There were once upon a time two young men who were very great

friends, and were constantly together. One was a very thoughtful

young man, the other very impulsive, who never stopped to think

before he committed an act.

One day these two friends were walking along, telling each other of

their experiences in love making. They ascended a high hill, and

on reaching the top, heard a ticking noise as if small stones or

pebbles were being struck together.

Looking around they discovered a large spider sitting in the midst

of a great many flint arrowheads. The spider was busily engaged

making the flint rocks into arrow heads. They looked at the

spider, but he never moved, but continued hammering away on a piece

of flint which he had nearly completed into another arrowhead.

"Let's hit him," said the thoughtless one. "No," said the other,

"he is not harming any one; in fact, he is doing a great good, as

he is making the flint arrowheads which we use to point our


"Oh, you are afraid," said the first young man. "He can't harm

you. just watch me hit him." So saying, he picked up an arrowhead

and throwing it at "Unktomi," hit him on the side. As Unktomi

rolled over on his side, got up and stood looking at them, the

young man laughed and said: "Well, let us be going, as your

grandfather, "Unktomi," doesn't seem to like our company." They

started down the hill, when suddenly the one who had hit Unktomi

took a severe fit of coughing. He coughed and coughed, and finally

small particles of blood came from his mouth. The blood kept

coming thicker and in great gushes. Finally it came so thick and

fast that the man could not get his breath and fell upon the ground


The thoughtful young man, seeing that his friend was no more,

hurried to the village and reported what had happened. The

relatives and friends hurried to the hill, and sure enough, there

lay the thoughtless young man still and cold in death. They held

a council and sent for the chief of the Unktomi tribe. When he

heard what had happened, he told the council that he could do

nothing to his Unktomi, as it had only defended itself.

Said he: "My friends, seeing that your tribe was running short of

arrowheads, I set a great many of my tribe to work making flint

arrowheads for you. When my men are thus engaged they do not wish

to be disturbed, and your young man not only disturbed my man, but

grossly insulted him by striking him with one of the arrowheads

which he had worked so hard to make. My man could not sit and take

this insult, so as the young man walked away the Unktomi shot him

with a very tiny arrowhead. This produced a hemorrhage, which

caused his death. So now, my friends, if you will fill and pass

the peace pipe, we will part good friends and my tribe shall always

furnish you with plenty of flint arrowheads." So saying, Unktomi

Tanka finished his peace smoke and returned to his tribe.

Ever after that, when the Indians heard a ticking in the grass,

they would go out of their way to get around the sound, saying,

Unktomi is making arrowheads; we must not disturb him.

Thus it was that Unktomi Tanka (Big Spider) had the respect of this

tribe, and was never after disturbed in his work of making