cahkâpîs – as told by Alice E. Ratt (th-dialect)

Thanks to Sol for sharing this story of cahkâpîs as told by his late mother. Although there are other cahkâpîs stories around (in the Douglas Ellis Audio Collection, for example), Sol says he’s never seen this particular version anywhere else.

cahkâpîs ᒐᐦᑳᐲᐢ cahkâpîs 2
kayâs, mitoni kayâs, kî-piyakwahkamikisiwak ôko oskinîkiskwîw ikwa osîmisa, î-kîwâcawâsisîwicik, onîkihikowâwa î-kî-nipahimiht. ikwa awa oskinîkiskwîw î-kî-kitîthimât osîmisa, cahkâpîs î-isi-thihkâsothit.ᑲᔮᐢ, ᒥᑐᓂ ᑲᔮᐢ, ᑮ ᐱᔭᑿᐦᑲᒥᑭᓯᐘᐠ ᐆᑯ ᐅᐢᑭᓃᑭᐢᑹᐤ ᐃᑿ ᐅᓰᒥᓴ, ᐄ ᑮᐚᒐᐚᓯᓰᐏᒋᐠ, ᐅᓃᑭᐦᐃᑯᐚᐘ ᐄ ᑮ ᓂᐸᐦᐃᒥᐦᐟ᙮ ᐃᑿ ᐊᐘ ᐅᐢᑭᓃᑭᐢᑹᐤ ᐄ ᑮ ᑭᑏᖨᒫᐟ ᐅᓰᒥᓴ, ᒐᐦᑳᐲᐢ ᐄ ᐃᓯ ᖨᐦᑳᓱᖨᐟ᙮Long ago, very long ago, a young woman and her little brother lived on their own as their parents had been killed. The young woman took care of her little brother.
kî-âh-âthimisiw awa nâpîsis. mitoni mâna kî-wawânîthihtam tânisi kita-is-otamihât osîmisa awa oskinîkiskwîw. piyakwâw îsa kî-osîhtamawîw ahcâpiya ikwa akaskwa ta-otamihikot cahkâpîs. mithwîthihtam cahkâpîs ta-mîtawâkît otahcâpiya ikwa otakaskoma. kî-kitahamâk omisa îkâ wâhthaw ta-itohtît.ᑮ ᐋᐦᐋᖨᒥᓯᐤ ᐊᐘ ᓈᐲᓯᐢ᙮ ᒥᑐᓂ ᒫᓇ ᑮ ᐘᐚᓃᖨᐦᑕᒼ ᑖᓂᓯ ᑭᑕ ᐃᓱᑕᒥᐦᐋᐟ ᐅᓰᒥᓴ ᐊᐘ ᐅᐢᑭᓃᑭᐢᑹᐤ᙮ ᐱᔭᒁᐤ ᐄᓴ ᑮ ᐅᓰᐦᑕᒪᐑᐤ ᐊᐦᒑᐱᔭ ᐃᑿ ᐊᑲᐢᑿ ᑕ ᐅᑕᒥᐦᐃᑯᐟ ᒐᐦᑳᐲᐢ᙮ ᒥᙹᖨᐦᑕᒼ ᒐᐦᑳᐲᐢ ᑕ ᒦᑕᐚᑮᐟ ᐅᑕᐦᒑᐱᔭ ᐃᑿ ᐅᑕᑲᐢᑯᒪ᙮ ᑮ ᑭᑕᐦᐊᒫᐠ ᐅᒥᓴ ᐄᑳ ᐚᐦᖬᐤ ᑕ ᐃᑐᐦᑏᐟ᙮The boy was forever underfoot. The young women often wondered how she would keep him busy. One time she made a set of bow and arrows for him. cahkâpîs enjoyed playing with his set of bow and arrows. His sister cautioned him not to play too far.
