Thus They Told Us
Susitnu Htsukdu'a
Susitna Story
Told by Shem Pete
Thus They Told Us

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Ki ki jitshla q'u jitshla q'u heł nuhtghelnek.
More, I'll tell you a little more.

Shtukda ghun...Shi Shem Pete ełan shit'i.
My father, that one...I am Shem Pete.

Shtukda łu bingha k'ghila. Kisht'a ghel'ek.
My father had an older brother. He could really make medicine.

Dach' hełnih.
He used to say this.

"Suyitnu gu k'qitustlagh gheli. K'qitustlagh.
"This Susitna (Station) is going to just disappear. It will disappear.

K'echan ghini dendałneyi ka'a hq'u yi yan q'u nutnulyah ch'u Dena'ina ts'ełt'ana eyduna Susitnu gu k'qitustlagh," łu, dghinih łu.
That grass will be tall, and only that will be growing and every Dena'ina staying at Susitna here will disappear," he would say, it is said.

Dach' qeyełnih, "About 600 people [k'uych'en'i dghasdlinna] k'a shi Dena'ina yet hdalts'i.
This they would say to him, "Maybe about 600 Dena'ina people live there.

Yusdishla q'u Yusdishlaq' k'a qubitaychek' hqugh quht'ana k'ghila.
'Little point' also, 'little point' [island village site] was too small for the people that were there.

Yun'it ghu Qałnigi T'el'iht dghu qetnih yedghu k'a qenq'a ch'ahdat'un gheli ch'u Tsadukegh ghet qahdat'un gheli niłgheneh nunhdit'un.
Upstream at the place called 'where rocks are gathered,' it too has a row of houses extending outand at 'beneath big rock' they extend up right to there (houses). They (houses) are one after the other.

Qenq'a łu t'qighit'a łu.
There were houses, it is said.

Tan'i'i ghu ch'etnih dghuhdi shtukda bingha ghidu. Qayeh qighila.
At the place we call 'extends into water' there my father's older brother stayed. That was a village.

El'ish. Dach' hełnih.
He would make medicine. He would say this to them.

"Susitnu hq'u k'qitustlagh gheli. Ts'iłt'ana eyduna qitustlagh," nih.
"Susitna will simply disappear. Everyone staying (here) will disappear," he would say.

Qeyedełchih.
They used to get mad at him.

"Five, six hundred ch'ilan. Thirty, twenty nudelyash every year.
We are 5, 600 (people). 30 or 20 (children) are born every year.

Ch'adach' ghuda du k'qitustlagh? t'qeyełnih. "Shi hneł'an shughu deshni t'i."
"For what reason should they disappear?" they would say to him. "I am saying that this is how I see it."

Dach' ghu heł nuhqelnek shit'i. "Suyitnu K'eqitustlagh.
That is what he told them. "Susitna Station will disappear.

Bergansina hyan qetułah.
Only the Americans will be there.

Qadashdehnesh da?"
Do you hear me?"

"No! Nch'uk'a naqitustlagh shit'i!
"No! We won't disappear!

Quht'ana k'ilan shit'i.
There are lots of people.

Du ch'qu naqitustlegh?" qeyełnih. "Ohoho, No! Ch'u el'ek. K'qisenh gheli hneł'an. K'echan hyan q'u h'aq'a nutnulyah."
How can we disappear?" they said to him. "Ohoho, No! I am making medicine. I see there is really nothing. Only the grass will go after you (in your absence)."

"Nughidlahski?" Dashq'e q'u quht'ana k'ilan.
"How can that be?" There were also people at 'on the shoal' [Kroto Creek village].

Tuqen Kaq' k'a quht'ana k'ilan. Yusdishla yet q'u Yusdishla k'a qubitaychek' hq'u quht'ana k'ilan.
At 'clear water mouth' [Alexander Creek] too there were people. 'Little point,' there at 'little point' it was too small for all the people there.

Du ch'ułu ghuda k'qitustlagh?
For what reason would they disappear?"

"No, k'echan yan q'u ki dneł'an." ki hełnih.
"No, I see only grass," he told them again.

"Q'udi ghu t'qijuq sa neł'an ni." Yethdi henink'dalyu.
"Now should that happen, I saw it first." He warned them then.

"Shq'ech' ghu ninkendeghudehi ighi about two foot through qtułah.
"Over me there will be structures overgrown with vegetation that will become about two feet thick.

Yetda shughu ełnen gini ch'adach' k'a htunił?
In that case what will happen to this earth?

Quht'ana nch'uk'a qit'ayidine ełnen gini t'ehtunił ch'." Dach' dghinih. "Ełnen gini biqutilghuł!
People do not realize what will become of this earth." He said this. "Turn to this land!

Nu'uy jadeht biqutighu!" qeyłnih. El'ish, qendugh ghu naqatiyesh.
On the winter solstice you turn to it." he said to them. He would make magic, he would turn in a circle on the floor.

"Quht'ana ełnen ełnen quq' eyduna nch'uk'a yitdusnil ełnen gini ghu t'ehtunił ch'ghu.
"The people living on the earth do not realize what will happen on this land.

