There was once a baby boy who came into the world with a small

cluster of different colored feathers grown fast to his forehead.

From this he derived his name, "Pretty Feathered Forehead." He was

a very pleasant boy as well as handsome, and he had the respect of

the whole tribe. When he had grown up to be a young man, he never,

like other young men, made love to any of the tribe's beauties.

Although they were madly in love with him, he never noticed any of

them. There were many handsome girls in the different camps, but

he passed them by.

One day he said: "Father, I am going on a visit to the Buffalo

nation." The father gave his consent, and away went the son. The

father and mother suspected the object of their son's visit to the

Buffalo nation, and forthwith commenced preparing a fine reception

for their intended daughter-in-law. The mother sewed together ten

buffalo hides and painted the brave deeds of her husband on them.

This she made into a commodious tent, and had work bags and fine

robes and blankets put inside. This was to be the tent of their

son and daughter-in-law. In a few weeks the son returned, bringing

with him a beautiful Buffalo girl. The parents of the boy gave a

big feast in honor of the occasion, and the son and his wife lived

very happily together.

In the course of time a son came to the young couple, and the

father was very proud of his boy. When the boy became a year old,

the father said to his wife: "I am going for a visit to the Elk

nation." The mother was very sad, as she knew her husband was

going after another wife. He returned, bringing with him a very

beautiful elk girl. When the Buffalo woman saw the elk girl she

was very downcast and sad, but the husband said: "Don't be sad; she

will do all the heavy work for you."

They lived quite happily together for a long time. The Elk girl

also became the mother of a fine boy. The two boys had grown up

large enough to play around. One day the Elk woman was tanning

hides outside and the two boys were playing around near their

mothers, when all at once the buffalo boy ran across the robe,

leaving his tracks on the white robe which his step-mother had

nearly completed. This provoked the elk woman and she gave vent to

her feelings by scolding the boy: "You clumsy flat mouth, why

couldn't you run around my work, instead of across it?" The

buffalo cow standing in the door, heard every word that the elk

woman had said, and when she heard her son called flat mouth it

made her very angry, although she did not say a word to any one.

She hurriedly gathered some of her belongings and, calling her son,

she started off in a westerly direction.

The husband being absent on a hunting expedition did not return

until late in the afternoon. Upon his return his oldest boy always

ran out to meet him, but this time as the boy did not put in an

appearance, the father feared that something had happened to the

boy. So hurriedly going to his tent he looked around, but failing

to see the boy or his mother, he asked his elk wife, where the boy

and his mother were. The elk wife answered: "She took her boy on

her back and started off in that direction," (pointing towards the

west). "How long has she been gone?" "Since early morning." The

husband hurriedly caught a fresh horse and, without eating

anything, rode off in the direction taken by his buffalo wife and

boy. Near dark he ascended a high hill and noticed a small tent

down in the valley. It was a long distance down to the tent, so it

was very late when he arrived there. He tethered his horse and

went into the tent and found the boy and his mother fast asleep.

Upon lying down beside them the boy awoke, and upon seeing his

father, motioned to him to go outside with him.

On going outside the boy told his father that it would be useless

for him to try and coax his mother to return, as she was too highly

insulted by the elk wife to ever return. Then the boy told about

what the elk wife had said and that she had called him flat mouth.

"My mother is determined to return to her people, but if you want

to follow us you may, and perhaps, after she has visited with her

relatives a little while, you may induce her to return with you.

In the morning we are going to start very early, and as the country

we will travel through is very hard soil, I will stamp my feet hard

so as to leave my tracks imprinted in the softest places, then you

will be able to follow the direction we will take."

The two went into the tent and were soon fast asleep. The father,

being very much fatigued, slept very soundly, and when he awoke the

sun was beating down upon him. The mother and boy were nowhere to

be seen. The tent had been taken down from over him so carefully

that he had not been awakened. Getting his horse, he mounted and

rode after the two who had left him sleeping. He had no trouble in

following the trail, as the boy had stamped his feet hard and left

his little tracks in the soft places.

That evening he spied the little tent again and on getting to it

found them both asleep. The boy awoke and motioned for his father

to go outside. He again told his father that the next day's travel

would be the hardest of all. "We will cross a great plain,

but before we get there we will cross a sandy hollow. When you get

to the hollow, look at my tracks; they will be deep into the sand,

and in each track you will see little pools of water. Drink as

much as you can, as this is the only chance you will get to have a

drink, there being no water from there to the big ridge, and it

will be dark by the time you get to the ridge. The relations of my

mother live at that ridge and I will come and talk to you once

more, before I leave you to join my mother's people."

Next morning, as before, he awoke to find himself alone. They had

left him and proceeded on their journey. He mounted again and when

he arrived at the sandy hollow, sure enough, there, deep in the

sand, were the tracks of his son filled to the top with water. He

drank and drank until he had drained the last one. Then he arose

and continued on the trail, and near sundown he came in sight of

their little tent away up on the side of the ridge. His horse

suddenly staggered and fell forward dead, having died of thirst.