piyakwâw îsa, î-mitho-kîsikâthik, anohcihkî î-kî-pôni-kimiwanithik, kî-nitawi-papâmi-pimotahkîw cahkâpîs thîkawiskâhk. mitoni misiwîta âh-isi-pimotahkwîw, ikwa mâna kîhtwâm î-mâh-môsahkinât ita kâ-pahkisinithit otakaskoma ikwa kîhtwâm î-pimotahkwît.ᐱᔭᒁᐤ ᐄᓴ, ᐄ ᒥᖪ ᑮᓯᑳᖨᐠ, ᐊᓄᐦᒋᐦᑮ ᐄ ᑮ ᐴᓂ ᑭᒥᐘᓂᖨᐠ, ᑮ ᓂᑕᐏ ᐸᐹᒥ ᐱᒧᑕᐦᑮᐤ ᒐᐦᑳᐲᐢ ᖩᑲᐏᐢᑳᕽ᙮ ᒥᑐᓂ ᒥᓯᐑᑕ ᐋᐦᐃᓯ ᐱᒧᑕᐦᑹᐤ, ᐃᑿ ᒫᓇ ᑮᐦᑤᒼ ᐄ ᒫᐦ ᒨᓴᐦᑭᓈᐟ ᐃᑕ ᑳ ᐸᐦᑭᓯᓂᖨᐟ ᐅᑕᑲᐢᑯᒪ ᐃᑿ ᑮᐦᑤᒼ ᐄ ᐱᒧᑕᐦᑹᐟ᙮One fine day, just after a rain, cahkâpîs went about shooting arrows on the beach. He would shoot his arrows all over, picking them up where they had fallen, and shooting again.
kîtahtawî kâ-wâpamât akaskwa î-nîpitîsinithit thîkawiskâhk. mithwîthihtam! ikwâni âh-otinîw iyakoni akaskwa î-pâh-pimotahkwît misiwîti isi. mitoni mihcît anihi akaskwak. namwâc kî-nâkatîthihtam ita kâ-ayât î-osâm-otamîthot iyakoni.ᑮᑕᐦᑕᐑ ᑳ ᐚᐸᒫᐟ ᐊᑲᐢᑿ ᐄ ᓃᐱᑏᓯᓂᖨᐟ ᖩᑲᐏᐢᑳᕽ᙮ ᒥᙹᖨᐦᑕᒼ! ᐃᒁᓂ ᐋᐦᐅᑎᓃᐤ ᐃᔭᑯᓂ ᐊᑲᐢᑿ ᐄ ᐹᐦ ᐱᒧᑕᐦᑹᐟ ᒥᓯᐑᑎ ᐃᓯ᙮ ᒥᑐᓂ ᒥᐦᒌᐟ ᐊᓂᐦᐃ ᐊᑲᐢᑿᐠ᙮ ᓇᒹᐨ ᑮ ᓈᑲᑏᖨᐦᑕᒼ ᐃᑕ ᑳ ᐊᔮᐟ ᐄ ᐅᓵᒧᑕᒦᖪᐟ ᐃᔭᑯᓂ᙮Suddenly he saw arrows lined up along the beach. He was overjoyed! He took up the arrows and shot them all over the place. There were so many arrows. He did not pay attention on where he was as he was so busy with them.
kîtahtawî kâ-mîstinât akwaskwa ikwa asawâpiw. namôtha nisitawinam ita kâ-ayât. wâpahtâm pakonîyâw wâhthawîs ita ohci kâ-nîpawit, kisiwâk ikota î-athapîhkîthit kohkominahkîsîsa. ikotî itohtîw, î-nitawâpînikît. wâhthaw wâpahtam askiy. kaciskaw wâpamîw omisa î-matwî-nitonâkot, î-tâh-tîpwâtikot.ᑮᑕᐦᑕᐑ ᑳ ᒦᐢᑎᓈᐟ ᐊᑿᐢᑿ ᐃᑿ ᐊᓴᐚᐱᐤ᙮ ᓇᒨᖬ ᓂᓯᑕᐏᓇᒼ ᐃᑕ ᑳ ᐊᔮᐟ᙮ ᐚᐸᐦᑖᒼ ᐸᑯᓃᔮᐤ ᐚᐦᖬᐑᐢ ᐃᑕ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑳ ᓃᐸᐏᐟ, ᑭᓯᐚᐠ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐄ ᐊᖬᐲᐦᑮᖨᐟ ᑯᐦᑯᒥᓇᐦᑮᓰᓴ᙮ ᐃᑯᑏ ᐃᑐᐦᑏᐤ, ᐄ ᓂᑕᐚᐲᓂᑮᐟ᙮ ᐚᐦᖬᐤ ᐚᐸᐦᑕᒼ ᐊᐢᑭᐩ᙮ ᑲᒋᐢᑲᐤ ᐚᐸᒦᐤ ᐅᒥᓴ ᐄ ᒪᑜ ᓂᑐᓈᑯᐟ, ᐄ ᑖᐦ ᑏᑇᑎᑯᐟ᙮Eventually he had used all the arrows. He did not recognize where he was. He saw a hole not far from where he stood. Nearby a spider was weaving a net. He went over there to check things out. He saw the earth through the hole far away. He could barely see his older sister looking for him, calling him.
