The Ide as a people are now extinct, with their last surviving full-blooded member passing away in 1922. That man, whose Ide name he never chose to reveal, was generally known as John Last in his dealings with others, and after the death of his last remaining cousin, he sat down for long sessions to document his language, culture, and ancestral tales. Working with an anthropologist from the University of the Northwest, John Last ensured that many of his folk tales remained even after his death.

One story that has fascinated modern cryptid hunters is that of the kiis’wah-hannag-tuul, a phrase which Last translated roughly to mean “Herd-As-Doe.” In his telling, deer would sometimes act very strangely in the upper valleys of the Ide territory, and begin to gather in large numbers.

When this happened, usually indicated in Ide folklore by the appearance of an albino or leucistic doe, the deer would begin to exhibit a startling and subtle intelligence. Hunts would begin to fail spectacularly, with hunters being killed or wounded in ambushes. It would seem that the deer had laid in wait for them and even sprung traps, an effect that seemed to increase the more animals were in proximity to one another.

As Last put it, during a Herd-As-Doe, three deer could cunningly escape a hunting party, five could counterattack and drive the hunters off, and ten could set traps for the hunters. Very large herds, including multiple mature bucks in a way that no normal herd would, would then stage large-scale raids on Ide crops.

At this stage, John Last said that the usual method of dealing with the situation was to stalk and kill the white doe, a feat not easily accomplished. He said that it had been done three times in the memory of his people. A further two times, the Ide had somehow communicated with the deer, and managed to convince it to break up the herd. When asked, John Last could not say how such communication was possible, but speculated that it was related to the “sticktongue” some Ide had used, which utilized small twigs for some non-verbal concepts.

The final Herd-As-Doe had only ended when the deer had ravaged the Ide lands and stripped them bare, eventually resorting to cannibalism while the Ide were forced to spend two seasons foraging outside their ancestral lands.

John Last’s story continues to fascinate researcher and fringe believers alike, and the rare albino deer in those lands is often semi-seriously hailed as the new “Herd-As-Doe.”

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