She Helped The Man
Once two hunters walked on a mountain. They came upon a grizzly bear’s den suddenly. They did not know there were grizzly bears in there. One was a female grizzly and the other was a male. The grizzlies found out that someone was close by their door. The male grizzly bear grabbed one of these men. They both rolled over the mountain. Finally, the grizzly bear killed the man and ate him. While this was happening, the female got the other man, but she did not kill him. She took him inside with her and hid him behind a ridge of ground.
In a little while, the male bear came back in. “What did you do with the other one?” he asked the female bear.
“What should I have done? I killed him,” she said. She did not say that she hid that person.
They were there a long time when the male said, “Why is it that it smells like a human being is in here?” The female did not say anything. She was always next to the place where she hid the man. “It smells like a human being in here. I wonder if you really killed the man,” said the male, but she always insisted that she killed him.
It finally started to get warm outdoors. There were puddles of water. The male said, “I will leave now to where we were last year.”
The female agreed to that and said, “I will be leaving too in a little while.”
The male left through the hole. The female asked him if he would be back. The male said that he would be back only if it got cold. He told her that she should be back then too.
She watched him walking away. All the snow melted but the female told the man to wait because the male might run. Finally, she told the man to go. She said to him, “When you return home and the people want to go to the spawning place, be sure you get there first. I might be there. Then you will help me. When you get there, you will see tracks with small ones following. It will be my tracks. When you see them, walk back and forth around there. The people will come with dogs. I don’t want dogs near me. You will help me then.”
So the man went home. In the fall, he heard the people were going to the spawning area with hunting dogs. He left as soon as he heard their plans. When he got there, he saw tracks with small ones behind them. He remembered the female grizzly telling him to whistle when he saw them, so he walked back and forth whistling. She had also said, “When I hear you whistling, I will be thankful. When I hear it, I will start going away from that area.”
When she did hear the man, she left with her cubs. The man turned back and met the others and told them, “I saw the tracks of what you are looking for.” He went along with them back to the place where the tracks were. They took the dogs there, but they did not find the grizzly. Finally, they got tired and returned home.
From then on, the people say if you whistle when you see a grizzly, it will go away. That is an advise the people used to tell the hunters. The grizzly bear will walk away if you whistle. It is still like that today.
©1978. Personal Communication.