‘nohkô, tânita ôma î-ayâyân?’ isi-kakwîcimîw anihi kohkominahkîsîsa.‘ᓄᐦᑰ, ᑖᓂᑕ ᐆᒪ ᐄ ᐊᔮᔮᐣ?ᐃ ᐃᓯ ᑲᑹᒋᒦᐤ ᐊᓂᐦᐃ ᑯᐦᑯᒥᓇᐦᑮᓰᓴ᙮‘Grandmother, where am I?’ he asks he spider.
‘ôtî ôma kîsikohk, kîsikâwi-pîsim ana î-cîsihisk akwaskwa ta-môsahkinacik ôtî isi, î-pimitisahaman pîsimoyâpiy ita î-nîpitîsinicik akaskwak. kimisa ana î-akâwâtât.’‘ᐆᑏ ᐆᒪ ᑮᓯᑯᕽ, ᑮᓯᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ ᐊᓇ ᐄ ᒌᓯᐦᐃᐢᐠ ᐊᑿᐢᑿ ᑕ ᒨᓴᐦᑭᓇᒋᐠ ᐆᑏ ᐃᓯ, ᐄ ᐱᒥᑎᓴᐦᐊᒪᐣ ᐲᓯᒧᔮᐱᐩ ᐃᑕ ᐄ ᓃᐱᑏᓯᓂᒋᐠ ᐊᑲᐢᑿᐠ᙮ ᑭᒥᓴ ᐊᓇ ᐄ ᐊᑳᐚᑖᐟ᙮ᐃ‘Over here in the sky, the sun tricked you with the arrows so you can come over this way, following the rainbow where the arrows were laid out in line. He desires to wed your older sister.’
‘kah, tânisi ôma î-itôtaman?’ isi-kakwîcimîw ohkoma.‘ᑲᐦ, ᑖᓂᓯ ᐆᒪ ᐄ ᐃᑑᑕᒪᐣ?ᐃ ᐃᓯ ᑲᑹᒋᒦᐤ ᐅᐦᑯᒪ᙮‘Oh, what are you doing?’ he asks his grandmother.
‘î-athapîhkîyân ôma, acahkosak kita-kahcitinakwâw kîsikohk kita-ayâcik,’ itwîw awa kohkominahkîsîs.‘ᐄ ᐊᖬᐲᐦᑮᔮᐣ ᐆᒪ, ᐊᒐᐦᑯᓴᐠ ᑭᑕ ᑲᐦᒋᑎᓇᒁᐤ ᑮᓯᑯᕽ ᑭᑕ ᐊᔮᒋᐠ,ᐃ ᐃᑜᐤ ᐊᐘ ᑯᐦᑯᒥᓇᐦᑮᓰᐢ᙮‘I am making a net so I can catch the stars so they stay up in the sky,’ said the spider.
kîtahtawî pîhtawîw omisa cahkâpîs î-matwî-tîpwâtikot askîhk. ikwa mîna pîhtawîw kâ-pîkiskwîthi kîsikâwi-pîsimwa.ᑮᑕᐦᑕᐑ ᐲᐦᑕᐑᐤ ᐅᒥᓴ ᒐᐦᑳᐲᐢ ᐄ ᒪᑜ ᑏᑇᑎᑯᐟ ᐊᐢᑮᕽ᙮ ᐃᑿ ᒦᓇ ᐲᐦᑕᐑᐤ ᑳ ᐲᑭᐢᑹᖨ ᑮᓯᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒷ᙮He hears his older sister calling him from earth. And he hears the sun speaking.
‘ôtî awa kîsikohk ayâw. âstam pî-nâs,’ itwîw kîsikâwi-pîsim. ‘pîsimoyâpiy pimitisaha.’‘ᐆᑏ ᐊᐘ ᑮᓯᑯᕽ ᐊᔮᐤ᙮ ᐋᐢᑕᒼ ᐲ ᓈᐢ,ᐃ ᐃᑜᐤ ᑮᓯᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ᙮ ‘ᐲᓯᒧᔮᐱᐩ ᐱᒥᑎᓴᐦᐊ᙮ᐃ‘He’s over here in the sky. Come and get him,’ said the sun. ‘Follow the rainbow.’
