Zuni Folktales by Frank Hamilton Cushing
THE MAIDEN THE SUN MADE LOVE TO, AND HER BOYS
OR, THE ORIGIN OF ANGER
Let it be about a person who lived in the Home of the Eagles (K'iákime), under the Mountain of Thunder, that I tell you today. So let it be. It was in the ancient, long-forgotten times. It was in the very ancient times beyond one's guessing. There lived then, in this town, the daughter of a great priest-chief, but she had never, never, never since she was a little child, come forth from the doorway of the house in which she dwelt. No one there in that town had ever seen her; even her own townspeople had never seen her.
Now, day after day at noon-time, when the Sun stood in the mid-heavens, he would look down from the sky through a little window in the roof of her house. And he it was who instant was her lover, and who, descending upon the luminously yellow trail his own rays created, would talk to her. And he was her only companion, for she knew not her own townspeople, neither had she seen them since she was a child. None save only her parents ever saw her.
"Wonder what the cacique's child looks like," the people would say to one another. "She never comes out; no one has seen her since she was a
little child." And so at last they schemed to get a look at her. One said: "I have it! Let us have a dance for her. Then it may be she will deign to come forth."
The young man who spoke was chief of the dances, and why should he not suggest such a thing? So, his friends and followers agreeing, they began to make plumes of macaw feathers—beautiful plumes they were—for the Plume dance. They set a day, and on that day, in the morning, they danced, with music and song, in the plaza before the house of the great priest-chief where the girl lived. They looked along the top of the house in vain; the girl was not there; only her old parents sat on the roof.
"Oh! I'm so thirsty!" cried the chief of the dance, for he it was who wanted to see the girl.
"Run right in and get a drink," said the girl's old ones. So the young man climbed the ladder and went into the first room. There was no water there; then he went into the second room, but there was no water there; then into the third room, but still he found no water. He looked all around, but saw nothing of the priest-chief's daughter. All the same, she was back in the fourth room, sitting there just as if no dance were going on in the plaza, weaving away at her beautiful trays of colored splints.
Well, the young man went back; they finished their dance, but no one saw anything of the priest-chief's daughter; and when the dancers all returned to their ceremonial chamber they said to
one another: "Alas! although we danced for her, she came not out to see us!"
Now, in reality, the Sun, who was her lover, and came down each day on a ray of his own light to visit her, loved her so much he would not that she should come forth from her house and be seen of men. Therefore he set an Eagle upon the housetop in a great cage to watch her. He was a very wise old Eagle. He could understand every word that the people said. And he it was that she fed and watered from day to day. Now, the dancers in the ceremonial chamber asked: "What shall we do?"
"Why, let us dance again," said the chief of the dances, "and if we do not succeed, yet again." They did as he said, but with no better success than before; so at last the two Warrior Priests of the Bow grew angry, and although they were the girl's father's own warriors, they ordered the Warrior festival, or Óinahe dance. "Surely," said they, "she will come forth, and if not, let her perish, for how can she refuse the delight of the great Óinahe, where each young man dances and masks himself according to his fancy?"
So, one night the two warriors went out and called to the people to make ready and be happy, for in four days they should dance the Óinahe. When they had done calling, they descended, and the people said to one another: "Surely she will come out when we dance the Óinahe, for she will be delighted with it, and we shall yet see her. She was very beautiful when she was a little girl."
Then both of the warriors climbed to the top of Thunder Mountain, where Áhaiyúta and his brother, Mátsailéma, the Gods of War, and their grandmother lived in the middle of the summit. As they approached the presence of the two gods, they exclaimed: "She-e!"
"Hai!" the gods replied.
"Our fathers, how is it that ye are, these many days?" they asked, and the Twain replied: "We are happy. Come in; sit down "; and they placed a couple of stools for the warriors. "What is it that ye would of us?" they continued; "for it would be strange if ye came up to our house for nothing."
"True it is," replied the warriors. "It is in our hearts as your two chosen children—as the war-priests of our nation—that our people should be made happy as the days of the year go by; and we therefore think over all the beautiful dances, and now and then command that the most fitting of them shall appear. Now, our children, the people of the Home of the Eagles, are anxious to see our child, the daughter of the priest-chief, who has not come forth from her house, and whom we have never seen since she was a little girl. We have thought to order your dance of the Óinahe, and we would that without fail our daughter should be made to come forth or else die; therefore, our fathers, we have come to consult ye and to ask your advice."
