Hippopotamus in Cree: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

Simon Bird (#CreeSimonSays) made an important (yet funny) observation today, and Solomon Ratt took it as a personal challenge to respond (in typical Solomon fashion) with a made-up Wisahkecahk story. Hope you all (including Simon!) get a smile!

Simon says:

Did you know there is no one way to say hippopotamus? It’s all in the way you describe a big ass animal with two big teeth, looking like a pig, maybe add that’s a diving pig and maybe thick skin cuz it looks like it has thick skin. That’s about the basics covered in most translations I’ve used or heard. Seriously, people be asking how to say this like it’s the recipe to good bannock. My rant for the day – eee!

To which Solomon responded with the following story. ((* The photo above is credited to Jeff Muller of the World Wildlife Foundation (US). Rumours that it was taken in or near Regina by Solomon Ratt may be the foundation of yet another made-up Wisahkecahk story!))
piyakwâw îsa wîsahkîcâhk kî-papimohtîw wâsakâm sîpîsisihk ispî kâ-wâpamât apisimôsoswa î-micimwâskîthit sîpîsisihk.ᐱᔭᒁᐤ ᐄᓴ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ ᑮ ᐸᐱᒧᐦᑏᐤ ᐚᓴᑳᒼ ᓰᐲᓯᓯᕽ ᐃᐢᐲ ᑳ ᐚᐸᒫᐟ ᐊᐱᓯᒨᓱᔁ ᐄ ᒥᒋᒹᐢᑮᖨᐟ ᓰᐲᓯᓯᕽ᙮Once wîsahkîcâhk was walking along the shore of a small river when he saw a deer stuck in the mud.
“tânisi ôma î-ispathihikoyan nisîmis?” kî-itwîw wîsahkîcâhk.“ᑖᓂᓯ ᐆᒪ ᐄ ᐃᐢᐸᖨᐦᐃᑯᔭᐣ ᓂᓰᒥᐢ?” ᑮ ᐃᑜᐤ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ᙮“How did this happen to you, younger sibling?” said wîsahkîcâhk.
“î-kî-kakwî-âsowakâmîkwâskohtîyân ôma sîpîsis mâka namôtha nikî-ohci-kaskihtân. ikwa ispî kâ-kî-kakwî-kapâyân nimicimwâskîsinin ôta,” kî-itwîw apisimôsos.“ᐄ ᑮ ᑲᑹ ᐋᓱᐘᑳᒦᒁᐢᑯᐦᑏᔮᐣ ᐆᒪ ᓰᐲᓯᐢ ᒫᑲ ᓇᒨᖬ ᓂᑮ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᐣ᙮ ᐃᑿ ᐃᐢᐲ ᑳ ᑮ ᑲᑹ ᑲᐹᔮᐣ ᓂᒥᒋᒹᐢᑮᓯᓂᐣ ᐆᑕ,” ᑮ ᐃᑜᐤ ᐊᐱᓯᒨᓱᐢ᙮“I was trying to jump across this small river but I was unsuccessful. And I when I tried to get onto the shore I got stuck in the mud,” said the deer.
“cîskwa, kika-wîcihitin,” itwîw wîsahkîcâhk, î-ati-pahkopît.“ᒌᐢᑿ, ᑭᑲ ᐑᒋᐦᐃᑎᐣ,” ᐃᑜᐤ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ, ᐄ ᐊᑎ ᐸᐦᑯᐲᐟ᙮“Wait, I will help you,” said wîsahkîcâhk, getting into the water.
