Small Number and the Big Tree – Hul'q'umi'num'

Written by Veselin Jungic and Mark MacLean
Illustrated by Simon Roy and Jess Pollard

Small Number is a young boy who gets into a lot of mischief. With his sister Perfect Number he visits their Grandma who lives in a small village on their Nation’s traditional territory.

kwi'kwushnuts 'i' tthu thi thqet
(Hul'q'umi'num' Translation)

Hul'q'umi'num' Translation by and narration by Delores Louie (Swustanulwut)

Story Transcript: English and Hul'q'umi'num'

kw’i’kw’ushnuts ’i’ tthu thi thqet
Small Number and the Big Tree

01. yath ’uw’ ni’ ’u tthu ti’yuxween thu kw’i’kw’ushnuts ’i’ ’uhwiin’ stl’i’tl’qulh.
Small Number is a young boy who always gets into a lot of mischief.

02. 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.
He goes for a visit, along with his sister Perfect Number, to their Grandma whose land is at Quamichan.

03. ’uy’stum ’u’tl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts kws sew’q’s ’uwu kws ’un’nehws ni’ ’u tthu lelum’ ’u thu si’lus.
Small Number likes to stay at his grandma’s house.

04. yath ’uw’ sew’q’ ’ul’ ’ukw’ tuw’ xelu ’ul’, tuw’ ’i’uy’mut ’ul’ ni’ ’u tthu lelum’ ’utl’ si’lu.
He always like to go looking for valuable and beautiful things there at his grandmother’s house.

05. 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.
Small number is walking around his grandmother’s house looking and he sees a really old basket.

06. hay ’ul’ ’i’uy’mut tthu sxul’s.
It had very beautiful markings on it.

07. ni’ yu p’ep’utl’utus tthu sxul’s tthu le’tsus kwus hay’ ul’ xelunuhwus.
He was touching the markings on the basket, admiring them.

08. “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’.
“It was my aunt who made this basket,” Small number heard his grandmother say in a soft voice.
“tthey’ le’tsus nilh tthu kwumluhws tthu xpey’ nilh ni’ hakwshum.”
“This basket is made from cedar roots.”

09. 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’.
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.

10. xlhas tst kwu’elh! nuw ’uw’ yuthusthamu ’uw’ nutsim’us ’ushus xelu tthu hwkwum’luhw.
Now let us eat! I’ll tell you why cedar roots are treasured by our people.
’i’ hay ’ul’ qux kwus yu na’nuts’tul’ tthu shtuhim’s kwus yu ha’kwushum’.
They can be used in many different ways.

11. hun’utum’ yu xaytl’thut ’i’ ni’ tsun ’aluxut tthu hwkwumluhw xpey’, ’unwulh ’u tthu slhumuhw ’i’ tthu xuxun’.”
When it’s fall, I gather my cedar roots, between the time of the rains and the frost.

12. 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 they are entering the forest, says Grandma says, “I like to have enough supply for the winter to make my baskets,”

13. sa’sxw tthu netulh, ’i’eluqupstum ’utl’ kw’i’kw’ushnuts tthu hwthuthiqut.
It is a misty morning and Small Number can smell the sweet scent of the forest.

14. wulh ts’elhum’utus tthu t’il’t’ulum’ sqw’ulesh ni’ ’u tthu tsilhus thuthiqut.
He hears the birds singing to each other somewhere high in the trees.

15. suw’ hwqwelqwul’i’wun’s tthu kw’i’kw’ushnuts, “stem kwthu ni’ yu lhiya’uqwt ’u tthu s’ulnuts tthu thqet.
Small Number is thinking, “What is behind those big tree trunks?”
nem’ yu ’i’mush ni’ ’u tthu sts’ushtutsus ’u tthu tumuhws tthu hwthuthiqut.
He starts walking over the branches on the forest floor.

16. 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’.
He moves between dead tree limbs and fallen branches until he reaches the group of trees by a creek.

17. nets’uw’uts sxun’u kws tl’uqtemutth’s tthu thqet.
’i’uymut tthu thekw’ thqet. suw’ qp’asum’s lemutus tthu statluw’.
The trees are 100 feet tall. They are beautiful straight trees. Then he looks down at the creek.