"Aha!" cried the Twain. "Then ye are anxious that this should be, are ye?"
"Yes," they replied.
"Well, it shall come to pass as ye wish it, and the girl must die if she come not forth at the bidding of the Óinahe!"
"Aha!" ejaculated they both. "Thanks!"
"Yea, it shall be as ye wish. Make our days for us-name the times for preparation, and we shall be with ye to lead the Óinahe. The first time our dance will come forth, and the second time our dance will come forth, and the third time our dance will come forth, but the fourth time our dance comes forth, it will happen as ye wish it. It will certainly be finished as ye wish it.
"Well! Thanks; we go!" (good-by).
"Go ye," said the gods to their children; and they went.
The Eagle was very unhappy with all this. He knew it all, for he understood everything that was said. Next morning he hung his head at the window with great sadness; so the girl, after she had eaten her morning meal, took some dainty bits to the window and said: "Why are you so unhappy? See, I have brought you some food. Eat!"
"I will not eat; I cannot eat," replied the Eagle.
"Why not?" asked she. "I will not harm you; I am happy; I love you just as much as ever."
"Alas, alas! my mother," said the Eagle. "It is not with thoughts of myself that I am unhappy, but your father's two war-priests are anxious that their children shall be made happy, and their
children, the people of our town under the mountain, are longing to see you. They have said to one another that you never come forth; they have never seen you. Therefore they have ordered the Óinahe, that you may be tempted out. They went up to the home of Áhaiyúta and his younger brother, where they live with their grandmother, on the top of Thunder Mountain, and the two gods have said to them: "It shall come to pass as ye wish it." Therefore they will dance, and on the fourth day of their dancing it shall come to pass as they wish it. Indeed, it shall happen, my poor mother, that you shall be no more. Alas! I can do nothing you can do nothing; why should I tarry longer with you? You must loosen my bonds and let me free."
"As you like," said the girl. "I suppose it must be as you say." Then she loosened the Eagle's bonds, and, straight as the pathway of an arrow, away he flew upward into the sky—even toward the zenith where the Sun rested at noon-time, and whither he soon arrived himself.
"Thou comest," said the Sun.
"I do, my father. How art thou these many days?" said the Eagle to the Sun.
"Happy. Here, sit down." There was a blanket already placed for him, and thereupon he sat; but he never looked to the riff ht nor to the left, nor yet about the Sun-father's splendid home. He said not a word. He only drooped his head, so sad was he.
"What is it, my child?" asked the Sun. "I
suppose thou hast some errand, else why shouldst thou come? Surely it is not for nothing that thou wouldst come so far to see me."
"Quite true," answered the Eagle. "Alas! my child; alas, my mother! Day after day down in the home under the mountain the people dance that they may tempt her forth; yet she has never appeared. So her father's war-priests are angry and have at last been to see the Twain in their home on Thunder Mountain, and the Twain have commanded that soon it shall come to pass as the people wish or that our beautiful maiden shall perish. Even tomorrow it shall be; so have the Twain said; and when the fourth dance comes out it shall come to pass, and our beautiful maiden shall be no more; thus have the Twain said. I cannot enrich my mother, the daughter of the priest-chief, thy beautiful child, with words of advice, with aid of mine own will; hence come I unto thee. What shall I do?"
"What shalt thou do?" repeated the Sun. "I know it is all as thou hast said. Know I not all these things? The Twain, whose powers are surpassed only by mine own, have they not commanded that it shall be? What shalt thou do but descend at once? Tell her to bathe herself and put on her finest garments tomorrow morning. Then, when the time comes, mount her upon thy shoulders and bear her up to me. Only possibly thou wilt have the great good fortune to reach my house with her. Possibly in thy journey hither it shall come to be, alas! as the Twain have said; for
have not they said it should be, and are they not above all things else powerful?"
"Well, we'll try to come."
"But I will watch thee when thou art about to reach the mid-heavens."
"Well, I go," said the Eagle, rising.
"Very well," responded the Sun; "happily mayest thou journey." And the Eagle began to descend.
Meanwhile the daughter of the priest-chief opened the skyhole and placed a sacred medicine-bowl half full of water on the floor where the sunlight would shine into it, and where it would reflect the sky, and there she sat looking intently down into the water. By-and-by the Eagle came in sight, and she saw his shadow in the water.
