It was fun today listening to the amazing Rosanna Deerchild on CBC’s Unreserved as she dished up scary stories for Halloween. Isaac Murdoch’s telling of a Wiindigo story reminded me that even Isaac and Rosanna might enjoy hearing a Cree Wihtikow story from Solomon Ratt – since wîhtikow is the Cree word for the very same creature. Every bit as creepy, and listen for many, many of the same features!
Click the audio link for Solomon’s reading of this original story, originally posted in 2014.
kî-kaskitipiskâw ikwa kî-kîsitinithowîw. pah-piyahtak wîkiwâhk kî-pimahkamikisiwak awa piyak kisîtiniw ikwa onahâkaniskwîma ikwa ôsisima. î-pîhâcik awa kisîtiniw okosisa ta-pî-kîwîthit. kayâs aspin awa nâpîw ikota ohci kâ-kî-sipwîhtît, î-kî-nitawi-mâcît.
kîtahtawî kâ-pihtâhkwâw kîkway î-matwîhtinithik nohcimihk. “wahwâ! wihtikô pakahkam takwâsiw!” itwîw îsa awa kisîtiniw.
ᑫ ᑲᐢᑭᑎᐱᐢᑳᐤ ᐃᑲᐧ ᑫ ᑮᓯᑎᓂᖪᐑᐤ᙮ ᐸᐦ ᐱᔭᐦᑕᐠ ᐁᐧᑭᐋᐧᕁ ᑫ ᐱᒪᐦᑲᒥᑭᓯᐊᐧᐠ ᐊᐊᐧ ᐱᔭᐠ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ ᐃᑲᐧ ᐅᓇᐦᐋᑲᓂᐢᑫᐧᒪ ᐃᑲᐧ ᐆᓯᓯᒪ᙮ ᐁ ᐯᐦᐋᒋᐠ ᐊᐊᐧ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ ᐅᑯᓯᓴ ᑕ ᐯ ᑫᐁᐧᖨᐟ᙮ ᑲᔮᐢ ᐊᐢᐱᐣ ᐊᐊᐧ ᓈᐯᐤ ᐃᑯᑕ ᐅᐦᒋ ᑳ ᑫ ᓯᐯᐧᐦᑌᐟ, ᐁ ᑫ ᓂᑕᐃᐧ ᒫᒉᐟ᙮
ᑫᑕᐦᑕᐁᐧ ᑳ ᐱᐦᑖᐦᑳᐧᐤ ᑫᑲᐧᕀ ᐁ ᒪᑌᐧᐦᑎᓂᖨᐠ ᓄᐦᒋᒥᐦᐠ᙮ ᐊᐧᐦᐋᐧ! ᐑᐦᑎᑰᐤ ᐸᑲᐦᑲᒼ ᑕᑳᐧᓯᐤ! ᐃᑌᐧᐤ ᐁᓴ ᐊᐊᐧ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ᙮
It was a dark, stormy, windy night. In their home, quietly puttering about, was one old man, his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren. They were waiting for the old man’s son to come home. It had been a long time since this man had left from there to go hunting.
All of a sudden they heard something go ‘thump’ deep in the forest. “Wahwâ! I think perhaps the Wihtikow (cannibal) has arrived with the wind,” said the old man.
iyako awa ‘wîhtikow’ kâ-kî-itiht, mistahi mâna kayâs kî-mah-mîscihowîw. î-kî-kah-kitamwât athisitiniwa. piyakwâw mâka awa kî-athisitinîwiw, mâka ikospî kayâs ohpimî kâ-ayâcik ithiniwak, ôtî pakwâciskamikohk, âskaw mâna kikwîtamîcisowak athisitiniwak mitoni mâna kî-kitimâkan athisk âskaw î-ati-wah-wihtikôwicik âtiht ithiniwak. nîkân î-mîscihâwasocik owîcisânihtowinihk ikwa î-ati-pah-pâmâsicik, kîstinithowîwinihk î-pah-pâmâsicik, î-nitonawâcik athisitiniwa ta-môwâcik, wîtha athisk mâna kapî î-kî-nohtîkatîcik. nama-wihkâc kî-nahiskothowak.
kwayask mîna kî-mamahtâwisiw, î-kî-maci-maskihkîwît. kâ-nakiskawât athisitiniwa sîmâk mâna kî-tîpwîw. ikwa maya awiyak pihtawâci wihtikôwa ita kâ-ayât micimwâcîw namwâc kaskihtâw ta-ahtohtît, ta-tapasît.
