A Story of Ogan Ugitsi's Hunt For The Uktena

Long ago in one of many battles against the Shawnee, our warriors captured a great Medicine Man, who's name was Ogan(a) Ugitsi,
"The Groundhog's Etsi(Mother)."

He was taken to one of the settlements and was bound to the stake, ready for the torture when he begged for his life.

He told the people that if spared he would find and bring to them the great wonder worker, the Ulvsadi.

The Ulvsadi is the greatest of crystals.
It is like a blazing star set in the forhead of the Uktena.

The Uktena is a giant serpent, as large around as a tree trunk, with horns on it's head, scales that glitter like sparks of fire, and it has rings of color along its entire length.

The Uktena's only vulnerable spot is where it's heart lies, which is under the seventh ring from its head.

The Ulvsadi shines very bright and the light from it dazes any who see it.

Instead of running from the Uktena, the dazed run toward it, like a moth to a flame.
It was certain death to meet the Uktena. The people warned him of this, but he only answered that his Medicine was strong and he was not afraid.

So on that condition, they let him free and he beagn to hunt.
The Uktena made a habit of lying and waiting in lonely places to surprise its victims.

It especially haunted the dark passes of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Aware of this, the Medicine Man went first to a gap in that range.
As he was searching he found a monstrous gulegi(blacksnake), larger than he had ever seen before, but that was not what he was looking for and he laughed at it as though it were too small for notice.

Moving on to another gap he found a moccasin snake of enormous size, the largest ever seen, but as the people wondered at it he said it was nothing.

In the next gap he found a greensnake and called the people to see
"the beautiful selaquoya," but when they found an immense greensnake coiled up in the path, they ran away in fear.

Coming on to Udawagvda, the Bald Mountain,
he found there a great tiyohali(lizard) basking in the sunlight, but this was not what he was looking for, so he paid little attention to it.

He moved on and came to Walosiyi(Frog Place), where he found a giant frog squatting in the gap.

Many people from nearby had come to see it, and when they ran away in fear, he mocked them for being afraid of a frog and then he went on to another gap.

He traveled all the way to Dul(i)gvyi, Antler Gap, and on to Atagahi.
At both he found monstrous reptiles and said they were nothing.
He thought an Uktena would be hiding at Dlanusiyi(Leech Place), where he dived down far below the surface of the water.

He saw terrapins(turtles), watersnakes, and immense sun perches who rushed at him and then retreated, but this was all he found.

He tried other places, but was still unsuccessful, until he came to Gahuta mountain, where he found a sleeping Uktena.

Turning very quietly, he ran down the mountain almost to the bottom, where he piled up a great circle of pine cones inside of which he dug a deep trench.

Then he set fire to the cones and ran back up the mountain.
The Uktena was still sleeping.
Putting an arrow in his bow, Ogan Ugitsi shot and sent the arrow straight through it's heart, which was under the seventh ring from its head.

The great serpent reared his head, with the Ulvasdi there blazing, and came straight for his attacker.
The conjurer turning quickly ran as fast as he could down the mountain, cleared the circle of fire and the trench in one leap, and lay close to the ground.

The Uktena tried to follow, but the arrow was through its heart.
It rolled and twisted in its struggle with death, spitting poison all over the mountain side.

The drops of poison could not pass the fire, but hissed and sizzled in the blaze.
The blood, also poisonous, poured from the Uktena's wound and ran down the slope in a dark stream, but it ran into the trench and left the conjurer unharmed.

The dying monster rolled down the mountain, breaking all the trees in its path until it reached the bottom.
Then Ogan Ugitsi called all the birds of the forest to come and feast.
When they had finished not even the bones were left.
He went away until after seven days, when he returned by svnoi.

The body having been eaten was no longer there, but he saw a bright light shining in the dark, and going over to it, he found the Uktena resting on a low branch, where a golanv(raven) had left it.

He carefully wrapped it and took it with him.
For his strength, cunning, and courage, he had not only kept his life, but also gained acceptance into the tribe and with the Ulvsadi, he became the greatest Medicine Man.

Where the blood of the Uktena had filled the trench, a lake formed, and the water was black and in this the women, dyed the cane splints for their baskets.

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