Ya oo, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’.

William Jones, Ojibwa Texts, vol. VI part II, New York, Publications of the American Ethonology Society, G.E. Stechert, 1919, p. 106-113.

Snapping-Turtle and Caddice-Fly


Now, once on a time they say there was a town of every kind (of turtle) that was,- a Snapping-Turtle, a Soft-Shelled Turtle a Musk-Turtle, a Painted-Turtle ; thus the total number of them that lived together in a town. Now, Snapping-Turtle himself was chief. So once on a time Snapping-Turtle announced thet he planned to go to war ; against Caddice-Fly was he going to fight. Thereupon they then made ready to go to war ; greatly did Snapping-Turtle conjure for magic power. At the time when setting out for war very proud was he too.


« A yo-u, I am leader of a war-party,

Ya oo, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’.

A yo-u, I am leader of a war-party,

Ya oo, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’.

A yo-u, I am leader of a war-party,

Ya oo, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’, ya i’


And so, when they started away, very many youths he had in his company. And when he got to where Caddice-Fly had a town, nothing but their war-clubs did they have in their hands ; nothing different did they have, simply their war-clubs. Accordingly, when they rushed to attack the town, the town of Caddice-Fly, then did they fight with (the Caddice-Flies). When any one was slain, they breathed upon him, whereupn back to life he came ; and if they had their shells cracked, then the same thing they did to one another, they breathed upon one another. The same, too , did the youths of Caddice-Fly whenever any one was torn to pieces, they breathed upon him; whereupon they would take their places, looking the same as before. 
When it was getting well on towards noon, then was Snapping-Turtle being overcome; (his youths) were becoming unable to bring one another back to life again, very hard were they fighting one another.

At last Snapping-Turtle was vanquished. In the end all his youths were slain; only Snapping-Turtle himself was not slain, he was taken captive.

He was guarded by Caddice-FIy.

He was not allowed to walk about the place.

So at length said Snapping-Turtle: « I say, do you set me free! I will not go away. All the time will I go in company with your son, » he said to Caddice-Fly.

He was set free.

Sure enough, all the while was he in company with the youth, the son of Caddice-Fly and he were always walking about the place.

Now, once on a time said the youth and Snapping-Turtle: « Come, let us go on a journey! » they said. « Over this way, toward the west, let us go! »

The youth asked his father, and he was given leave by his father.

Thereupon they departed, Snapping-Turtle going in company with the youth; (they continued on) till they came out upon the great sea. And then there they wandered along the beach. Presently they heard the sound of something fall, (it was) a conjuring-lodge on the other shore. Thereupon said the youth: « Would, indeed, that we might go over there! » (so) said the youth.


« Very well, let us go over there! » to him said Snapping-Turtle « And how shall we be able to get over there? » (Snapping-Turtle) was asked. « Do you get into this armpit of mine. »

Whereupon truly there in his armpit he placed the youth.

So then down into the water went Snapping-Turtle; to the other shore he went in a fairly easy way; a long while he spent getting over to the other coast.

And when he came out on the shore, he let the youth out.

Thereupon they beheld the conjuring-lodge standing there.

And so, when they went into the conjuring-lodge, (they saw that) it was very full of them who were there inside; they were talking and singing.

They that were inside of the conjuring-lodge were talking about the full extent of this sky, and of the winds; that was what caused the conjuring-lodge to sway.

Of the wide circle of the sky from whence blow the winds, of what had happened in times long ago, and of what was to come to pass in the future, — concerning all such things did they talk.

And after they had been in the conjuring-lodge a long while, they up and went outside again.

On looking off towards the west, they beheld a mountain, and many birds that flew about they saw.

So again said the son of Caddice-Fiy: « Pray, let us go over there! » he said to Snapping-Turtle.

« Allright, let us go! »

They went over there, many young birds they saw.

Now, one of them the youth took up, and that one he fetched back.

Again they went into the conjuring-lodge; never did it cease swaying to and fro.

And the youth asked of him who was leader there: « Is there ever a time when this conjuring-lodge is still? »

« Never has it ceased swaying since the world began, and never will it be still as long as the world lasts.

Save only when the whole expanse of this sky is calm, then only might it perhaps cease swaying.

Never seemingly is it calm at one and the same time in all the length and breadth of this sky. »

Thereupon they came on out of doors; again (Snapping-Turtle) placed the youth in his armpit, and the young bird also.

And then down into the water came Snapping-Turtle, back on their homeward way they came.

And when nearly reaching the shore, Snapping-Turtle became mindful of all his youths that had been slain.

Whereupon he flung out (in to the water) the youth and the young bird.

Off in another direction through the water went Snapping-Turtle.

And the son of Caddice-Fly had a hard time keeping on the surface of the water.

A short way was the (land), and barely was he able to reach the shore; and his young bird was soaking wet.

He dried it by the fire when he got ashore.

Whereupon he started hitherward on his way back home.

And after he had arrived at where his father lived, very fond became they of the young bird.

And after a time there came up a thunder-storm;, straight over where the young bird was came the roar of the Thunderers that had come to see their young.

So back on their homeward way went the Thunderers.

And so, after they had gone, the gizzard of the ruffed grouse hung aloft.




William Jones, Ojibwa Texts, vol. VI part II, New York, Publications of the American Ethonology Society, G.E. Stechert, 1919, p. 106-113.