ᐃᔭᑯ ᐊᐊᐧ ᐑᐦᑎᑰᐤ, ᒥᐢᑕᐦᐃ ᒫᓇ ᑲᔮᐢ ᑫ ᒪᐦ ᒣᐢᒋᐦᐅᐁᐧᐤ᙮ ᐁ ᑫ ᑲᐦ ᑭᑕᒫᐧᐟ ᐊᖨᓯᑎᓂᐊᐧ᙮ ᐱᔭᑳᐧᐤ ᒫᑲ ᐊᐊᐧ ᑫ ᐊᖨᓯᑎᓀᐃᐧᐤ, ᒫᑲ ᐃᑯᐢᐯ ᑲᔮᐢ ᐅᐦᐱᒣ ᑳ ᐊᔮᒋᐠ ᐃᖨᓂᐊᐧᐠ, ᐆᑌ ᐸᑳᐧᒋᐢᑲᒥᑯᐦᐠ, ᐋᐢᑲᐤ ᒫᓇ ᑫ ᑫᐧᑕᒣᒋᓱᐊᐧᐠ ᐊᖨᓯᑎᓂᐊᐧᐠ ᒥᑐᓂ ᒫᓇ ᑫ ᑭᑎᒫᑲᐣ ᐊᖨᐢᐠ ᐋᐢᑲᐤ ᐁ ᐊᑎ ᐊᐧᐦ ᐑᐦᑎᑰᐃᐧᒋᐠ ᐋᑎᐦᐟ ᐃᖨᓂᐊᐧᐠ᙮ ᓀᑳᐣ ᐁ ᒣᐢᒋᐦᐋᐊᐧᓱᒋᐠ ᐅᐁᐧᒋᓵᓂᐦᑐᐃᐧᓂᕁ ᐃᑲᐧ ᐁ ᐊᑎ ᐸᐦ ᐹᒫᓯᒋᐠ, ᑫᐢᑎᓂᖪᐁᐧᐃᐧᓂᕁ ᐁ ᐸᐦ ᐹᒫᓯᒋᐠ, ᐁ ᓂᑐᓇᐋᐧᒋᐠ ᐊᖨᓯᑎᓂᐊᐧ ᑕ ᒨᐋᐧᒋᐠ, ᐁᐧᖬ ᐊᖨᐢᐠ ᒫᓇ ᑲᐯ ᐁ ᑫ ᓄᐦᑌᑲᑌᒋᐠ᙮ ᓇᒪ ᐃᐧᐦᑳᐨ ᑫ ᓇᐦᐃᐢᑯᖪᐊᐧᐠ᙮
ᑲᐧᔭᐢᐠ ᒣᓇ ᑫ ᒪᒪᐦᑖᐃᐧᓯᐤ, ᐁ ᑫ ᒪᒋ ᒪᐢᑭᐦᑫᐁᐧᐟ᙮ ᑳ ᓇᑭᐢᑲᐋᐧᐟ ᐊᖨᓯᑎᓂᐊᐧ ᓭᒫᐠ ᒫᓇ ᑫ ᑌᐯᐧᐤ᙮ ᐃᑲᐧ ᒪᔭ ᐊᐃᐧᔭᐠ ᐱᐦᑕᐋᐧᒋ ᐑᐦᑎᑰᐊᐧᐤ ᐃᑕ ᑳ ᐊᔮᐟ ᒥᒋᒫᐧᒉᐤ ᓇᒫᐧᐨ ᑲᐢᑭᐦᑖᐤ ᑕ ᐊᐦᑐᐦᑌᐟ, ᑕ ᑕᐸᓭᐟ᙮
This one known as “Wihtikow” destroyed a lot of people a long time ago. It would eat up all the people. It was once a person but once long ago when people lived away from a community, over there in the wilderness, sometimes the people ran out of food to eat. There were some difficult times because some people became Wihtikows in times of starvation. First they destroyed the family and then rode the wind, they rode the stormy wind, in search of people to eat because they were always hungry. They had an insatiable hunger!
