Little Wren

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t’i’t’ut’um’ (Little Wren)

Told by Cecelia Alphonse
Read by Ruby Peter

Play the entire story:


1: hay thu t’i’t’ut’um’ ni’ tssisul’u.
There was a wren and he had a granny.
2: ’i’ ne-e-m’ tl’e’ ’uw’ hiiw’a’lum’ hun’um’ ’u ttthu tsa’luqw.
He used to go out and play up the mountain.
3: nuts’a’ skweyul ’i’ lumnuhwus tthu skwukwith.
One day he saw something lying down.
4: ’i’ ne-e-em’ t-suthut ’i’ qwulsthwus, “t! t! t! t! t! t!”
He went closer and said, “t! t! t! t! t! t!”
5: “a-a-a ha’ ch tse’ m’i t-suthut ’i’ nilh tse’ nusuw’ lhup’tth’thamu.”
“Ah, if you come closer I will slurp you up (as my food).”
6: “ o-o-o xwum tsun pe’ nem’ ’uw’ nem’ ’utl’ nuwu ’i’ ’uw’ q’aythamu tsun.”
“O-o-oh, I can really come over to you and kill you.”
7: “ a-a-a tsustam’sh ch kwu’elh?”
“A-a-ah! Now what are you going to do to me?”
8: “’i’ kw’ ’uw’ hwnuw’nuw’ilumuthamu tsun p’e’.”
“I’ll go into you and all over your innards, of course.”
9: “m-m-m hey’ lh kwiye’.”
“Hm,m,m, okay, let’s see you try it.”
10: suw’ wulh nem’ lhakw’ thu t’i’t’ut’um’.
So Little Wren went flying.
11: nilh ni’ yuw’en’ tthu thathuns ’i’ ni’ tslhaqw ’u tthu slhulnutsth.
He first entered his mouth and went through and out his back-end.
12: qul’et hwu’alum’ ’i’ hwi’ xwte’ ’u tthu muqsuns.
He went back in again into his nose.
13: hwu’alum’ hwi’ xwte’ ’u tthu nuts’a’ muqsuns ’i’ tthu qw’oon’s
Then he went back in through the other nostril and his ear.
14: hwun’ xut’u ’i’ ni’ ts’u wulh wutl’uts’.
And finally, it fell down.
15: wu’un’uxw “’uxe-e-e’” suw’ hwuslhelhuq’.
It made a noise when it landed, “ ’uxe-e-e’.”
16: lhakw’s t’i’t’ut’um’, hwusts’ushin’ le’lum’utus.
Little Wren flew on top and stood staring at it.
17: “’a-a-a” tul’nuhwus tl’lim’ ni ’uw’ q’ay.
“Ah-h-h,” he decided it was really dead.
18: suw’ huye’ nem’ t’akw’.
He then headed for home.
19: hwun’ tsakw ’i’ wulh t’ilum:
When he was still far away he started singing:
    “yuq’yuq’e-e-en’ lhu q’u, sisul’u.
    “Do some knife-sharpening, my dear grandmother.
    st’i’t’e-e ’u kw’ ’uw’ skwi’kwthu lhunu shahwun’tsu.” (Twice)
    What I have caught is like a little island.”
20: “a-a-a tst’amut yuhw ’a’lu shxut’us ’u tthey’ ’u kw’u kw’ekw’i’?”
“Oh, what are you saying that for, to me who is hungry?”
21: ’i’ ’uw’ yut’it’ulum’:
But he kept singing:
    “yuq’yuq’e-e-en’ lhu q’u, sisul’u.
   Do some knife-sharpening, my dear grandmother.
    st’i’t’e-e ’u kw’ ’uw’ skwi’kwthu lhunu shahwun’tsu.” (Twice)
    What I have caught is like a little island.”
22: ’i’ wulh q’el’ thu s’eluhw sis nem’ ’uw’ lemutus.
Finally the old lady believed him and went to see.
23: ’i’ ’i-i-i ts’u thi tthu slhelhuq’ shun’tsus—
And his big catch was lying down—
24: thi-i-i kwewe’uts ni’ q’uynuhwus shun’tsus.
a big elk was the catch that he killed.
25: hwuqux smuyuth ni’ kwunnuxwus tun’ni’ ’u tthu ni’ shun’tsus thu ’imuths, t’i’t’ut’um’.
They had lots of meat from the catch of her grandson, Little Wren.
26: ni’ nexun ’u kwthey’.
That’s the end of that (story).

To hear Ruby Peter tell a longer version of this story, please go to:

Ruby Peter: Little Wren Goes Hunting