Bigfoot Encounters

Kwakiutl Legends by James Wallas 1981


There were four or five children laughing and having fun on a beach. Their parents had taken a canoe and gone to a good place for digging clams.

The children were playing on the sand near a pit in which they had built a fire. They put rocks in the fire and, when the rocks were red hot, they baked limpets on them and ate them. The little limpet shells fitted perfectly on the children's fingers, and they were having fun playing with them.

At first they did not notice a big figure creep slowly out of the woods and advance on one of the children. It looked like a big, big man with sunken eyes and covered with hair.

Finally one child spotted him but made no outward indication that he had noticed. He whispered to the others, "It's Big Figure. Don't scream, don't run away. Pretend you are not afraid." All the children put limpet shells on their fingertips and circled around to the other side of the huge figure so they were between him and the forest.

The giant turned toward them, his back to the fire. The children were trembling but the eldest bravely said, "We are ones that can scare people too - " They opened and closed their fingers as if they were blinking. Slowly they advanced on the giant, continuing to blink their fingers with the limpet shells on the tips.

Big Figure started backing up as the children advanced. He took several steps and suddenly tumbled backward into the pit with the red hot stones in it. The big creature was badly burned, and the jack-knife position he found himself in made it hard for him to get up.

"Cover him up! Cover him up!" screamed the children, and they quickly buried him with sand and gravel.

When the parents returned to the beach where they had left their children, the giant was dead. "We might not have been here when you came back," the eldest child cried, as all the children ran down to meet their parents' canoe. They all spoke at once. "Big Figure was here!" they said. "We buried him in the cooking pit."

Copyright: James Wallas, "Big Figure and the Limpets," Kwakiutl Legends. Blaine: Hancock House, 1981, p. 165-166.

Source: Tacoma Public Library Online

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