The Little Calf


Listen to this story by Ruby Peter of Quamichan told to Kalila George-Wilson, when she and her children were raising cows at Kwa’mutsun.

tthu moumusmusal’lh  | The little calf
 
qwul’qwul’ tsun kwutstulh tsmulousmus. 
I’m going  to talk about when we used to have cows.
 
kwan thu p’uw’ moumusmusal’lh.
A calf was born.
 
’i’ niilh s-hwayum thu tens. 
Its mother was sold.
 
’e’uhwiin’ sutst ’uw’ hwu le’lum’ut, ququma’stuhw.
It was very small and we were looking after it.  
 
susuw’ yu ts’its’usum’.
It was growing.
 
ha’ tst nem’ ’imush ’i’ tsukwul’etal’hwus.
When we were walking, it would follow us.
 
ni’ hwu shtatul’st-hwus kws lhnimulh ni’ xulhust, ’aam’ust ’u tthu shlumelus.
It got to know that we’re the ones who fed it, giving it its bottle.
 
mukw’ kwutst ’utl’qul ’i’ ’uw’ ’ulh suw’ yu tsukwul’ul’qum’s thu moumusmusal’lh.
Everytime we went outside, the little calf would follow.
 
hwun’ xut’u ’i’ ni’ wulh tuw’ ’ulh ts’isum.
Finally it was grown.
 
nuts’a’ skweyul ’i’ ’utl’qul ’i’ ’uwu te’ moumusmusal’lh.
One day, we went outside and there was no calf.
 
“aasha’! ni’ wulh tl’iw’ lhu mousmusal’lh.”
“Shucks! The calf has fled.”
 
hwu ’uwu te’.
It wasn’t there.
 
sutst nem’ tl’qw’uthut ’i’ nem suw’q’ nem’ ’u kwthu sta’luw’. 
We got dressed and went looking down at the river.
 
ni.i.i hwi’ ni’ ’u kwthu tsetsuw’ kwsus q’uq’a’thut ’u tthu mulousmus.
It had gone down to the beach to joing the other cattle.
 
kwutst kwunnuhw sutst ’uw’ ’alhstuhw ’u tthu snuhwulhtst nem’ ’u tthu ’ile’uq.
We found her and put her in our car in the back seat.
 
ni’ tst me’sh kwu shts’uts’e’nutsum’.
We took out the seat.
 
sutst ’uw’ t’ukw’stuhw tthu moumusmusal’lh.
And we took the calf home.
 
hith ni’ st’e ’ukw’ nuts’a’ sil’anum kwun’s ni’ ququma’stuhw.
It was a long time, like a one whole year, to feeding it milk.
 
’i’ ni’ hwu ’uy’st-hwus tthu saxwul.
And gets to like grass.
 
’i’ niilh hwu qux mousmus tst ’i’ nilh kwus ’uw’ si’amut ’ul’.
We had a lot of cows and they were just calm.
 
ha’ ni’ tus ’u kwthu shxlhast ’i’ ni’ tst tuteem’ut, “Come boss!” shahwupus (whistles).
When they came to get fed, we would be calling out, “Come boss!” whistling (whistling sound).
 
nilh ’ul’ smi’s ’uw’ ’ewu tthu mulousmus.
The cows will come right away.
 
ni’ shtatul’st-hwus kws xlhas tse’ ’ukw’ saxwul.
They knew that they would be fed some hay.
 
suw’ hwu shtatul’st-hwus tsnunust-hwus tthunu me’mun’u tthu mulousmus.
My children had names for all the cows.
 
’i’ nilh tthu ni’ st’ee kw’uw’ shsii’em’s tthuw’ne’ullh kwun’s ni’ wulh temut.
There’s always one that is the leader when you call out.
 
suw’ yuw’en’ kws m’is yu xwan’chunum’.
She always comes running first.
 
sutst ’uw’ tul’tul’nuhw ’ul’ mukw’ tthu mulousmus tthu ni’ sht’es.
We got to know the personality of each of the cows.
 
hwu si’amut ’ul’ kwutst yu hwahwiyum’ ’i’ nuw’ ’uw’kw ’ul’ kwthu mousmusulh tst.
We just started selling them slowly until they were all gone.
 
’uy’st-hwusulh tthunu me’mun’u kws hwiil’asmut tthu mulousmus.
My children enjoyed looking after them.
 
hay tseep q’a’
Thank you.
_______
Recorded and edited by Kalila George-Wilson (September 12, 2018).
Thanks to Chuck Peter for the whistling.