Ikto Conquers Iya, the Eater
lktomi was wandering off in a certain direction, walking along at random. Just as he reached the hill-top, lya, the eater, also reached it, coming up from the other side; so lkto was much frightened and, “Ah! So it is on a day like this that I am to die, is it?” he thought suddenly. He took some earth and polished his thigh vigorously and said, “Well, well, well, my younger brother, -or is he my elder brother? -Has! [Damn it!] which of us is the elder anyway?
But each time lya took in his breath he jerked lkto towards him, with such force that he staggered; he therefore was much frightened and said, “Now, now, my younger brother -or my elder, -stand farther off, can’t you? I too have something I can do; I can pull you towards me if I care to!” he said.
But lya did not reply; so then, once more, “Come now, my younger brother, or is he my elder brother? -Has! Which of us is the elder, anyway? … Well, when were you born?” lkto asked.
lya answered, “Why, I was born when this earth and this sky were created.” Ikto clamped his palm over his mouth, surprised. “So? Well, you fool, I made the earth and the sky myself! Oh, of course, now as I recall it, there was a bit of leavings, after I had finished making the earth and sky, which I didn’t know what to do with; I therefore rolled it into a wad and tossed it aside. And you grew from that! There isn’t any doubt now. I am the elder!” he said. “Now then little brother, what errand are you on?”
And lya said, “Over in this direction there is a tribal camp, and I am going there. I shall eat the people, for they are mine.” “Well, of all things! Funny, isn’t it? Yet what else can you expect with brothers? Why, little brother, that is just the people I am going to; and we shall travel together!” Ikto told lya. They were now travelling, but lya could not manage his weight, and they were obliged, therefore, to stop often; but they were now stopping for the night near the encampment.
When lya slept, Ikto ventured to look into his body through his mouth, and saw there all the tribes that lya had eaten in the past, living on in contentment in their respective tribal circles. Inside lya they were living and having their being in exactly the same fashion as when they lived on earth.
Races and haka and pai ‘rakapi games’ were in progress. Yonder, on the other hand, a game of Dakota ball was being played with great skill; while, in another direction, could be seen a group of Miwatani-Society dancers performing their dance around the circle. Meanwhile, successful hunters were returning with game; and also the White-Pack Strap group were going along, dancing. Another thing else was that women were takihg food to the council tipi, and there the old men of the tribe foregathered, with much feasting and the recounting of past glories. Taken all in all, the sight presented a picture of the good old days when the people lived; such Ikto saw inside lya’s body.
Very much frightened, Ikto tried to think out a way to capture the lya. And when he woke, this is what Ikto said to him, “All appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, there must be something that you fear?” – “Yes; the sound of rattles, and drums, the hooting of owls, and the shouts of men -all these I fear,” Iya admitted.
So, then, “Well, of all things! Just what you would expect, though, of brothers! Why, little brother, those are exactly what I too fear!” Ikto said. He added, “I’d suggest you stay here, little brother, while I go ahead. I will select the center tipi, and mark it with a cross, and then I shall return. Then we two can go together, and, starting at either end, we shall progress towards the center tipi, eating the people as we go. And he who arrives first at that center tipi shall have the right to eat his opponent, as his reward for winning.” And Iya thought that a good idea.
So Ikto ran hard and soon he arrived shouting, at the tribal camp. “Hear ye, everybody! I have something to tell you, so listen! I have just deceived a very supernaturally powerful lya, and I have come. And when I questioned him, he admitted that he feared certain things: rattles, and drums, and the hooting of owls, and the shouting of men. So make haste!” he said.
“Moreover, while he slept I looked into his mouth, and inside his body there actually live great tribes of people. Tipis with tops painted blue, and some painted black, -many painted tipis I saw,” he said. So immediately the people prepared in frantic haste, and followed Ikto out.
At a little distance away, hidden by a hill, they stopped, and allowed lkto to proceed alone, and after he had disappeared downhill, and it seemed time he had reached lya, they charged forth, making all those noises that Iya feared.
lya jumped up and sat with his head turning nervously from side to side, as if someone pulled it about; but they soon surrounded and clubbed him to death. They tore open his body; and then for one entire day, great tribes of people crawled out of lya, moving their camps, and settled by groups in the many pleasant bends of the river; and soon they built their flres for cooking the evening meal, and no matter where one looked, one could see the campfires, sparkling like stars, and it was a beautiful sight.
Now, if lya had not been destroyed in just that way, he would undoubtedly still be eating people up. White people and all. lya was killed and that is why the entire country is now so full of people that it is impossible to flnd any open spaces anymore. From that time on, the expansion of peoples began in earnest, they say. Now that was one time at least that Ikto must be given credit; he did do a great service to people, and merits thanks for it. And from then on, who knows where lkto went next?
That is all.
Happy English learning!!