It possessed strange powers, for it had evil medicine. When it met with people it yelled right away. And once someone hears the wîhtikow, she/he gets stuck where he was, he was unable to move, to escape.
kî-kostâsinâkosiw mâna awa wîhtikow. kî-kâsâpitîw ikwa î-kî-nôkwanithiki wîpita athisk î-kî-môwisot misiwî otônihk. kî-kinosithiwa waskasiya. kî-sîhkwîstikwânîw mîna âskaw sihta ikwa kotaka watihkwana î-kî-astîthiki wîstakâhk. kî-misikitiw. kî-miskwamîthiw otîh.
ᑫ ᑯᐢᑖᓯᓈᑯᓯᐤ ᒫᓇ ᐊᐊᐧ ᐑᐦᑎᑰᐤ᙮ ᑫ ᑳᓵᐱᑌᐤ ᐃᑲᐧ ᐁ ᑫ ᓅᑲᐧᓂᖨᑭ ᐁᐧᐱᑕ ᐊᖨᐢᐠ ᐁ ᑫ ᒨᐃᐧᓱᐟ ᒥᓯᐁᐧ ᐅᑑᓂᐦᐠ᙮ ᑫ ᑭᓄᓯᖨᐊᐧ ᐊᐧᐢᑲᓯᔭ᙮ ᑫ ᓭᐦᑫᐧᐢᑎᑳᐧᓀᐤ ᒣᓇ ᐋᐢᑲᐤ ᓯᐦᑕ ᐃᑲᐧ ᑯᑕᑲ ᐘᑎᐦᑲᐧᓇ ᐁ ᑫ ᐊᐢᑌᖨᑭ ᐁᐧᐢᑕᑳᐦᐠ᙮ ᑫ ᒥᓯᑭᑎᐤ᙮ ᑫ ᒥᐢᑲᐧᒣᖨᐤ ᐅᑌᐦ᙮
This wîhtikow looked frightening. It had sharp teeth and its teeth were exposed for it had eaten its own lips. Its finger-nails were long. Its hair messy, and sometimes there were spruce and other branches in its hair. It was also huge. Its heart was made of ice.
iyakoni ôho awa kisîtiniw kâ-nitawi-mâthîthimât.
ᐃᔭᑯᓂ ᐆᐦᐅ ᐊᐊᐧ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ ᑳ ᓂᑕᐃᐧ ᒫᖧᖨᒫᐟ᙮
It was a creature such as this that this old man went to challenge.
kîsiskaw sipwîyâmohîw ana iskwîw ocawâsimisa. ikwa awa kisîtiniw astâw pîswî-ayânis ohtawakâhk ikosi îkâ ta-pihtawât ôho wihtikôwa, ikwâni ati-kospiw, î-nitawi-nakiskawât ôho wihtikôwa. kiskîthihtam wîtha ita kita-ohtohtîthit wîtha î-pihtawât ôho î-pihtâkosithit, mitoni athisk îsa ôho mistikwa î-kah-kawiskawât awa wihtikô ithikohk î-sôhkipâhtât sakâhk. ikota matâwisihk pîhow awa kisîtiniw. kîtahtawî kâ-pî-matâwisit awa wîhtikow.
ᑫᓯᐢᑲᐤ ᓯᐯᐧᔮᒧᐦᐁᐤ ᐊᓇ ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ ᐅᒐᐋᐧᓯᒥᓴ᙮ ᐃᑲᐧ ᐊᐊᐧ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ ᐊᐢᑖᐤ ᐯᓭᐧ ᐊᔮᓂᐢ ᐅᐦᑕᐊᐧᑳᕁ ᐃᑯᓯ ᐁᑳ ᑕ ᐱᐦᑕᐋᐧᐟ ᐆᐦᐅ ᐑᐦᑎᑰᐊᐧᐤ, ᐃᑳᐧᓂ ᐊᑎ ᑯᐢᐱᐤ, ᐁ ᓂᑕᐃᐧ ᓇᑭᐢᑲᐋᐧᐟ ᐆᐦᐅ ᐑᐧᐦᑎᑰᐊᐧᐤ᙮ ᑭᐢᑫᖨᐦᑕᒼ ᐁᐧᖬ ᐃᑕ ᑭᑕ ᐅᐦᑐᐦᑌᖨᐟ ᐁᐧᖬ ᐁ ᐱᐦᑕᐋᐧᐟ ᐆᐦᐅ ᐁ ᐱᐦᑖᑯᓯᖨᐟ, ᒥᑐᓂ ᐊᖨᐢᐠ ᐁᓴ ᐆᐦᐅ ᒥᐢᑎᑲᐧ ᐁ ᑲᐦ ᑲᐃᐧᐢᑲᐋᐧᐟ ᐊᐊᐧ ᐃᐧᐦᑎᑰ ᐃᖨᑯᕁ ᐁ ᓲᐦᑭᐹᐦᑖᐟ ᓴᑳᐦᐠ᙮ ᐃᑯᑕ ᒪᑖᐃᐧᓯᕁ ᐯᐦᐅᐤ ᐊᐊᐧ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ᙮ ᑫᑕᐦᑕᐁᐧ ᑳ ᐯ ᒪᑖᐃᐧᓯᐟ ᐊᐊᐧ ᐑᐦᑎᑰᐤ᙮
Quickly the woman escaped with her children. The old man put some cotton in his ears so that he won’t hear the Wihtikow, then he went into the forest to meet the Wihtikow. He knew where it would emerge for he heard it moving about, because where it moved, it would knock down the trees with the speed in which it moved through the bush. There in the clearing the old man waited. Eventually the Wihtikow emerged at the clearing.
