Skip to main content

Section 6.3 Hul'q'umi'num' - KWI'KWUSHNUTS 'I' TTHU THI THQET

Written by: Veselin Jungic and Mark MacLean

Illustrated by: Simon Roy and Jess Pollard

Hul'q'umi'num' translation by: Delores Louie (Swustanulwut)

yath ’uw’ ni’ ’u tthu ti’yuxween thu kw’i’kw’ushnuts ’i’ ’uhwiin’ stl’i’tl’qulh. nem’ nets’uw’t-hwum tthu kw’i’kw’eshnuts kwun’atul’ ’u thu sqe’uqs, stl’atl’um’ kw’eshnuts, nem’ ’u thu si’lus ni’ ’u kwthu swe’s tumuhws hun’utum’ kwa’mutsun.

Small Number is a young boy who always gets into a lot of mischief. He goes for a visit, along with his sister Perfect Number, to their Grandma whose land is at Quamichan.

’uy’stum ’u’tl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts kws sew’q’s ’uwu kws ’un’nehws ni’ ’u tthu lelum’ ’u thu si’lus. yath ’uw’ sew’q’ ’ul’ ’ukw’ tuw’ xelu ’ul’, tuw’ ’i’uy’mut ’ul’ ni’ ’u tthu lelum’ ’utl’ si’lu. tthu kw’i’kw’ushnuts kwus ’i’mush sew’q’ ni’ ’u tthu lelum’ ’utl’ si’lu, ’i’ wulh lumnuhwus thu hay ’ul’ t’at le’tsus. hay ’ul’ ’i’uy’mut tthu sxul’s.

Small Number likes to stay at his grandma’s house. He always like to go looking for valuable and beautiful things there at his grandmother’s house. Small number is walking around his grandmother’s house looking and he sees a really old basket. It had very beautiful markings on it.

ni’ yu p’ep’utl’utus tthu sxul’s tthu le’tsus kwus hay’ ul’ xelunuhwus. “tthey’ le’tsus. nilh lhunu shhwum’nikw ni’ xt’estuhw tthuy’ le’tsus,” ts’its’elhumutum ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts thu si’lus yu hwsuweem’qun’ kwus yuqwaqwul’. “tthey’ le’tsus nilh tthu kwumluhws tthu xpey’ nilh ni’ hakwshum.”

He was touching the markings on the basket, admiring them. “It was my aunt who made this basket,” Small number heard his grandmother say in a soft voice. “This basket is made from cedar roots.”

sht’al’tth’us tthu kw’i’kw’ushnuts. suw’ thut-s thu si’lu, “nem’ tst yukwun’atul’ ’i’ lhun’ sqe’uq, stl’atl’um’ kw’ushnuts, ’uw’ kweyulus nem’ ’aluxut kwthu kwumluhw xpey’. xlhas tst kwu’elh! nuw ’uw’ yuthusthamu ’uw’ nutsim’us ’ushus xelu tthu hwkwum’luhw. ’i’ hay ’ul’ qux kwus yu na’nuts’tul’ tthu shtuhim’s kwus yu ha’kwushum’.”

Grandma looks at Small Number’s puzzled face, and says, “You and your sister, Perfect Number, will go with me tomorrow to gather cedar roots. Now let us eat! I’ll tell you why cedar roots are treasured by our people. They can be used in many different ways.”

“hun’utum’ yu xaytl’thut ’i’ ni’ tsun ’aluxut tthu hwkwumluhw xpey’, ’unwulh ’u tthu slhumuhw ’i’ tthu xuxun’.” kwus wulh nem’ ’imush ’u tthu hwthuthiqut suw’ qwals thu si’lu, “nu stl’i’ kws quxs hwkwumluhw xpey’, swe’s tse’ tthu le’tsus.”

“When it’s fall, I gather my cedar roots, between the time of the rains and the frost.” When they are entering the forest, Grandma says, “I like to have enough supply for the winter to make my baskets”.

sa’sxw tthu netulh, ’i’eluqupstum ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts tthu hwthuthiqut. wulh ts’elhum’utus tthu t’il’t’ulum’ sqw’ulesh ni’ ’u tthu tsilhus thuthiqut. suw’ hwqwelqwul’i’wun’s tthu kw’i’kw’ushnuts, “stem kwthu ni’ yu lhiya’uqwt ’u tthu s’ulnuts tthu thqet”. nem’ yu ’i’mush ni’ ’u tthu sts’ushtutsus ’u tthu tumuhws tthu hwthuthiqut.