Just then the Sun drew his shield from his face. Oh! how hot it was down there on the earth. The sky was ablaze with light, and no one dared to look at it; and the sands grew so hot that they burned the moccasins of those who walked upon them. Everybody ran into the houses, and the Eagle spread his wings and gently descended, for he too was hot. And when he came near to the house, the girl let him in and welcomed him.
"Thou comest, father," said she.
He only drooped his head and flapped his wings, unable even to speak, so hot was he.
She saw that he was near to fainting. Therefore she fanned him-made cool wind for him with the basket tray and her mantle-and sprinkled cold water upon his head.
"Thou hast been to the home of our father?" she asked, when he had recovered.
"Yes," replied the Eagle.
"What has he advised that we should do?" asked she.
"This," said the Eagle; "tomorrow morning at the dawn of day thou wilt arise and bathe thyself. Then at sunrise thou shalt put on thy finest garments. The dance will come forth; and then it will come forth the second time, and the third time, and again it will come the fourth time. Then I will mount thee upon my shoulders and bear thee away toward the Sun, who will be waiting for us. It may be that we shall have the good fortune to reach his home; and it may be that we shall get only a little way when everything shall come to pass unhappily and thou wilt be no more." That is what he said to her.
It grew night. The girl collected all the basket-trays that she had made for her father's sacred plumes; these by the fire-light she spread out, and then began to divide them into different heaps.
Now, her parents, who were sitting in the next room, heard her until it was late at night, and they said to each other: "Wonder what it is that keeps our daughter up?" So the old priest-chief arose and entered her room.
"My child, art thou not at rest yet?" asked he.
"No," replied she. "I am dividing the trays I have made for thee. "These," said she, pointing to a heap of yellow ones, "shall pertain to the north-land; these, the blue, to the west-land; the
red to the land of the south, the white to the east, the variegated to the upper regions, and the black to the regions below. For tomorrow, beloved father, thou shalt see me no more."
"It is well," said the father, for he was a great priest and knew the will of the gods, and to this he always said: "It is well. What, therefore, should I say?" So the old man left her.
Then as morning approached she bathed herself. And the Eagle, looking down, said: "My child, my mother, lie down and rest thyself, for we are about to undertake a long journey. Never fear; I will wake thee at the right time." So she lay down and slept. The Eagle perched himself above her and watched for the dawn.
By-and-by the great star arose. Then he knew that the Sun would soon follow it, and he said: "Mother, arise! dress thyself, for the time is near at hand."
Outside on the house-tops called the two war-priests to their children:
Hasten, hasten! Prepare for the dance!
Hasten, hasten! Eat for the dance!
Hasten, hasten, our children all!"
Then the girl went into another room and brought forth her finest dresses, and these, garment after garment, she put on—not one dress, but many. Upon her shoulders she placed four mantles of snow-white embroidered cotton. Then she said to the Eagle: "Wait a moment; I have yet to think of our children in the Home of the
Eagles." Therefore she brought forth her basket-bowls of fine meal with which she had been accustomed to powder her face. There was meal of the yellow corn, the blue corn-meal, the red corn-meal, the white corn-meal, the speckled corn-meal, and the black corn-meal. "See," said she, as she regarded the various vessels of meal "my children, by means of these shall ye beautify flesh; by means of these be precious against evil; by means of these shall ye finish preciously your roads of life. I am to be no more. Far off and to an unknown region go I. Possibly I may reach it, and live; probably not reach it, and die. These do I leave as your inheritance. My children, good-by."
Then the Eagle descended. The drum began to sound outside; the dance was coming—for the first time, mind you, not the fourth. Then said the Eagle, as he lowered himself: "Place thyself upon my back; grasp me by the shoulders." And the girl did as she was bidden. She reclined herself lengthwise on the back of the Eagle, and grasped with her left hand his shoulders. "Now, place one foot on one of thighs and the other on the other." She placed one foot on one of his thighs and the other on the other; and the Eagle spread his tail and raised it that she might not fall off. "All ready?" asked he, as the drum of the coming dance sounded outside.
"Yes," said the girl; and they arose.
"Open the wicket!" and shoa! the Eagle
[1. The maiden here addresses mankind generally.]
spread his wings and away off up into the sky he sprang with the maiden. Round and round, round and round, they circled in the sky, but those below saw nothing as they danced in the shadows of the great houses. The dancers retired. Then they came forth again. Again they retired and came forth. Then the girl said: "Father, slower. Let me sing a farewell song to my people, my children of Earth, that they may know I am going."