18. 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.

19. 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’.
Small Number backs up behind the tree. He gathers all his courage and looks over to the other side of the creek

20. wulh lumnuhwus tthu tsq’ix spe’uth ’i’ tthu lhihw spe’uth’allh suli’si’q ’u tthu xpey’ulhp.
There he sees a black bear with her three cubs underneath a cedar tree.

21. 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 whispers,“So it is true that bears eat salmon. This is really exciting!”

22. “kw’i’kw’eshnuts, ’i’ tsun xut’usthamu ’uw’ yath ch ’uw’ stutes ’utl’ ’een’thu.”
“Small Number, I told you to stay with me all the time!”

23. ts’elhum’utum ’utl’ kw’i’kw’eshnuts thu hwsuweem’qun’ sisul’us, suw’ ts’alusums, qwumtsustus thu sisu’lus.
Small Number hears his grandma’s quiet voice, coming just from behind him. He turns around and hugs grandma very tightly.

24. “aaah, si’lu, nan ch ’uw’ nu stl’i’.”
“Grandma, I love you so much!”

25. “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’?”

“I love you very much too. Please don’t scare me like this again! I was frightened.”

26. 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.
When they got home to grandma’s house, Small Number couldn’t stop talking about his adventure of seeing such a rare sight.

27. kwthu ni lumnuhwun’ lhey’xtum’ ’utl spe’uth tthu stseelhtun ni’ ’u kwthu hay ’ul’ thi thqet.
“I saw bears eating salmon under the biggest tree ever.
sht’es kws thiis kwthey’ s’ulnuts ni’ ts’twa’ te’tsselu ’u tthu nu siiye’yu kws yu kwun’atsustul’.
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.

28. neet tsun kwu’elh ’ukw’ spe’uthiye’ thqet.
I’ll call it the Bear Tree!

29. ’uwu ch kwu’elh huy’thustuhw lhu mam kwunus ni’ hwi nan’uts’a’ ni’ ’u kwthu hwthuthiqut!
Just don’t tell Mom that I wandered through the forest on my own!”

30. suw’ ptem’: suw’ stsekwul’ kws thiis kwthey’ spe’uthiye’ thqet?
Question: How wide was the Bear Tree?


About the Hul'q'umi'num' language

Translation and Narration: Delores Louie (Swustanulwut)

Hul’q’umi’num’ transcription, and Editing by Donna Gerdts (Sp’aqw’um’ultunaat)

Sound recording and editing: Thomas Jones (Siwut) & Donna Gerdts (Sp’aqw’um’ultunaat)

Special thanks to: Joan Brown (Quwqumalwut), HLCC

Funding for Hul’q’umi’num’ language: First Peoples’ Cultural Council, SSHRC.

Credits and Acknowledgements

Credits: Written by Veselin Jungic, SFU, and Mark MacLean, UBC;

Voice (English): Willard (Buddy) Joseph of the Squamish Nation; Voice (Hul'q'umi'num'): Delores Louie (Swustanlwut); Voice (Sliammon): Betty Wilson (Oshelle); Voice (Squamish): Norman Guerrero Jr. (Setálten); Illustrators: Simon Roy and Jess Pollard, Victoria, BC; Sound (English): Ericsson San Pablo Chu, Simon Fraser University; Sound (Hul'q'umi'num'): Donna Gerdts (Sp'aqw'um''ultunaat) and Thomas Jones (Sewit); Music and Animation: Andy Gavel, Simon Fraser University; Producer: Veselin Jungic, Simon Fraser University; Director: Andy Gavel, Simon Fraser University; Special Thanks To: Betty Willson of the Sliammon Nation; Jessica Humchitt of the Heiltsuk Nation; Stephani Monkman of the Métis Nation; Ozren Jungic, University of Oxford; Pam Borghardt, Simon Fraser University; Alejandro Erickson, Durham University; Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University; Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia; Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University; Office for Aboriginal Peoples, Simon Fraser University; Pacific Institute For Mathematical Sciences; The IRMACS Centre, Simon Fraser University;