mayaw wîhtikow kâ-wâpamât ôho kisîtiniwa, nâcipahîw î-nitawi-kakwî-nipahât. otihtinitowak ôko wîhtikow ikwa kisîtiniw. wahwâ kwayask sôhki-mâsihitowak, mitonit î-ati-kah-kawiskawâcik mistikwa ikwa mîna î-tâh-tîpwîcik. kinwîsk mâsihitowak. mitonit î-ati-ohpipathicik ithikohk î-sôhkihisocik. pîthisk ita kâ-ispihcisithit mistikwa kâ-sôhki-tîpwît awa kisîtiniw. mohcihk kâ-isi-pahkisihkwâw wîtha awa wîhtikow î-nipahiht.
ᒪᔭᐤ ᐃᐧᐦᑎᑰ ᑳ ᐋᐧᐸᒫᐟ ᐆᐦᐅ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐊᐧ, ᓈᒋᐸᐦᐁᐤ ᐁ ᓂᑕᐃᐧ ᑲᑫᐧ ᓂᐸᐦᐋᐟ᙮ ᐅᑎᐦᑎᓂᑐᐊᐧᐠ ᐆᑯ ᐑᐦᑎᑰᐤ ᐃᑲᐧ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ᙮ ᐊᐧᐦᐋᐧ ᑲᐧᔭᐢᐠ ᓲᐦᑭ ᒫᓯᐦᐃᑐᐊᐧᐠ, ᒥᑐᓂᐟ ᐁ ᐊᑎ ᑲᐦ ᑲᐃᐧᐢᑲᐋᐧᒋᐠ ᒥᐢᑎᑲᐧ ᐃᑲᐧ ᒣᓇ ᐁ ᑖᐦ ᑌᐯᐧᒋᐠ᙮ ᑭᓀᐧᐢᐠ ᒫᓯᐦᐃᑐᐊᐧᐠ᙮ ᒥᑐᓂᐟ ᐁ ᐊᑎ ᐅᐦᐱᐸᖨᒋᐠ ᐃᖨᑯᕁ ᐁ ᓲᐦᑭᐦᐃᓱᒋᐠ᙮ ᐯᖨᐢᐠ ᐃᑕ ᑳ ᐃᐢᐱᐦᒋᓯᖨᐟ ᒥᐢᑎᑲᐧ ᑳ ᓲᐦᑭ ᑌᐯᐧᐟ ᐊᐊᐧ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ᙮ ᒧᐦᒋᕁ ᑳ ᐃᓯ ᐸᐦᑭᓯᐦᑳᐧᐤ ᐁᐧᖬ ᐊᐊᐧ ᐃᐧᐦᑎᑰ ᐁ ᓂᐸᐦᐃᐦᐟ᙮
As soon as the Wihtikow sees the old man, he ran toward him to try kill him. The Wihtikow and the old man grabbed each other. Wahwâ, they wrestled so fiercely that they knocked down the trees they were shouting as well. They wrestled for a long time. So fierce was there struggle that they began to go upward, shouting all the way. Eventually when they reached the height of the trees, the old man gave out one fierce shout. They fell to the ground because the Wihtikow was dead.
kîsiskaw kotawîw awa kisîtiniw, mitoni misi-pônam, ikwa mâci-manisâwâtîw anihi wihtikôwa, î-mah-macostîhwât. kapî-tipisk pah-pônam wîtha ikosi poko takî-isi-mîscihiht wîhtikô. ikwa athisk î-kî-miskwamîthowithik otîh ana wîhtikow kî-ati-âstawâpâwîw anima kotawân ispî kâ-ati-tihkitîthik otîh. pîthisk mîstâskisiw.