ikwâna ikota sîpîsihk kakwî-ocipitîw apisimôsoswa. namwâc kî-ohci-kaskihtâw. kî-thahthahkinîw mîna mâka kiyâpic namôtha ohci-kaskihtâw. kîtahtwî kâ-takohtît kohkôs.ᐃᒁᓇ ᐃᑯᑕ ᓰᐲᓯᕽ ᑲᑹ ᐅᒋᐱᑏᐤ ᐊᐱᓯᒨᓱᔁ᙮ ᓇᒹᐨ ᑮ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᐤ᙮ ᑮ ᖬᐦᖬᐦᑭᓃᐤ ᒦᓇ ᒫᑲ ᑭᔮᐱᐨ ᓇᒨᖬ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᐤ᙮ ᑮᑕᐦᑜ ᑳ ᑕᑯᐦᑏᐟ ᑯᐦᑰᐢ᙮And he tried to pull the deer from the small river. He was unable to do so. He pushed and pushed but he was still unable to release him, Eventually a pig arrived.
“kîkwây ôma î-itôtamîk?” kî-itîw ôho sîpîsisihk kâ-ayâthit.“ᑮᒁᐩ ᐆᒪ ᐄ ᐃᑑᑕᒦᐠ?” ᑮ ᐃᑏᐤ ᐆᐦᐅ ᓰᐲᓯᓯᕽ ᑳ ᐊᔮᖨᐟ᙮“What are you guys doing?” said the pig to the ones in the small river.
“î-micimwâskît awa apisimôsos. ikwa î-kakwî-wîcihak ta-kapât,” itwîw wîsahkîcâhk.“ᐄ ᒥᒋᒹᐢᑮᐟ ᐊᐘ ᐊᐱᓯᒨᓱᐢ᙮ ᐃᑿ ᐄ ᑲᑹ ᐑᒋᐦᐊᐠ ᑕ ᑲᐹᐟ,” ᐃᑜᐤ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ᙮“This deer is stuck in the mud and I’m trying to help him get ashore,” said wîsahkîcâhk.
“haw, mahti, kika-kakwî-wîcihitinâwâw,” kî-itwîw kohkôs. “micimina nisôs ispî ocipitaci apisimôsos.”“ᐦᐊᐤ, ᒪᐦᑎ, ᑭᑲ ᑲᑹ ᐑᒋᐦᐃᑎᓈᐚᐤ,” ᑮ ᐃᑜᐤ ᑯᐦᑰᐢ᙮ “ᒥᒋᒥᓇ ᓂᓲᐢ ᐃᐢᐲ ᐅᒋᐱᑕᒋ ᐊᐱᓯᒨᓱᐢ᙮”“Okay, I will try to help you,” said the pig. “Hold on to my tail when you pull the deer.”
ikosi otihtinam osôsithiw kohkôsa wîsahkîcâhk ikwa ocipitîw apisimôsosa.. mitoni sihcihikowak ôma. kîtahtawîw kâ-kîskipatahk osôsithiw kohkôsa wîsahkîcâhk! pakastawîpathiw!ᐃᑯᓯ ᐅᑎᐦᑎᓇᒼ ᐅᓲᓯᖨᐤ ᑯᐦᑰᓴ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ ᐃᑿ ᐅᒋᐱᑏᐤ ᐊᐱᓯᒨᓱᓴ᙮. ᒥᑐᓂ ᓯᐦᒋᐦᐃᑯᐘᐠ ᐆᒪ᙮ ᑮᑕᐦᑕᐑᐤ ᑳ ᑮᐢᑭᐸᑕᕽ ᐅᓲᓯᖨᐤ ᑯᐦᑰᓴ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ! ᐸᑲᐢᑕᐑᐸᖨᐤ!wîsahkîcâhk grabbed the pig’s tail and pulled the deer. They struggled hard. Suddenly wîsahkîcâhk broke off the pig’s tail! He fell into the water!
“ayayâ!” kî-itwîw kohkôs. “haw mahti, nitokanihk miciminin ikwa âkwaskitin apisimôsos otîskanihk. nika-tahkwamâw awa asiniy ikota ohci kika-ocipititinâwâw.”“ᐊᔭᔮ!” ᑮ ᐃᑜᐤ ᑯᐦᑰᐢ᙮ “ᐦᐊᐤ ᒪᐦᑎ, ᓂᑐᑲᓂᕽ ᒥᒋᒥᓂᐣ ᐃᑿ ᐋᑿᐢᑭᑎᐣ ᐊᐱᓯᒨᓱᐢ ᐅᑏᐢᑲᓂᕽ᙮ ᓂᑲ ᑕᐦᑿᒫᐤ ᐊᐘ ᐊᓯᓂᐩ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑭᑲ ᐅᒋᐱᑎᑎᓈᐚᐤ᙮”“Ouch!” said the pig. “okay, let’s see, grab me on my hip and put your arms around the deer’s antlers. I will bite on this rock and in that way I will pull you guys out.”