From there he proceeded on foot. When he got to where the tent

stood he entered, only to find it empty. "I guess my son intends

to come here and have his last talk with me," thought the father.

He had eaten nothing for three days, and was nearly famished. He

lay down, but the pangs of hunger kept sleep away. He heard

footsteps outside and lay in readiness, thinking it might be an

enemy. Slowly opening the covering of the door, his son looked in

and seeing his father lying awake, drew back and ran off up the

ridge, but soon returned bringing a small parcel with him. When he

entered he gave the parcel to his father and said: "Eat, father; I

stole this food for you, so I could not get very much." The father

soon ate what his son had brought. When he had finished, the son

said: "Tomorrow morning the relatives of my mother will come over

here and take you down to the village. My mother has three sisters

who have their work bags made identically the same as mother's.

Were they to mix them up they could not each pick out her own

without looking inside so as to identify them by what they have in

them. You will be asked to pick out mother's work bag, and if you

fail they will trample you to death. Next they will tell you to

pick out my mother from among her sisters, and you will be unable

to distinguish her from the other three, and if you fail they will

bury you alive. The last they will try you on, in case you meet

the first and second tests successfully, will be to require you to

pick me out from my three cousins, who are as much like me as my

reflection in the water. The bags you can tell by a little pebble

I will place on my mother's. You can pick my mother out by a small

piece of grass which I will put in her hair,

and you can pick me out from my cousins, for when we commence to

dance, I will shake my head, flop my ears and switch my tail. You

must choose quickly, as they will be very angry at your success,

and if you lose any time they will make the excuse that you did not

know, that they may have an excuse to trample you to death."

The boy then left, after admonishing his father to remember all

that he had told him. Early next morning the father heard a great

rumbling noise, and going outside, he saw the whole hillside

covered with buffalo. When he appeared they set up a loud

bellowing and circled around him. One old bull came up and giving

a loud snort, passed on by, looking back every few steps. The man,

thinking he was to follow this one, did so, and the whole herd,

forming a half circle around him, escorted him down the west side

of the range out on to a large plain, where there stood a lone

tree. To this tree the old bull led him and stopped when he

reached the tree. A large rock at the foot of the tree served as

a seat for the man. As soon as he was seated there came four

female buffaloes, each bearing a large work box. They set the

boxes down in a row in front of the man, and the herd crowded

around closer in order to get a good view. The old bull came to

the front and stood close to the bags, which had been taken out of

the four boxes.

The man stood up, and looking at the bags, noticed a small pebble

resting on the one next to the left end. Stepping over he pulled

the bag towards him and secretly pushed the little pebble off the

bag, so that no one would notice it. When they saw that he had

selected the right one, they set up a terrific bellow.

Then came the four sisters and stood in a line before the man.

Glancing along from the one on the right to the last one on the

left, he stepped forward and placed his hand on the one next to the

right. Thanks to his boy, if he hadn't put that little stem of

grass on his mother's hair, the father could never have picked out

his wife, as the four looked as much alike as four peas. Next came

the four boy calves, and as they advanced they commenced dancing,

and his son was shaking his head and flopping his ears and

switching his tail. The father was going to pick out his boy, when

a fainting spell took him, and as he sank to the ground the old

bull sprang forward on top of him, and instantly they rushed upon

him and he was soon trampled to a jelly. The herd then moved to

other parts.

The elk wife concluded that something had happened to her husband

and determined upon going in search of him. As she was very fleet

of foot it did not take her long to arrive at the lone tree. She

noticed the blood splashed on the base of the tree, and small

pieces of flesh stamped into the earth. Looking closer, she

noticed something white in the dust. Stooping and picking it out

of the dust, she drew forth the cluster of different colored

feathers which had been fastened to her husband's forehead. She at

once took the cluster of feathers, and going to the east side of

the ridge, heated stones and erected a wickieup, placed the

feathers inside, and getting water, she sprinkled the stones, and

this caused a thick vapor in the wickieup. She continued this for

a long time, when she heard something moving inside the wickieup.

Then a voice spoke up, saying: "Whoever you are, pour some more

water on and I will be all right." So the woman got more water and

poured it on the rocks. "That will do now, I want to dry off."

She plucked a pile of sage and in handing it in to him, he

recognized his elk wife's hand.

They went back home and shortly after the buffalo, hearing about

him coming back to life, decided to make war on him and kill him

and his wife, she being the one who brought him back to life. The

woman, hearing of this, had posts set in the ground and a strong

platform placed on top. When the buffalo came, her husband, her

son and herself, were seated upon the bough platform, and the

buffalo could not reach them. She flouted her red blanket in their

faces, which made the buffalo wild with rage. The hunter's friends

came to his rescue, and so fast were they killing the buffalo that

they took flight and rushed away, never more to bother Pretty

Feather Forehead.