The Snake replied, “now you shall die.”
Wes’a aka abiama, “itan thi tha t’e ta’nike.”
Then, the Coyote departed and went on his way.
Ganki, Mikasi aka atha, biama.
As he went, he said, “Whew! My body feels different. I am fat.”
Atha bidan, “zhuga ke azhi bthin, anshin.”
The Coyote stretched his neck as far as he could to examine his back.
Mikasi aka, nanka ke kigthi wagazu ki.
He looked at himself all over, and gave the “scalp-yell” often.
Shi kitanba be, ganki, hu “thahegabazhixti” gaxai te.
After a while, he was breathing hard with his mouth wide open.
Ganche ki, niute texi, i’te ya’thixa.
His mouth was dry, so he found a pond to satisfy his thirst.
i’te, bize gan, ne ti–di ni thatan te.
When he looked into the pond to take a drink, he saw that his face and body was swollen.
Ne ti–di ni thatan, ki, kitanbai, inde than ibai ki zhuga shti ibai.
The Coyote yelled in pain, “the Snake told the truth!”
Mikasi aka ni’e xti hutan, “wes’a ka wike uthai.”
His entire body was swollen and his skin was tight.
Zhuga ke bthuga ibai.
The Coyote seated himself in a sheltered place warmed by the sun.
Mikasi, aka u’gthin ki’gaxa, mi i shtide gthin.
He coiled himself as far as possible, just like a snake does.
Kigthibuta gthin, wes’a ma ga’xe naninte.
It was there that he fell into a deep sleep and never awoke, he died.
E’di zhant’e ikithazhi-te abiama.
It was because of this event between the Coyote and the Snake, they say, that when snakes bite four-legged animals, their entire bodies swell and they die.
I’utha e’ditan, Mikasi–Wes’a u’thai, abiama, atan wes’a aka wa’nita zhibe duba athin ma, zhuga iba nan, ganki t’e nan, abiama.
End of story.