sht’es tthu tsiitmuhw | About the owl

Story by Alexis Smith with the help of Hul’q’umi’num’ Elder Ruby Peter. Hear what Alexis’ mother told her about the the great horned owl. Alexis participated in the workshop s’aa’lh shtutul’na’mut | Through our eyes at Ladysmith Secondary School, Ladysmith, British Columbia, in 2015.

sht’es tthu tsiitmuhw | About the great horned owl

by Alexis Smith and Ruby Peter

1. ’een’thu tuts’tunaut. tun’ni’ tsun ’utl’ shts’uminus.
I’m Tuts’tunaut. I am from Stz’uminus.

2. yath tsun ’uw’ he’kw’ ’u kwthu sqwul’qwul’ ’utl’ te’.
I always remember my mother’s story.

3. stsuw’ets tthu tsiitmuhw kws qwals.
Owls are very clever at talking.

4. yath ’uw’ ’e’wu ne’nuts’uw’t-hwum’ lhu sye’yus lhunu ten. ni’ kwuhwtsum yelh sus nuw’ilum.
A friend of my mother’s would always come visiting. She would knock and then come in.

5. kwthey’ nuts’a’ snet, yu xwan’chunum’ kws tus ’u thunu lelum’, suw’ thut-s, “Leona, m’i hwiyuneem’!”
This one night she can running in to my mother and said, “Leona, come listen!”

6. sus ’uw’ nem’ ’utl’qul hwiyuneem’ ts’elhum’ ’u tthu ni’ ’u tthu shisuts’.
And they went outside and could hear something in the bushes.

7. tl’lim’ ’uw’ slhq’il’ tthu sqwals kws thut, “Mommy, tth’ihwum ’i’ m’i ts’ewutham’sh!”
They could hear someone saying very clearly, “Mommy, please come help me!”

8. suw’ ’aatum kwthunu shhwum’nikw Gary ’uw’ nem’us ’utl’qul tl’uw’ hwiyuneem’.
So they called my uncle Gary to come outside and listen.

9. tl’e’ wulh qul’et ts’elhum’, ts’elhum’utus, “Mommy, tth’ihwum ’i’ m’i ts’ewutham’sh!”
And they heard it again, “Mommy, please come help me!”

10. susuw’ tul’nuhwus ’eelhtun nilh tthu tsiitmuhw.
They realized that it was the owl.

11. xwi’xwu’etus tthu tsiitmuhw tthu mustimuhw ’i’ tl’lim’ nuw’ shtuqin’ ’u kwthu ni’ xwi’xwu’etus.
It must have been copying someone’s voice, and it sounded exactly like a person.

12. ni’ hay ’uw’ st’e ’ul’ ’u tthey’ tthunu sqwul’qwul’. hay ch q’a.
That’s the end of my story. Thank you.