kwthu swuy’qe’ ni’ hwu spe’uth | The man who was turned into a bear

An encounter by the river turns deadly with lasting consequences, in this story by Amanda Harris, translated into Hul’q’umi’num’ by Delores Louie, and illustrated by Valerie Bob.

kwthu swuy’qe’ ni’ hwu spe’uth

The man who turned into a bear

by Amanda Harris and Delores Louie

01. nu sqwul’qwul’ nilh kwthu swuy’qe’ ’i’ hwu spe’uth.

This is a story about a man who turned into a bear.

02. nuts’a’ skwuyel ’i’ ni’ nem’ yu ’i’mush thu spe’uth ’i’ tthu spe’uthallh nem’ xwte’ ’u tthu sta’luw’ sew’q’ ’u kw’ s’ulhtuns tse’.

One day a mother bear was taking her cub down to the river to look for food.

03. ’i’ wulh lumnuhwus tthu swuy’qe’ tse’tsul’ulhtun’ ni’ ’u tthu staluw’.

She saw a man who was fishing at the river.

04. hay ’ul’ thi tthu stseelhtun ni’ kwunnuhwus tthu swuy’qe’, wulh nem’ thu spe’uth, ts’i’ul’tus tthu swuy’qe’ ’u tthu stseelhtuns.

He had caught a big fish. And the bear went over and snatched the fish from the man.

05. ’a-a-ah, wulh t’eyuq’ tthu swuy’qe’, kwus ts’i’ul’tum’, wulh nem’ tseeltus tthu spe’uth stl’i’s kws hwu’a’lum’nuhwus tthu stseelhtuns.

This made the man very angry and he went chasing after the bear to grab his fish back.

06. kwus kwikwun’tul’ tthuw’nilh swuy’qe’ ’i’ thu spe’uth, ’i’ ni’ wulh nem’ hilum, tthu hay ’ul’ tsilhus kwus nem’ hilum, qwusqwus tthu swuy’qe’, qwsiws sus ’uw’ q’ay tthu swuy’qe’.

The man and the bear were struggling over the fish and they fell off the cliff, falling into the water and the man drowned and died.

07. ni’ nem’ tha ’i’thut thu spe’uth kwunutus kwthu stseelhtun sis nem’ ’uw’ xlhastus tthu spe’uthallh.

The bear took the salmon and she got back to her cub.

08. ’i’ ni’ yuhw yey’sul’u tthu shhw’a’luqw’a’s kwthey’ swuy’qe’, ni’ yuhw kwu’elh tul’nuhwus kwus ’uwu niis hun’umut sus nem’ ’uw’ suw’q’tum.

The man had two older brothers, and they must have realized that he didn’t come, so they went looking for him.

09. kwthu yey’sul’u shhw’a’luqw’a’s kwthey’ swuy’qe’ kwunnuhwus kwthu sqe’uqs ni’ qwsiws ni’ ’u tthu sta’luw’.

The two brothers of that man found their little brother, drowned in the river.

10. nilhulh sus ’uw’ wulh yu shtatul’st-hwus kws nilhs kwthu spe’uth ni’ q’aayt. hay ’ul’ ’uw’ xulh shqwaluwuns t’eyuq’ ’eelhtun. sus nem’ ’uw’ suw’q’tum.

They figured that the bear killed him. This made them really mad, and they went looking for it.

11. kwthu hay ’ul’ sun’tle’ swuy’qe’ ts’a’lusum sus ’uw’ kwunutus tthu s’unum wulh nem’ q’aaytus thu spe’uth.

So the eldest brother took his spear and he killed the mother bear.

12. ni’ yuhw xi’xlem’ tthu xeel’s kwthu ni’ sla’thut-s tthu swuy’qe’ sis ’uw’ ts’alusum sus ’uw’ ’iye’qtus tthu swuy’qe’, sqe’uqs. sus tl’uw’ hwu spe’uth tthu swuy’qe’. kwthey’ kwu’elh ’uwu niis hwu mustimuhw tl’lim’ nuw’ hwu spe’uth.

Xeel’s, the transformer, was watching, and he didn’t like the man killing the bear. And so he changed the brother into a bear. He was no longer a human, but he was now a bear.

13. kwthey’ kwu’elh ni’ hwu spe’uth, ni’ nem’ tha’i’thut sus ’uw’ nilh ni’ kw’umut kwthu spe’uthallh. tl’lim’ nuw’ hwu spe’uth. ’uwu niis swuy’qe’.

The man who was changed into a bear adopted the cub and became the father to the cub, foster-parenting the bear cub. He had really become a bear and was not a man.

14. hay ni’ lumnuhwus tthu mustimuhw tthu spe’uth. ’i’ ’uwu kws tum’tems ’i’ q’aaytum tthu spe’uth. ni’ st’e ’uw’ niis ’uw’ shtatul’st-hwus kws nilh ’uw’ sye’yus.

Sometimes the people would see the bear, but they recognized that he was their relative and so they would never kill that bear.

15. nilh kwu’elh ’uw’ st’es ’ul’ kwthey’ ’u kwthey’ ni’ ’uye’q spe’uth.  niilh tl’lim’ ’uw’ swuy’qe’ ’i’ ni’ hwu spe’uth. st’e ’ul’ ’u tthey’. hay ch q’u. ni’ hay.

And this is the end of my story about the man who became a bear.