The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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79. THE COYOTE AND THE GRASSHOPPER. 1
Halíksai! In Oraíbi the people were living. At Grasshopper Bluff (Tö'tölchomo), the Grasshopper Old Man (Tö'töl Wuhtaka) and his wife were living. They had children. At Íshmovala lived the Coyote. It was planting time. The Grasshopper had a big field east of where he lived. The two were great friends. When it was planting time the Grasshopper also wanted to plant but he said to his wife that he was not going to plant alone, others were going to help him, so she should put up a good deal of food. She prepared some múhpiki, 2 some qö'ma, 3 and filled a jug with water. All this her husband took on his back, took some seeds, and went to his field. Here he seated himself in the kísi 4 that he had built in his field and waited, but nobody came. It was nearly noon and still nobody came. So he ate his food all alone. When he had eaten he took the seed, went into the field and planted all alone. In the afternoon it became very hot and he was thirsty, so he returned to the kísi, drank some water and lay down to rest, leaning his feet against the side of the booth.
While he was lying there in that manner he heard somebody come. It was his friend the Coyote. "Well now," the latter said, "why is my friend lying down that way?" "Yes," the Grasshopper replied, "I am lying here because I am tired. I am afraid this kísi will fall down on me, and how shall I run away?" "Now, let me lie down, too," the Coyote said, so he lay down beside his friend, also leaning his hind feet against the booth. The Grasshopper jumped up then, said that his water in the jug was about gone and he would get me more water. Picking up the jug he went to his house where he found his children. As he was planning some mischief against his friend, he told his children to go before him to their uncle, the Deer, who lived at Cotton Field Mount (Pichínvaschomo).
The Coyote was, during this time, lying in the kísi with his hind legs against the timbers of the booth. He waited and waited, and finally became tired. "I guess my friend is not coming," he said, "I guess he lied and it is not true that this kísi will fall down on me. I shall at least try to let. go with my feet and quickly jump out." So he did so, and while the booth was shaking it did not fall. "There," he said, "he just lied to me. I shall go and eat up his children." So
he went to the house of his friend and found the door closed with a grass mat. This he removed and went in, but found no one in the house. "Aha," he said, "they have run away from me," and coming out of the house he found their tracks leading north-eastward.
He followed the tracks and came to the house of the Deer. "Has the Grasshopper come herewith his family?" he asked. "Yes,'' the Deer replied, "they have come here." "You get them out here," the Coyote said. "No, you come in yourself, the Deer replied. "No, no, bring them out," the Coyote insisted, "I want to devour them." "No, no, you come in yourself," the Deer once more said. So the Coyote went down the ladder two rongs and then jumped out again. "Oh," he exclaimed. "Do not be afraid," the Deer said, "we are not going to hurt you." So he again went down two rongs. but jumped out again, being afraid. "You just go in," the Deer said, "we shall not hurt you." "No, you bring them out here," the Coyote once more requested. But finally he concluded to go down. He stopped at the elevated portion of the kiva, and saw two strong Deer standing one on each side of the fireplace. In another part of the kiva he saw the wife of the Grasshopper and her children. "You hand those to me here," he said to the Deer. "No, you come down yourself, and get them," they replied. So he stepped down into the deeper portion of the kiva, but at once one of the Deer picked him up with the horns and threw him upward towards the hatchway. As soon as he fell down the other Deer picked him up and threw him upwards, and so they kept it up until he was dead, whereupon they threw him out.
Hereupon the Deer said to the Grasshoppers: "Now, you go out wherever you think, nobody will hurt you now." When they had left the kiva their mother said to them: "Now, every one of you go where he wants to go," so they immediately scattered, flying in all directions, and that is the reason why the grasshoppers are now found everywhere. If they had not scattered out at that time they would be just living at one place now.
212:1 Told by Macáhongva (Oraíbi).
212:2 Rolls of thin wafer bread (píki).
212:3 Meal of sweet corn.
212:4 Shade, shadow, umbrella, etc., in this case a booth or temporary shelter in the field, built of branches and brush.
Next: 80. The Three Maidens and the Coyote