Small Number and the Big Tree – Sliammon

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.


( Translation)

Translation by

Story Transcript: English and

mɛnaθɛy hɛga t̓aχəmay
Mentally and the Cedar tree
 

 

hɛw payɛ ɬaχɬaχtən mɛnaθɛy. payɛ gagayɛɬtən kʷ ʔukʷ taməs. θo qamɛtəm šɛ qɛχs, sosan, šɛ paʔa t̓ᶿok̓ʷ ta ʔayɛs šɛ čɩčyɛs.
Mentally was always up to mischief. He was curious about everthing. One day he and his sister, Sosan went to visit their grandmother.
 
χaχapi ta ʔayɛs šɛ čɩčyɛs. ʔukʷ təm kʷənkʷʊntəs. qajɛʔot χəpχəpi ʔi pakʷuxʷəs šɛ pɩču. "kʷʊt gi ta χat̓kʷs. hɛw ʔajumiš mot." natəm mɛnaθɛy. qapɛtəs šɛ pɩču. "hɛɬ ʔatᶿ čɛpθoɬ ʔa hitoɬ",̓natəm šɛ čɩčyɛs. "toχnɛxʷačxʷ hɛɬ ta kʷaʔəmnačs kʷ t̓aχəmay payɛ yiqašɛt?"
Menathey wandered around his grandmother's house. Looking at everything. He was still wandering around when he noticed a basket. "Look at the design. it is so beautiful." said Menathey. Touching the basket. "It was my aunt who made it", said his grandmother. "Do you know that we always use cedar roots?"
   
kʷʊnostəm šɛ čɩčyɛs. χəχyɛʔos mɛnaθɛy. "hočɛpsəm qamɛθ kʷisəm kʷ θičɛm. hoštəm maʔəm kʷ kʷaʔəmnəč. qʷaga ʔɛɬtənšt. tawθɛθəm ninijɛ kʷ t̓aχəmay. hɛwšt ti:sxʷ. ʔukʷtəm haʔhitɛt təwa ta t̓aχəmay. ƛasəm ʔajut kʷ t̓imɛxʷs."
His grandmother looked at him. Menathey looked puzzled. "you and your sister will come with me tomorrow and go up to the woods. We will go and get cedar roots. Let us eat now. I will tell you about Cedar. We treat it with respect. We make many things from the cedar tree. It also has strong medicine."
 
"tətč θo θɛqnəč hɛwtəms hanəm čɛməm. qaχ ga tatᶿ kʷaʔəmnəč ta sotič. hɛɬ yiqašɛn kʷatᶿ hiʔəm kʷ pɩču." natəm čɩčyɛ. ƛɛ mot θo tasɛw kʷ θičɛm.
"I like to dig cedar roots before it gets cold and freezes. Then i have lots of cedar roots for the winter. It is what I use to make baskets." said granny. It did not take them long to get to the forest.
   
ɬaχayitən ʔot. hɛw ʔajɛqəp ta θičɛm, hotɛgən mɛnaθɛy. qaχ kʷ t̓ɛt̓əst̓ɛs čiyɛtəs. "təmčɛ nɛ ʔawtɛgəns ta titi yɛmajɛjɛ?" nonpɛganəm mɛnaθɛy. θo mɛtəs nɛs šɛ qaχ t̓aχəmay. "hɛw ʔi:mot tɛʔɛ. θič mot. qʷayin θiyɛčɩsaɬšɛ θoxʷɩns kʷ ƛaqts! kʷʊtəs ta qʷatəm. k̓ʷʊk̓t ta jɛnxʷ! hehɛw qaχ mot jɛnxʷ.
It is a very misty morning. Menathey smells the sweet scent of the forest. He hears the birds singing. "I wonder what is behind the big trunks of the trees?" thinks Menathey. He went towards a grove of cedar trees. "This tree is really good. How straight. It must be at least 50 meters tall!" He looked towards the river. The fish were swimming upstream! So many!
 
čiyɛxʷəs kʷ taməs. θo kʷayɛmot ʔawtəms šɛ ti jɛjɛ. xʷə χʷoχəs,t̓ɛt̓at̓ᶿawus, mɛnaθɛy. kʷʊnuxʷəs šɛ mɛχaɬ hɛga mɛmχaɬs. "hmm, gənaxʷəla! mum kʷ təs ta jɛnxʷ! natəm mɛnaθɛy. "hehɛwč ʔɛʔajusθot tin t̓ᶿok̓ʷ!"
Menathey hears something. He hides behind a big tree. It does not take long before Menathey peeks out from behind the tree. He sees a black bear with cubs. "hmmm, it is true! They are eating the fish!" whispered Menathey. "This is the best day of my life!"
   
"χʷaχʷaʔaθɛʔoɬč ga xʷəʔuxʷ θo pɛpayɛ ʔəmɛmiš, mɛnaθɛy" hot šɛ čɩčyɛs. kʷʊtosəm mɛnaθɛy. jɛqa nɛ šɛ čɩčyɛs. p̓ɛθostəs šɛ čɩčyɛs. "hɛwč χaƛnome, čɩčyɛ!" "χaƛnomɛč ʔajut. xʷačxʷ sɛsaystomšxʷ qɛy." natəm čɩčyɛ.
"I told you not to go wandering by yourself, Menathey" said granny. Menathey turned around. His granny was standing behind him. He gave her a big hug. "I love you, granny!" "I love you too. Please do not scare me again." said granny.
 
θo χapiyɛʔɛw kʷ ʔayɛs ta čɩčyɛ. xʷɛtot xʷa čɛmas ?ɛɬtanit mɛnaθɛy. qʷɛyqʷay mot. tatawtəs sosan hɛga čɩčyɛ ninijɛ ʔukʷtəm kʷʊnuxas kʷ θičɛm. "kʷʊnuxʷoɬčɛn šɛ mɛχaɬ ʔɛʔɛɬtən kʷ jɛnxʷ! kʷʊnuxʷoɬčɛn šɛ ti mot t̓aχəmay! θoxʷɛn ti:s ta yɛmajɛjəs, qʷayin xʷɛtot taʔačɩsaye θ qəmqəm ƛayčišsɛtawɬ kʷ yukʷots šɛ jɛjɛ. hɛɬsəm mɛχaɬ jɛjɛ t̓ᶿ nansxʷ!"
They went back to granny's house. Menathey could hardly eat for talking so much. He told Sosan and his granny about everything that he saw in the woods. "I saw a black bear eating fish! I saw the biggest cedar tree! The trunk was so big that i think it would take 8 of my friends holding hands to circle the tree. I will call it the bear tree!
   
"xʷačxʷ tawtuxʷ t̓ᶿ tan kʷat̓ᶿ yɛyɛθotoɬ kʷ θičɛm. t̓ᶿ θo pɛpayɛ ʔəmɛmiš."
"just don't tell mom what i did in the woods. That i went wandering off by myself."
 
gayɛɬtənč: čɩmčɛ θoxʷɛns kʷ p̓ɛqs šɛ mɛχaɬ jɛjɛ?
Question: How wide was the Bear Tree?
   
 

 

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;