otihtinîw kohkôsa otokwanihk ikwa kohkôs kakwî-ocipitîw. aspin kâ-nîhcipathit asiniy ispatinâhk ohci î-ocipitât kohkôsa ikwa wîsahkîcâhkwa athisk î-miciminât kohkôsa otokwanithihk, î-ati-kinwâpîkipitât. mâka pîthisk ati-kapatîpitâwak wîsahkîcâhk ikwa apisimôsos.ᐅᑎᐦᑎᓃᐤ ᑯᐦᑰᓴ ᐅᑐᑿᓂᕽ ᐃᑿ ᑯᐦᑰᐢ ᑲᑹ ᐅᒋᐱᑏᐤ᙮ ᐊᐢᐱᐣ ᑳ ᓃᐦᒋᐸᖨᐟ ᐊᓯᓂᐩ ᐃᐢᐸᑎᓈᕽ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐄ ᐅᒋᐱᑖᐟ ᑯᐦᑰᓴ ᐃᑿ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᐦᑿ ᐊᖨᐢᐠ ᐄ ᒥᒋᒥᓈᐟ ᑯᐦᑰᓴ ᐅᑐᑿᓂᖨᕽ, ᐄ ᐊᑎ ᑭᓎᐲᑭᐱᑖᐟ᙮ ᒫᑲ ᐲᖨᐢᐠ ᐊᑎ ᑲᐸᑏᐱᑖᐘᐠ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒑᕽ ᐃᑿ ᐊᐱᓯᒨᓱᐢ᙮wîsahkîcâhk grabbed the pig by its hips and the pig tried to pull them out. Suddenly the rock started to roll down the hill pulling the pig along and wîsahkîcâhk who was holding onto the pig’s hip, stretching him. However, wîsahkîcâhk and the deer were pulled out of the mud.
pakitamîw asiniya kohkôs. kitâpamisow nipîhk. mitoni î-misi-tâwatit ikwa wâpahtam kaciskaw î-owîpitit, ikwa mîna omiyaw î-kinwâthik, î-mahki-tokanît.ᐸᑭᑕᒦᐤ ᐊᓯᓂᔭ ᑯᐦᑰᐢ᙮ ᑭᑖᐸᒥᓱᐤ ᓂᐲᕽ᙮ ᒥᑐᓂ ᐄ ᒥᓯ ᑖᐘᑎᐟ ᐃᑿ ᐚᐸᐦᑕᒼ ᑲᒋᐢᑲᐤ ᐄ ᐅᐑᐱᑎᐟ, ᐃᑿ ᒦᓇ ᐅᒥᔭᐤ ᐄ ᑭᓎᖨᐠ, ᐄ ᒪᐦᑭ ᑐᑲᓃᐟ᙮The pig looked at himself in the water. He had a huge wide mouth and he saw that he hardly any teeth, and his body was now long, with big hips.
“wah! tâpwî-niwawiyasinâkosin! tânisi ôma ta-kî-isi-pimâcihoyân îkâ î-wîpitiyân?”“ᐘᐦ! ᑖᐿ ᓂᐘᐏᔭᓯᓈᑯᓯᐣ! ᑖᓂᓯ ᐆᒪ ᑕ ᑮ ᐃᓯ ᐱᒫᒋᐦᐅᔮᐣ ᐄᑳ ᐄ ᐑᐱᑎᔮᐣ?”“wah! I look funny! How am I to live without any teeth?’
“âh, nisîmis,” kî-itwîw wîsahkîcahk. “akâmaskihk ka-itisahotin. ikotî ta-wîhcasin ta-miskamâsoyan mîciwin. ikwa hipopwâtimas ka-itikwin.”“ᐋᐦ, ᓂᓰᒥᐢ,” ᑮ ᐃᑜᐤ ᐑᓴᐦᑮᒐᕽ᙮ “ᐊᑳᒪᐢᑭᕽ ᑲ ᐃᑎᓴᐦᐅᑎᐣ᙮ ᐃᑯᑏ ᑕ ᐑᐦᒐᓯᐣ ᑕ ᒥᐢᑲᒫᓱᔭᐣ ᒦᒋᐏᐣ᙮ ᐃᑿ ᐦᐃᐳᑇᑎᒪᐢ ᑲ ᐃᑎᑷᐣ᙮”“Oh, younger sibling,” said wîsahkîcâhk. “I will send you to the land across the sea. You will have an easy time getting food over there. From now on you will be called ‘hippopotamus.”
iyakohci ôma kâ-misi-tâwatit ikwa mîna îkâ mistahi kâ-wîpitit awa hipopwâtimas, ikwa mîna îkâ kâ-osôsit. iyakohci mîna kayâs îkâ ôta mihkinâhk-ministikohk kâ-kî-ayâcik kohkôsak.ᐃᔭᑯᐦᒋ ᐆᒪ ᑳ ᒥᓯ ᑖᐘᑎᐟ ᐃᑿ ᒦᓇ ᐄᑳ ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᑳ ᐑᐱᑎᐟ ᐊᐘ ᐦᐃᐳᑇᑎᒪᐢ, ᐃᑿ ᒦᓇ ᐄᑳ ᑳ ᐅᓲᓯᐟ᙮ ᐃᔭᑯᐦᒋ ᒦᓇ ᑲᔮᐢ ᐄᑳ ᐆᑕ ᒥᐦᑭᓈᐦᐠ ᒥᓂᐢᑎᑯᕽ ᑳ ᑮ ᐊᔮᒋᐠ ᑯᐦᑰᓴᐠ᙮This is why the hippopotamus has a wide mouth with very few teeth, and why he has no tail. And that is why long ago there were no pigs on Turtle Island.

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