kwthu ni’ lumnuhween’ kwunus ni’ tsya’iih | What I saw when I was gathering wood

You never know what you are going to encounter in the woods. Keegan Smith shares his story and art, with voice and translation by Delores Louie. Keegan participated in the workshop s’aa’lh shtutul’na’mut | Through our eyes at Ladysmith Secondary School, Ladysmith, British Columbia, in 2015.
Keegan Smith and Delores Louie

kwthu ni’ lumnuhween’ kwunus ni’ tsya’iih | What I saw when I was gathering wood

1. kwthunu sqwul’qwul’ nilh kwutst wulh nem’ tsya’ilh ’i’ kwthunu men.
This is a story about the time my dad and I went to get wood.

2. tun’netulh ’i’ ni’ tst nem’ ’aluxut kwthu syalh.
Early one morning, my dad and I went to get wood.

3. nusuw’ xut’u, “’a-a-a, qulstuhw tsun kw’unus nem’ tsya’ilh.
And I said, “I really don’t like getting wood!”

4. suw’ xut’us kwthunu men, “’uwu ch hwsmun’mun’uhw!”
My dad said, “Stop complaining! (Stop being a wimp!)”

5. yu xay’tl’thut, hay ’ul’ xuy’tl’, sutst ’uw’ hwsxwum ’ul’ kwutst yu yaay’us.
It got cold, really cold, and we had to work fast.

6. ’i tsun yu ’i’mush ’i’ ’i tsun wulh lumnuhw tthu ’uw’ stem ’ul’ ni’ ’u tthu tumuhw.
I was walking along ahead of my dad and I saw something on the ground.

7. “’etsunee!” ’i tsun wulh lumnuhw tthu hay ’ul’ thithushun st’ut’ekw ni’ ’u tthu tumuhw.
“Holy smoke!” I saw the biggest footprints in the mud.

8. hay ’ul’ hwthiqun kws st’e ’uw’ niis lamhwum’ tthu sts’ushtutsus.
There was a loud noise like a thud of a branch.

9. hay tsun ’ul’ si’si’.
I was really scared.

10. nem’ tsun t’ahw, nus nuw’ xwchenum t’ahw.
I went running back downhill.

11. hwusneen’ts’ste’lum’ ’u kwthunu men, kw’unus ’uwu niin’ ts’ewut ’u kwthu syalh.
My dad seemed mad at me because I didn’t help get any wood.

12. “’i ch ’a’lu tstamut? nutsim’ ’un’sh ’uwu niihw tsyalh?”
“What happened? How come you didn’t get any wood?”

13. “nilh kwthu ni’ lumnuhween’!”
“Because of what I saw!”

14. “a-a-a! stem kwu’elh kw’u ni’ lumnuhwuhw?”
“Oh! What did you see?”

15. nusuw’ thut, “hay ’ul’ thi-i-ithushun ’u kwthu ni’ st’ut’ekw ni’ ’u tthu tumuhw!”
I said, “BIG FOOTPRINTS there in the mud!”

16. suw’ ptem’ kwthunu men, “’untsu, ’u mun’u?”
Dad asked, “Where, Son?”

17. “ni’ ’u kwthu hwthuthiqut. ’a-a-a tsuw’ lumstamu ’uw’ kweyulus. nu stl’i’ kw’unus nem’ ’uw’ t’akw’ ’ul’.
“There in the woods. I’ll show you tomorrow. I just want to go home!

18. nii ’uw’ thuthi’, ’u Dad?”
Is that okay, Dad?”

19. sutst nem’ ’uw’ tha’ithut t’akw’.
So we went on home.

20. qul’et kweyul ’i’ ni’ tst nem’ hwu’alum’, nem’ ’u kwthu hwthuthiqut, suwq’t kwthu thithushun ni’ st’ut’ekw ’u kwthu tumuhw.
Next day, we went back to the forest to look for the footprints in the mud.

21. ’i’ ’uwu te’. tl’lim’ ’uw’ st’e ’uw’ niis ’uw’ thuhw ’ul’.
But they weren’t there. It was like they had just disappeared.

22. ’uwu tst niit kwunnuhw. ’uwu tst niit lumnuhw.
We couldn’t find them. We didn’t see them.

23. suw’ thut-s kwthunu men, “’iich hwum’tthun’qi’num’?
Dad asked, “Are you lying?”

24. ’a-a-a, ’uwu, Dad! ’iilh ’uw’ ’i ’u tu’i’! ni’ tsun ’uw’ lumnuhw.”
“Oh, no, Dad! They were right here! I saw them!”

25. hwun’ xut’u ’i’ ’i tst ’uw’ulh yey’su’lu ts’elhum’ut kwthu hay ’ul’ hwthiqun.
Suddenly, we both heard a really loud noise.

26. hay ’ul’ hwthiqun kwthey’ ni’ ts’elhum’utut st’e ’uw’ niis lamhwum’.
A very loud noise is what we heard, like a crunch.

27. thut tthu Dad, “stem ’a’lu kwthey’?
Dad said, “What the heck was that?

28. stem ’a’lu kwthey’ yelh sis nan ’uw’ hwuhwthiqun kwsus st’e ’uw’ niis yu lamhwum’?”
What’s that loud thudding sound?”

29. hay tst ’ul’ si’si’namut.
We got really scared.

30. ’i’ tth’amuqw’us yuhw kwthey’.
And it must have been a sasquatch!

31. ni’ tst ’uy’stuhw kwutst hunum’ ’u tthu hwthuthiqut, kwthunu men ’i’ kwthu ’een’thu.
We liked going into the woods, my Dad and I.

32. ’uw’ hay ’ul’ kwthey’ nuts’ehw ni’ tst ts’elhum’ut kwthey’ tth’amuqw’us.
But that was the only time that we ever heard a sasquatch.

33. ni’ hay. hay ch q’u.
The end. Thank you.