î-nohtî-wîkimât ôho oskinîkiskwîwa awa kîsikâwi-pîsim iyak-ohci kâ-kwâsihât osîmisithiwa. kiskîthimîw ta-pî-nâtâthit kîsikohk.ᐄ ᓄᐦᑏ ᐑᑭᒫᐟ ᐆᐦᐅ ᐅᐢᑭᓃᑭᐢᑹᐘ ᐊᐘ ᑮᓯᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ ᐃᔭᑯᐦᒋ ᑳ ᒁᓯᐦᐋᐟ ᐅᓰᒥᓯᖨᐘ᙮ ᑭᐢᑮᖨᒦᐤ ᑕ ᐲ ᓈᑖᖨᐟ ᑮᓯᑯᕽ᙮The sun wants the older sister for a wife. That is why he kidnapped her younger brother. He knew she would come for him.
ikwâni takohtîw kîsikohk awa omisimâw, osîmisa î-pî-nâtât. namwâc kaskihtâwak kita-kîwîcik athisk î-mîscipathik pîsimoyâpiy mayaw kâ-takosihk omisimâw. kinwîsk ikotî kîsikohk ayâwak, îkâ î-pakitinikocik kîsikwâwi-pîsimwa kâwi kita-kîwîcik. ita kâ-pakonîthik kîsik mâna nitawi-kanawâpahtamwak askiy, î-kaskîthihtahkwâw.ᐃᒁᓂ ᑕᑯᐦᑏᐤ ᑮᓯᑯᕽ ᐊᐘ ᐅᒥᓯᒫᐤ, ᐅᓰᒥᓴ ᐄ ᐲ ᓈᑖᐟ᙮ ᓇᒹᐨ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᐘᐠ ᑭᑕ ᑮᐑᒋᐠ ᐊᖨᐢᐠ ᐄ ᒦᐢᒋᐸᖨᐠ ᐲᓯᒧᔮᐱᐩ ᒪᔭᐤ ᑳ ᑕᑯᓯᕽ ᐅᒥᓯᒫᐤ᙮ ᑭᐣᐑᐢᐠ ᐃᑯᑏ ᑮᓯᑯᕽ ᐊᔮᐘᐠ, ᐄᑳ ᐄ ᐸᑭᑎᓂᑯᒋᐠ ᑮᓯᒁᐏ ᐲᓯᒷ ᑳᐏ ᑭᑕ ᑮᐑᒋᐠ᙮ ᐃᑕ ᑳ ᐸᑯᓃᖨᐠ ᑮᓯᐠ ᒫᓇ ᓂᑕᐏ ᑲᓇᐚᐸᐦᑕᒷᐠ ᐊᐢᑭᐩ, ᐄ ᑲᐢᑮᖨᐦᑕᐦᒁᐤ᙮So the older sister arrived, coming for her younger brother. They were unable to go home because the rainbow had disappeared as soon as the elder sister had arrived. They were up in the sky for a long time because the sun did not allow them to go home. They would go to where there was a hole in the sky to look down on the earth as they were lonesome for home.
kîtahtawî nâtîw ohkominahkîsîsa awa cahkâpîs, î-wî-atotât kita-wîcihikocik. ᑮᑕᐦᑕᐑ ᓈᑏᐤ ᐅᐦᑯᒥᓇᐦᑮᓰᓴ ᐊᐘ ᒐᐦᑳᐲᐢ, ᐄ ᐑ ᐊᑐᑖᐟ ᑭᑕ ᐑᒋᐦᐃᑯᒋᐠ᙮ Eventually cahkâpîs went to the spider asking for help.