ᑫᓯᐢᑲᐤ ᑯᑕᐁᐧᐤ ᐊᐊᐧ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ, ᒥᑐᓂ ᒥᓯ ᐴᓇᒼ, ᐃᑲᐧ ᒫᒋ ᒪᓂᓵᐋᐧᑌᐤ ᐊᓂᐦᐃ ᐧᐦᑎᑰᐊᐧ, ᐁ ᒪᐦᒪᒍᐢᑌᐦᐋᐧᐟ᙮ ᑲᐯ ᑎᐱᐢᐠ ᐸᐦ ᐴᓇᒼ ᐁᐧᖬ ᐃᑯᓯ ᐳᑯ ᑕᑫ ᐃᓯ ᒣᐢᒋᐦᐃᐦᐟ ᐁᐧᐦᑎᑰ᙮ ᐃᑲᐧ ᐊᖨᐢᐠ
ᐁ ᑫ ᒥᐢᑲᐧᒣᖪᐃᐧᖨᐠ ᐅᑌᐦ ᐊᓇ ᐑᐦᑎᑰᐤ ᑫ ᐊᑎ ᐋᐢᑕᐋᐧᐹᐁᐧᐤ ᐊᓂᒪ ᑯᑕᐋᐧᐣ ᐃᐢᐯ ᑳ ᐊᑎ ᑎᐦᑭᑌᖨᐠ ᐅᑌᐦ᙮ ᐯᖨᐢᐠ ᒣᐢᑖᐢᑭᓯᐤ᙮
The old man quickly made a fire, he built it up huge, and began to cut up the Wihtikow, throwing it into the fire. He fed the fire all night for that is the only way to destroy the Wihtikow. And because its heart was made of ice, would douse out the fire as it melted. Eventually it was all burned up.
ikwa awa kisîtiniw kapî-tipisk mawihkâtîw okosisa, wîtha athisk îsa ôho okosisa kâ-kî-wihtikowithit. âta kî-nisitawinawîw mâka namôtha wîtha kî-nisitawinâkow. ikosi mâna kâ-kî-ispathik kayâs, ana athisitiniw kâ-ati-wihtikowit, namwâc mâna kînisitawinawîw owahkômâkana, ithikohk î-kitamahikot owihtikôwin.
ᐃᑲᐧ ᐊᐊᐧ ᑭᓭᑎᓂᐤ ᑲᐯ ᑎᐱᐢᐠ ᒪᐃᐧᐦᑳᑌᐤ ᐅᑯᓯᓴ, ᐁᐧᖬ ᐊᖨᐢᐠ ᐁᓴ ᐆᐦᐅ ᐅᑯᓯᓴ ᑳ ᑫ ᐃᐧᐦᑎᑯᐃᐧᖨᐟ᙮ ᐋᑕ ᑫ ᓂᓯᑕᐃᐧᓇᐁᐧᐤ ᒫᑲ ᓇᒨᖬ ᐁᐧᖬ ᑫ ᓂᓯᑕᐃᐧᓈᑯᐤ᙮ ᐃᑯᓯ ᒫᓇ ᑳ ᑫ ᐃᐢᐸᖨᐠ ᑲᔮᐢ, ᐊᓇ ᐊᖨᓯᑎᓂᐤ ᑳ ᐊᑎ ᐃᐧᐦᑎᑯᐃᐧᐟ, ᓇᒫᐧᐨ ᒫᓇ ᑫ ᓂᓯᑕᐃᐧᓇᐁᐧᐤ ᐅᐊᐧᐦᑰᒫᑲᓇ, ᐃᖨᑯᕁ ᐁ ᑭᑕᒪᐦᐃᑯᐟ ᐅᐃᐧᐦᑎᑰᐃᐧᐣ᙮
The old man mourned for his son all night because this Wihtikow had been his son. Although he had recognized him, it had not recognized him. That was the way things happened long ago, that person who became Wihtikow did not recognize his relatives, such was the pitiful state of Wihtikow-psychosis.