The Eagle spread his wings and sailed gently through the air as the maiden sang. Then the people in the plaza below heard the song, and said: "Alas, alas! ye Twain!" said they to the two gods who led the dance. "Our mother, our child, away off through the skies goes she! Ye are fools that ye have let her escape and deceive us!"
Some listened to the song and learned it. Others did not. For the third time the dancers came forth. "Once more have we to dance," said the two gods. "Where are they now?"
"In the mid-heavens," said the people.
"Take it easily, my child," said the Eagle.
Once more are they to come forth. Possibly we will yet have the great good fortune to reach the home of our father." And they sped along through the air, nearer and nearer to the home of the Sun-father, while the dancers below danced harder and harder—many so joyful that. they listened not to the complainings of the people around, but danced only more vigorously.
Then the dancers retired and came out for the fourth and last time. In the van danced the two gods, their faces blackened with the paint of war, their hands bearing bows and arrows with which to destroy the daughter of the priest-chief.
Yes, they were almost there. Now, the Eagle's heart was high with hope. When the two gods below reached the center of the plaza they turned to the people and asked: "Where are they? Where have they gone?"
"There they are in the skies—almost there," replied the people.
"Humph!" responded the gods. "Suppose they are almost there; they shall never reach the home of our father!"
"Now, then, hurry, brother younger!" exclaimed the elder; "with which hand wilt thou draw the arrow?
"With thy hand, my right," said the younger.
"Very well; with thy hand, my left," said the elder.
So they drew their medicine-pointed arrows to the heads. Tsi-ni-i-i! sang the arrows as they shot through the air. Soon they reached the home of the Sun, crossed one another over his face, and shot downward more swiftly than ever toward the coming Eagle and the maiden. "Alas! my mother, my child," said the Sun as the arrows flew past him and
[1. The twin children of the Sun were, in the days of creation, the benignant guardians of men; but when the world became filled with envy and war, they were changed by the eight gods of the storms into warriors more powerful than all monsters, gods, or men. The elder one was right-handed, the younger, left-handed; hence the form of expression here used.]
from him, "thou art no more." And the arrows shot downward on their course.
Tsook! sang the arrow of the elder god as it pierced the back of the girl and entered her heart. Tso-ko! sang the arrow of the younger as it struck in the middle of her back.
"Alas! my mother, my mother," cried the Eagle, "it is over, alas, alas!" said he, as she released her hold, and, fainting, he left her to fall through the air. Over and over, this way and that, fell the beautiful maiden; and as the people strained their eyes, nearer and nearer to the town neath the mountain she fell. Soon, over and over, this way and that, she came falling even with the top of the mountain.
Then the people rushed past one another out of the plaza toward the place where they thought she would strike. And just over there below the Home of the Eagles, where the Waters of the Coyote gush forth from the cliff-base, fell the beautiful maiden.
Then there were born twin children—two wee infants who rolled off into the rubbish and were concealed under sticks and stones.
Down rushed the people, and an Acoma spectator seized her body. "Mine!" cried he, triumphantly, as he raised the body above him.
"Thine!" cried the people, for they had lost the beautiful maiden.
"Ours!" cried the Acomas, one to another, who had come to witness the dances. "Great good fortune this day has smiled on us." And they bore her body away to their pueblo in the east.
Now, under the other end of Thunder Mountain was the home of the Badgers, and an old Badger who lived there was out hunting. After the people had again gathered in the city, he passed near the Waters of the Coyote and heard, the voices of the infants crying among the rubbish.
"Ah!" said he, "I hear the cry of children. My little boys, my little girls," cried he, "whichever ye may be"; and he hastily searched and found them where they were rolling about and crying among the refuse. "Twins!" cried he. "Boys! Somebody has left them here. Soon he will come back to reclaim them. Let me walk away for a few moments."
So he walked all around, but found no traces of the parents, only the tracks of many men who had gathered near.
"Mine!" said he, as he trotted back; and with soft grass he rubbed them till they were free from the mud and refuse. "Thanks, thanks! Splendid! Children have I, and boys at that, and when I am older grown they will take from me the cares of the chase. Goodness! Thanks! Nothing but boys shall be my children!" So he rubbed them dry and clean with more soft grass, and they stopped crying. Then he took some dry grass and made a bundle and put them in it, and started off for his home in the Red Hills.
