American Indian nations
Pishu (The Lynx) [archive]
This article has been temporarily archived from the Innu Nation website, which is
under reconstruction. When this legend becomes available on the Innu Nation website again, we will change our link to lead there instead.
Contents are the sole property of the authors. Please visit our Article Archive Index for
further information. If you are the author of this article and would like to make changes to it, or if you are the author of another article you would
like us to add to our archives, please contact us.
Pishu (The Lynx)
By Joseph Rich, Davis Inlet. Translated by Matthew Rich
There was a lynx who married Innu women. And when he came home with nothing from the hunt, he used to kill them and eat them.
One day an Innu woman said, "Since no one else can kill him, I will. He won't be able to kill me."
The people told her, "If you think you can kill him, find him and marry him.
So the woman went to where the lynx was living. She married the lynx and he thought to himself, "I will kill her, too."
The lynx said to his wife, "I want you to cut some firewood, the best you can get. I will go fishing."
While the lynx was gone, the woman cut wood, dry wood, very dry wood and very nice for firewood. When the lynx came back, he thought his wife was inside the tent and he stabbed with his spear through the tent. But his wife was hiding behind a tree.
When the lynx went into the tent, his wife wasn't there. He looked for his wife under the branches that covered the floor of the tent but she wasn't there. He searched everywhere for his wife but he couldn't find her.
And the lynx thought, "Where am I going to get something to eat?"
After a while the lynx thought, "I wonder if I'm good to eat." He cut a piece from his leg and roasted it in the fire. When it was cooked, he ate it. And he said to himself, "I taste very good."
He cut his leg again and put another piece in the fire and cooked it just a little bit. And he began to eat himself. And he began to sing. His song went like this: "I taste good."
Finally there was no meat left on him. He had only one thing left now - his heart. And he thought, "I wonder what I'm going to do now."
But he was still hungry and he thought, "I will grab my heart and take it out and cook it. I will take it out very fast and cook it and eat it very fast. Before I die, I will eat it."
The lynx grabbed his heart, took it out, cut it in half and began to roast it. But the heart turned white over the fire and he died.
He wife laughed at him while he was doing this to himself. When she returned to the people, she said, "I killed him but I didn't really kill him. He killed himself. When he was roasting his heart and it had almost turned white, he fell over backwards and he died," the woman told the people.
- THE END -
Native American Indian myth
Subarctic Native Americans
Read our article submission guidelines
Native American masks
Native American art
Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?