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Native Legend: Souie Appoo, the great hairy monster on Mount Chippaco


Souie Appoo, the great hairy monster on Mount Chippaco

Excerpts from ”In-Cow-Mas-Ket”, published in 1900 by Susan Allison under her father’s name Stratton Moir. Born in Ceylon, she was the first white woman to settle in the Similkameen Valley of the British Colombia Interior, Canada, in 1867, where she wrote about Native stories.

”Once upon the Mont Chippaco, there lived a monster grim and dread,

Awful as that dreadful mountain, when thunder clouds enveil its head.

Awful was his devilish laughter, and fierce and scornful was his ire,

When he found men on his mountain, where he hides midst clouds and fire.

Women had he taken captives and kept on that mountain lone.

Men he mocked with his fiendish laughter who sought to take the women home.

”List to the words of the man who is wise, seek ye not the high snow-crowned Chippaco, Chippaco mountain of wonder and dread. Oh search not for the great Souie Appoo, who marketh on that dread mountain his bed.”

”Ah vain is the warning they heed not, Alas! They heed not the words that are wise. They have taken their bows and their arrows, they have taken their ropes and reatas. Yes, they’ve gone to the mountain Chippaco, snow-crowned Chippaco, the bearer of clouds. They will search for the great Souie Appoo. Ha! They will drag him in bounds at their feet.”

”They have climbed up the mountain Chippaco and they have pierced through the gloom of the clouds. Up above them the sunshine is streaming, and down below them the thunder is loud.”

”Hush! Hush! There is the great Souie Appoo! Hush! Look yonder, where he lieth asleep. Yes, asleep on the mountain Chippaco…”

”Quickly forward to seize him they leap. Then they bind him with ropes and reatas. Then tight they bind him with thongs made of hide.”

”Souie Appoo awakens, he sneezeth. Slowly he stretched his long hairy limbs. See, they take up their bows and their arrows, and their sharp darts fly as thick as hail, and they strike on the great Souie Appoo, but like hail from a rock, back they rebound. Ah, vain, vain are their bows and their arrows.”

”Great Souie Appoo hath opened his eyes. Then they jump on the great form before them, and they cling to his long, silky, black hair. He yawneth, and half sleeping he riseth. Ropes and reatas are snapped like thread. The men that clung to his long, silky curls, Ah ah, he lifted them with his head.”

”Loosing their hold they roll off him, trembling they fall to the ground, and Souie Appoo, in scorn shaketh his black, silky ringlets. His mocking laugh peals out scornful and loud… Broke loudly forth from the dark, threatening clouds. Quickly fly they the mountain Chippaco, snow-crowned Chippaco that beareth the clouds. Quickly fly they the great Souie Appoo, whose mocking laughter is scornful and loud.”

Photo: Mount Chopaca (Chippaco), seen from the Similkameen Valley

Similkameen Valley 2

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