The Kiowas sont une nation amérindienne qui vivait essentiellement dans les plaines de l’ouest du Texas, de l’Oklahoma et de l’est du Nouveau-Mexique à l’époque de l’arrivée des Européens. Voici leur conte : The Legend of Wolf Boy (en).
There was a camp of Kiowa. There were a young man, his wife, and
his brother. They set out by themselves to look for game. This young
man would leave his younger brother and his wife in camp and go
out to look for game. Every time his brother would leave, the boy
would go to a high hill nearby and sit there all day until his brother
One time before the boy went as usual to the hill, his
sister-in-law said, « Why are you so lonesome? » Let us
be sweethearts. « The boy answered, « No, I love my brother
and I would not want to do that. » She said, « Your brother
would not know. Only you and I would know. He would not find out. »
« No, I think a great deal of my brother. I would not want to do that. »
One night as they all went to sleep the young woman went to where
the boy used to sit on the hill. She began to dig. She dug a hole
deep enough so that no one would ever hear him. She covered it by
placing a hide over the hole, and she made it look so natural so
nobody would notice it. She went back to the camp and laid down.
Next day the older brother went hunting and the younger brother
went to where he used to sit.
The young woman watched him and saw
him drop out of sight. She went up the hill and looked into the
pit and said, « I guess you want to make love now. If you are
willing to be my sweetheart I will let you out. If not, you will
have to stay in there until you die. » The boy said, « I
will not. » After the young man returned home, he asked his
wife where his little brother was. She said, « I have not seen
him since you left, but he went up on the hill. »
That night as they went to bed the young man said to his wife that
he thought he heard a voice somewhere. She said, » It is only
the Wolves that you hear. » The young man did not sleep all
night. He said to his wife, « You must have scolded him to make
him go; he may have gone back home. » I did not say anything
Every day when you go hunting he goes to that hill. »
Next day they broke camp and went back to the main camp to see if
he was there. He was not there. They concluded that he had died.
His father and mother cried over him.
The boy staying in the pit was crying; he was starving. He looked
up and saw something. A Wolf was pulling off the old hide. The Wolf
said, « Why are you down there? » The boy told him what
happened, that the woman caused him to be in there. The Wolf said,
« I will get you out. If I get you out, you will be my son. »
He heard the Wolf howling.
When he looked up again, there was a
pack of Wolves. They started to dig in the side of the pit until
they reached him and he could crawl out. It was very cold. As night
came on, the Wolves lay all around him and on top of him to keep him warm.
Next morning the Wolves asked what he ate. He said that he ate
meat. So the Wolves went out and found Buffalo and killed a calf
and brought it to him. The boy had nothing to butcher it with, so
the Wolf tore the calf to pieces for the boy to get out what he
wanted. The boy ate till he was full.
The Wolf who got him out asked
the others if they knew where there was a flint knife. One said
that he had seen one somewhere. He told him to get it. After that,
when the Wolves killed for him he would butcher it himself.
Some time after that, a man from the camp was out hunting, and
he observed a pack of Wolves and among them a man. He rode up to
see if he could recognize this man. He got near enough only to see
that it was a man. He returned to camp and told the people ne had
seen a man with some Wolves.
They considered that it might be the
young man who had been lost some time before. The camp had killed
off all the Buffalo. Some young men after butchering had left to
kill Wolves (as they did after killing Buffalo). They noticed a
young man with a pack of Wolves. The Wolves saw the men, and they
ran off. The young man ran off with them.
Next day the whole camp went out to see who the young man was.
The saw the Wolves and the young man with them. They pursued the
young man. They overtook him and caught him. He bit them like a
Wolf. After they caught him, they heard the Wolves howling in the
distance. The young man told his father and brother to free him
so he could hear what the Wolves were saying. They said if they
loosened him, he would not come back. However they loosened him
and he went out and met the Wolves. Then he returned to camp.
« How did you come to be among them? » asked the father
and brother. He told how his sister-in-law had dug the hole, and
he fell in, and the Wolves had gotten him out, and he had lived
with them ever since.
The Wolf had aid to him that someone must come in his place, that
they were to wind Buffalo gut around the young woman and send her.
The young woman’s father and mother found out what she had done
to the boy. They said to her husband that she had done wrong and
for him to do as the Wolf had directed and take her to him and let
him eat her up. So the husband of the young woman took her and wound
the guts around her and led her to where the Wolf had directed.
The whole camp went to see, and the Wolf Boy said, « Let me
take her to my father Wolf. » Then he took her and stopped at
a distance and howled like a Wolf, and they saw the Wolves coming
from everywhere. He said to his Wolf father, « Here is the one
you were to have in my place. » The Wolves came and tore her up.