The old Badger-woman was up on top of their house looking around, running back and forth and jumping in and out of her doorway. "Hai!" said she; "thou comest?"
"Yes, hurry!" said the old Badger. Come down and meet me."
"What have you?" asked the Badger-woman, as she ran down to meet him.
"What have I," said the old Badger, "but a couple of wee little children! Here, take them and carry them up to the house."
So the old woman took the bundle of grass and opened it and began to fondle the children. "O my poor little children; poor little babes!" said she.
"Ah! stop playing with them and hurry along!" commanded the old Badger.
So the old woman hurried up to their doorway as fast as possible and ran in. The old Badger followed, and she said to him: "Where in the world did you get these little children?"
"Why," replied he, "I had the greatest luck in the world. I was out hunting, you know, and found these two little fellows down in Coyote Cañon, just this side of those men's houses. They're boys, both of them. When they grow up, old wife, perhaps they can hunt for us, and then I shall rest myself from the labors of the hunt, with plenty of meat for you and me every day of the year. What are you standing there for?" said he. "Why don't you go and get them something to eat and make them a bed?"
"Oh, Yes!" responded the old woman. "My poor little children!" So she made a little nest at the bottom of the hole and laid them on it. Then she ran and fetched some green-corn ears and, picking the kernels off, made some gruel of them, and fed
the little fellows. So the boy babies ate till they kicked their heels with satisfaction, and that night the old Badger-mother took one in her arms and slept with it, and the old Badger-father slept with the other.
Now, every day they grew as much as the children of men do in a year, so that. in eight days they were as large and knew as much as children usually do in eight years. There was no little animal that they could not kill unfailingly, for they were the children of the Sun, you know. But, alas! they grew weary of killing birds around their doorway, and their old father kept telling them every morning never to go out of sight of their house; and the old woman kept watching them always for fear that they would run off and get lost, or somebody would find and claim them. Yes, they grew impatient of this. They wanted to kill prairie-dogs and cottontails, but they could not get near enough to them. So one night when the old Badger came home they said to him: "Father, come now; do make us some bows and arrows so that we can hunt rabbits, and you and mother can have all that you want to eat."
"All right," replied the old man. And the next day he went off to the Cañon of the Woods, and somehow he managed to cut down a small oak and get a lot of branches for arrows. He brought these home, and that night with a piece of flint, little by little he managed to make each of the boys a bow and some arrows. But when he tried to put feathers on the arrows he was very awkward (for you know badgers don't have fingers like men), so he
had to take a single feather for each arrow and split it and twist it around the butt of the shaft. That very night, do you know, it snowed; yes, a great deal of snow fell, and the little fellows looked out and said to each other and to the old Badgers:
"Now then, tomorrow we will go rabbit-hunting."
"O mother, make a lunch for us!" they exclaimed.
"Where are you going?" asked the old woman.
"We are going out among the hills and down on the plains where the trees grow, to hunt rabbits."
"O my poor little boys! What will you do?—you will freeze to death, for you have no clothes and no wool grows on your backs."
"Well, mother, we're tough. We will get up tomorrow and wait until the sun shines warm—then we can go hunting."
"How in the world will you carry your food? You have no blanket to wrap it in."
"Oh, you just make some corn-cakes, "answered the boys, "and string them on a little stick, and we can take hold of the middle of the stick and carry them just as well as not."
"Hi-ta!" cried the old woman. "Listen, father." So she made the corn-cakes and strung them on little sticks, and the two boys went to bed. But they couldn't sleep very well, being so impatient to go hunting rabbits, and they kept waking each other and peeping out to see how long it would be before daylight.