It is a misty morning and Small Number can smell the sweet scent of the forest. He hears the birds singing to each other somewhere high in the trees. Small Number is thinking, “What is behind those big tree trunks?” He starts walking over the branches on the forest floor.

suw’ thuyuthut-s ’imush ’u tthu sq’a’qi’tsus thuthiqut, slheq’lhuq’ ’u thu sts’ushtutsus, ’i’ ni’ hwunin’sus tthu hwthithiqut stutes ’u tthu statluw’. nets’uw’uts sxun’u kws tl’uqtemutth’s tthu thqet. ’i’uymut tthu thekw’ thqet. suw’ qp’asum’s lemutus tthu statluw’.

He moves between dead tree limbs and fallen branches until he reaches the group of trees by a creek. The trees are 100 feet tall. They are beautiful straight trees. Then he looks down at the creek.

hwu shpal’pul’xa’lus tthu kw’i’kw’ushnuts kwus lumnuhwus tthu hay ’ul’ qux xil’e’ts’ stseelhtun sul’its’ ’u tthu statluw’. hwu hay ’ul’ xwumxwum tthu tth’ele’s.

Small Number’s eyes widen when he sees that there are alot of spawning salmon in the creek. His heart beats really fast.

ya’thut-s tthu kw’i’kw’eshnuts ’u tthu thqet. hwqweel’qwul’i’wun’ kws timut-s tthu shqwaluwuns suw’ lemut-s tthu shlhq’a’th statluw’. wulh lumnuhwus tthu tsq’ix spe’uth ’i’ tthu lhihw spe’uth’allh suli’si’q ’u tthu xpey’ulhp. suw lhelhuqum’s tthu kw’i’kw’ushnuts, “aah, ’uw’ thu’it. lhey’xtus tthu stseelhtun. suw’ hay ’ul’ s’hiil’ukw tthu shqwaluwuns.”

Small Number backs up behind the tree. He gathers all his courage and looks over to the other side of the creek. There he sees a black bear with her three cubs underneath a cedar tree. Small Number whispers,“So it is true that bears eat salmon. This is really exciting!”

“kw’i’kw’eshnuts, ’i’ tsun xut’usthamu ’uw’ yath ch ’uw’ stutes ’utl’ ’een’thu.” ts’elhum’utum ’utl’ kw’i’kw’eshnuts thu hwsuweem’qun’ sisul’us, suw’ ts’alusums, qwumtsustus thu sisu’lus. “aaah, si’lu, nan ch ’uw’ nu stl’i’.” “tl’e’ tsuw’ st’e nan ch ’uw’ nu stl’i’! ’uwu ch tl’e’uhw sii’si’stam’sh. ni’ tsun hwu stth’uykw’?”

“Small Number, I told you to stay with me all the time!” Small Number hears his grandma’s quiet voice, coming just from behind him. He turns around and hugs grandma very tightly. “Grandma, I love you so much!” “I love you very much too. Please don’t scare me like this again! I was frightened.”

kwus wulh hulun’umut ni’ ’u tthu lelum’ ’utl’ si’lu, skw’ey kws ts’ehwuls tthu kw’i’kw’eshnuts kws shhwun’um’s ’u kwthu xelu ni’ lumnuhwus. kwthu ni lumnuhwun’ lhey’xtum’ ’utl spe’uth tthu stseelhtun ni’ ’u kwthu hay ’ul’ thi thqet. sht’es kws thiis kwthey’ s’ulnuts ni’ ts’twa’ te’tsselu ’u tthu nu siiye’yu kws yu kwun’atsustul’.

When they got home to grandma’s house, Small Number couldn’t stop talking about his adventure of seeing such a rare sight. “I saw bears eating salmon under the biggest tree ever. The trunk of the tree was so big that I would need at least eight of my friends to hold their hands to get around it.”

neet tsun kwu’elh ’ukw’ spe’uthiye’ thqet. ’uwu ch kwu’elh huy’thustuhw lhu mam kwunus ni’ hwi nan’uts’a’ ni’ ’u kwthu hwthuthiqut!

“I’ll call it the Bear Tree! Just don’t tell Mom that I wandered through the forest on my own!”

suw’ ptem’: suw’ stsekwul’ kws thiis kwthey’ spe’uthiye’ thqet?

Question: How wide was the Bear Tree?