‘hâw nôsimim, kika-wîcihitinâwâw,’ itwîw kohkominahkîsîs. “athapiy nika-osîhâw nîhcâyihk askiy isi ta-itamot. iyako ohci kita-nîhtâtawîyîk. pî-itohtîhkîk ispî kîsikâwi-pîsim ati-pâhkisimoci nîtî isko kâ-wâpahtamahk.’‘ᐦᐋᐤ ᓅᓯᒥᒼ, ᑭᑲ ᐑᒋᐦᐃᑎᓈᐚᐤ,ᐃ ᐃᑜᐤ ᑯᐦᑯᒥᓇᐦᑮᓰᐢ᙮ “ᐊᖬᐱᐩ ᓂᑲ ᐅᓰᐦᐋᐤ ᓃᐦᒑᔨᕽ ᐊᐢᑭᐩ ᐃᓯ ᑕ ᐃᑕᒧᐟ᙮ ᐃᔭᑯ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑭᑕ ᓃᐦᑖᑕᐑᔩᐠ᙮ ᐲ ᐃᑐᐦᑏᐦᑮᐠ ᐃᐢᐲ ᑮᓯᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ ᐊᑎ ᐹᐦᑭᓯᒧᒋ ᓃᑏ ᐃᐢᑯ ᑳ ᐚᐸᐦᑕᒪᕽ᙮ᐃ‘Yes grandchild,’ I will help you,’ said the spider. ‘I will make a net to lower down to the earth. You can climb down on that. Come when the sun is setting on the horizon.’
mitoni kinwîsîs pîhowak ôko. pîthisk ati-pahkisimow kîsikâwi-pîsim. sîmâk nâcipahîwak ohkominahkîsîsa kâ-pîhothit pakonîyâhk. ikwâni nihtahtahtawîwak askîhk isi cahkâpîs ikwa omisa.ᒥᑐᓂ ᑭᐣᐑᓰᐢ ᐲᐦᐅᐘᐠ ᐆᑯ᙮ ᐲᖨᐢᐠ ᐊᑎ ᐸᐦᑭᓯᒧᐤ ᑮᓯᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒼ᙮ ᓰᒫᐠ ᓈᒋᐸᐦᐄᐘᐠ ᐅᐦᑯᒥᓇᐦᑮᓰᓴ ᑳ ᐲᐦᐅᖨᐟ ᐸᑯᓃᔮᕽ᙮ ᐃᒁᓂ ᓂᐦᑕᐦᑕᐦᑕᐑᐘᐠ ᐊᐢᑮᕽ ᐃᓯ ᒐᐦᑳᐲᐢ ᐃᑿ ᐅᒥᓴ᙮They waited for quite some time. Eventually the sun began to set. Right away they ran for the spider who was waiting for them at the hole. From there cahkâpîs and his older sister climbed down to the earth.
kâwi kî-kîwîwak ikwa kî-pimahkamikisiwak askîhk. ispî mâna kâ-tipiskâthik ispimihk mâna âh-itâpiw awa cahkâpîs î-kanawâpamât tipiskâwi-pîsimwa. âta î-kitahamâkot omisa îkâ kinwîsk kita-kitâpamât tipiskâwi-pîsimwa namwâc nitohtawîw. kîtahtwî wanihikow omisa. ispî ispimihk kâ-itâpithit wâpamikow ikotî tipiskâwi-pîsimohk î-miciminât otahcâpiya.ᑳᐏ ᑮ ᑮᐑᐘᐠ ᐃᑿ ᑮ ᐱᒪᐦᑲᒥᑭᓯᐘᐠ ᐊᐢᑮᕽ᙮ ᐃᐢᐲ ᒫᓇ ᑳ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᖨᐠ ᐃᐢᐱᒥᕽ ᒫᓇ ᐋᐦᐃᑖᐱᐤ ᐊᐘ ᒐᐦᑳᐲᐢ ᐄ ᑲᓇᐚᐸᒫᐟ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒷ᙮ ᐋᑕ ᐄ ᑭᑕᐦᐊᒫᑯᐟ ᐅᒥᓴ ᐄᑳ ᑭᐣᐑᐢᐠ ᑭᑕ ᑭᑖᐸᒫᐟ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒷ ᓇᒹᐨ ᓂᑐᐦᑕᐑᐤ᙮ ᑮᑕᐦᑜ ᐘᓂᐦᐃᑯᐤ ᐅᒥᓴ᙮ ᐃᐢᐲ ᐃᐢᐱᒥᕽ ᑳ ᐃᑖᐱᖨᐟ ᐚᐸᒥᑯᐤ ᐃᑯᑏ ᑎᐱᐢᑳᐏ ᐲᓯᒧᕽ ᐄ ᒥᒋᒥᓈᐟ ᐅᑕᐦᒑᐱᔭ.They were back living on the earth. When it was night cahkâpîs often looked up at the moon. Even though his older sister cautioned him not to look at the moon for a long time he didn’t listen. Suddenly she lost him. When she looked up she saw him over there on the moon holding his bow.

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