Ełnen ghu shq'e ninkenteghudehi two feet through hqugh dendiłkegh da. Yethdi t'ehtunił ch'ghu."
On the ground over me there will be structures overgrown with vegetation as much as two feet thick. That is what will happen."

Quht'ana nch'uk'a qit'a niyen. Shi k'a nch'uk'a qit'a inesen.
The people didn't know. I didn't know either.

"Huda Belgansina ghuna k'a ch'anyighitset ch'u yelaq'a hch'ayilq'ush.
"Because those Americans are coming in groups and like tiny objects (like sand falling out of his hand, as he gestured).

Belgansina gu hqught neł qitinult'al. Qubeł ch'tildałi lagi!"
There will be many Americans here with you. Don't mix with them!"

Airplane [nunudełi] qighisen.
There were no airplanes (at this time).

Airplane ghini k'i la k'a t'qijuq htidunił ch'ghu airplane elugh nunejah ch'u.
(He saw) what was going to occur with those airplanes, even though airplanes had not yet landed.

"200, 100 airplane at qelash ch'u yus ghu geese yada q'uda nuk'tnedeł."
"200, 100 will board airplanes and they fly outside somehow, like geese."

"Yada t'ehtunił?" "Hanyi hyanq'u gu k'a tinu'ilyuł.
"What will happen?" "Only you (Dena'ina) will be able to go back out into the country (in a group).

Huda match dzełdiq'us ndaha q'u qubeł idiltlet ni'iłash da'. Sbinits, duguli ghudehdi eł. Yada eł yet yada qa ita'ihdzes,
In order to light fires, you should hide matches. Bullets and axes and so forth. Everything that you can save yourselves with,

łuq'u hide t'eyił'an da [qełi'iłdeł da'].
you should hide everything.

Łuq'u hq'u k'u nuhtnudzeh ch'u Amerganisina ghuna. Hayi hdi heyi hyan gu q'u tidi'ilts'ił.
Then all of them will fly back, those Americans. Then you, only you will remain here.

Ła'a duch'q'u Belgansina danatulnesh ghuhdi,
For sure the Americans will move back there,

ki, ki uq hyanq'u qubeq'e k'ilan.
and next, there will just be clouds in their tracks.

Dghelay k'a nch'uk'a batsayił'e'.
The tops of mountains won't be showing up.

Ełnen gini.
On this land.

Dach' dun'ech' guhdi dun'ech' guhdi dghelay nich'qugh q'u tutdalyuh.
Here to the upstream, to the upstream here, the mountains will extend half way up.

Dghelay ghini uq ghini t'ent'a. Uq yeghesanił'u, dghelay ghini.
Those mountains are foggy. That fog is reaching up to top of the mountains.

Ughasht'ay hda'ilnish da'!
Hurry, you go there!

Yach' qitihdeh du qech'u sh'aq'ach' da, yeh da'ilnish ch'u iti'ihjesh da'.
Before you fall over after me (in my absence), you go there and you will be safe.

Yet daq'u iti'ihjesh."
There you will save yourselves."

Dach' łu dghini łu.
That is what he would say.

Dach' quht'ana ghenink'dalyu. Yen quht'ana ghunen. Q'udi ghu Susitnu t'qijuq tsa hneł'an ni.
That is how he warned the people. He, that person. Now you take a look at what has happened at Susitna (Station).

K'chan hyan k’dilan ch’u ts'ełt'an quht'ana Dena'ina eydunen k'a qisen.
There is only grass and not one Dena'ina person is staying there.

Ghu ch'adach' dghinih łuq'u yaqech' gheli yan q’u ninhdalnen. Yaqech' hyan t'qet’an.
Just how he had said then, everything has happened that way. Things happened just like that.

Flu [chinaggi] k'tulał hdi qit'a naghiyen. Flu [chinaggi] k'tułah ch’u
He had known there would be a flu epidemic. The flu would happen and

ełnen gini łuq'u gheli q’ushla hbek'qitustlagh. Yethdi one by one, one by one, [Nił'aq'a] chiqet'ish. ch’q'u łuq'u gheli Susitnu k'qilal. Nothing!
in this country they would almost all disappear. Then one by one they would die, one by one, and everyone at Sustina is gone. Nothing.

“Dach' ghu t'ehtunił t'i. Qadashdehnesh da?" Dghinih łu.
"It will happen in this way. Do you understand me?" (Shem's uncle is talking) he used to say.

Dach’ heł nuhghelnek t’a nesen q’u hdi bada qadashdunesh ni? Q'udi guduhdi gu my friend gga gu shu niyu.
This is what I want to tell you but now who is going to understand me? Now here my little friend had come here to me.

Recorder shqenaga nt'i tulił ch'q’u qadak'dihnesh.
My language will be on a recorder and you will hear it.

Shi k'a chida'eshjuq da shqenaga nihdi qadak'dihnesh, ch’u henda beghuda iti'ihjesh, shhenaga gini.
When I too have died, you will hear my language and so forth, and possibly for this reason you will save yourself, by my words here.

Dach' ghuda shughu q'udi gu qech' qeshnash t'i. Q'u, shi jen hqugh hech' qgheshnak.
That is the reason I am talking of this now. Okay, I have said enough.


Thus They Told Us