We'n Hushurreni'milh (Mole)

This story was told by both Jerry James (recorded under the title We'n Twulh "The Sky Falls" by Reichard) and Della Prince (recorded under the title "Mole" by Teeter). It describes how the mole got its name, and how its front paws came to be splayed to the sides. 

Both versions of the story are given side by side below, with minor differences in phrasing or pronunciation underlined. There is no archival audio recording of this story.

Download a PDF copy of the story (which includes more detailed word-by-word translations and notes).

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Wiyot (Della Prince)Wiyot (Jerry James)English

1. We’n Hushurreni’milh ji daqh.

We’n Hushurrenuwilh ji daqh.

Mole lived there.

2. Rrak Shou’r Lhugilh ji da louwilh.

Rrak Shurra Lhughilh ji da louwilh.

Southwest-Young-Man came there.

3. Qi klhamilh, da rridibou’.

[identical text]When he got there, he saw two people cooking.

4. Hou rrouguk, “Tsiqutsgurou!”

Hou wurouguklh, "Tsiqutsgurou!"

After a while, he said, “Little one fall down!”

5. Hi noulunuvilh, bouduroush.

Hi noulunuwilh bouduroush.

He picked up an Indian "potato".

6. Hi vighi’n.

Hiyu wighi’n.

Then they divided it.

7. Rrak Shou’r Lhugilh hi voudiwuluvilh.

Rrak Shurra Lhughilh hiyu woudiwuluwelh.

Southwest-Young-Man ate it and enjoyed it.

8. Hisgunuvoumilh.


He gave Mole a piece.

9. “Tsiqutsgurou!”


“Little one fall down!” he said.

10. Hi noulunuvilh, bouduroush.

[Reichard's transcript says, "Repeat sentences 5 to 9 several times."]He picked up an Indian "potato".

11. Hi vighi’n.

[Reichard's transcript says, "Repeat sentences 5 to 9 several times."]Then they divided it.

12. Rrak Shou’r Lhugilh hi    voudi’wuluvilh, hisgu’nuvoumilh.

[Reichard's transcript says, "Repeat sentences 5 to 9 several times."]Southwest-Young-Man ate it and enjoyed it, then he gave Mole a piece.

13. Rrak Shou’r Lhugilh hi yililh, “Shou diqutgulughoulilhit,     rradutgurray.”

Rrak Shurra Lhughilh hi yililh, "Shou diqutgulughalilhit rradutgula’.

Then Southwest-Young-Man said, “I wish a big one would fall down.”

14. We’n Hushurreni’milh lhe ga dalilh.

We’n Hushurrenuwilh lhu ga dalilh.

Mole never spoke.

15. “Diqutgulou!”


“Big one fall down!” [said Southwest-Young-Man].

16. Juwa we’n gas twulh.

Jouwa wi gas tuwulh we’n.

That’s when the sky fell.

17. Gish husgunuvilh.


He [Mole] tried in vain to hold up a piece.

18. Houwe’sanu’l shaw hi rraqlhayurr.

We’sanu’l shaw hi rruqhlhayurr.

His hands were pushed sideways.