In the morning the old Badger got up early and collected a lot of bark which he rubbed until it
was soft, and then he wove the boys each a curious pair of moccasins that would come half-way up to the knees. So the elder brother put on his moccasins and ran out into the snow. "U-kwatchi!" exclaimed he. "First rate!" So the other little boy put on his bark moccasins, and they took their strings of corn-cakes and bows and arrows, and started off as fast as they could. Well, they went off among the hills at the foot of Thunder Mountain. It was only a little while ere they struck a rabbit trail, and the first arrow they shot killed the rabbit. So they kept on hunting until they had a large number of rabbits and began to get tired. Although there was snow on the ground, the sun was very warm, so they soon forgot all about it until they began to grow hungry, and then they looked up and saw that it was noon-time, because the sun was resting in the mid-heavens. So they went up on top of a high hill, and carried their rabbits there one by one, to find a place where the snow was shallow. Here they brushed a space clear of the snow, and, depositing the rabbits, sat down to eat their corn-cakes, which they laid on a bundle of grass. While they sat there eating, the Sun looked down and pitied his two poor little children. "Wait a bit," said he to himself, "I'll go down and talk to the little fellows, and help them." So by his will alone he descended, and lo! he stood there on the earth just a little way from the two boys,-grand, beautiful, sublime. Upon his body were garments of embroidered cotton; fringed leggings covered his knees, and he
was girt with many-colored girdles; buckskins of bright leather protected his feet; bracelets and strings of wampum ornamented his neck and arms; turquoise earrings hung from his ears; beautiful plumes waved over his head; his long, glossy hair was held with cords of many colors., into which great plumes of macaw feathers were stuck. Fearful, wonderful, beautiful, he stood. Suddenly one of the boys looked up and saw the Sun-father standing there.
"Blood!" cried he to the other. "Ati! Somebody's coming!"
"Where?" asked the other. "Where?"
"Right over there!"
"Ati!" he exclaimed.
Then the Sun, with stately step, approached them, dazzling their eyes with his beauty and his magnificent dress. So the poor little fellows huddled together and crouched their knees close to their bodies (for they had no clothes on), and watched him, trembling, until he came near. Then one of them said faintly: "Comest thou?" as though he just remembered it.
"Yea, I do, my children," said the Sun. "How are ye these many days?"
"Happy," responded they; but they were almost frightened out of their wits, and kept looking first at the Sun-father and then at each other.
"My children," said the Sun-father tenderly,
"Ye are my own children; I gave ye both life." But they only gazed at him, not believing what he said.
"Ye are both mine own children," he repeated.
"Is that so?" replied they.
"Yea, that is true; and I saw ye here, and pitied ye; so I came to speak with ye and to help ye."
"Hai!" exclaimed they. But they still looked at each other and at the Sun-father, and did not believe him.
"Yea, ye are verily my children,"' continued the Sun. "I am your own father. Around Thunder Mountain there is a city of men. It is called the Home of the Eagles, and there once lived a beautiful maiden who never left her home, but was always shut in her room. Day after day at midday, just at this time, I came down and visited her in my own sunlight. And a great Eagle always stood and watched her. Now, the townspeople grew anxious to see her, so they danced day after day their most beautiful dances, hoping to entice her to come forth; but she never looked out. So her father's warriors went to the home of Áhaiyúta and his younger brother, Mátsailéma, where they lived with their grandmother, on the middle of Thunder Mountain, and the Twain said that they would go with them and compel her to come forth. Therefore, one day they went and led the dance of the Óinahe. Yet, although they danced four times, she would not come forth, but tried to escape to my home in the heavens on the back of her Eagle; so the two gods shot her, and she fell down the cañon. Then it was that ye two, my children, were born and rolled among the bushes. Now, the people ran down from the village to
strive for your mother's body, and an Acoma got her and carried her away to the home of his people. An old Badger found ye and brought ye ho, me to his wife, and that is the way ye came to live in the home of the Badgers."
Still the little ones did not believe him.
"Look!" said the Sun-father. "See what I have brought ye!" Then he continued: "Wait; in eight days, in the Home of the Eagles, where your aunts live in the house of your mother's father, there will be a great dance. Go ye thither. Ye will climb up a crooked path and enter the .town through a road under the houses. Do not go out at once into the plaza, but wait until the dancers come out. Then step forth, and over to the left of the plaza ye will see your grandfather's house. It is the greatest house in the city, and the longest ladder leads up to it, and fringes of hair ornament its poles. On the roof ye will see, if the day be warm, two noisy macaws, and there ye will see your mother's sisters—your own aunts. When ye go into the plaza the people will rush up to ye and say: 'Whither do ye come, friends? Will ye not join in the dance?' And ye must say ye will, and then your aunts will come down and dance for the first time, because they are the most beautiful maidens in the pueblo, and very proud. But they will take hold of your hands and dance with ye, and when they have done will ask ye to come into their house; and ye must go.
"Now, the one who sits over in the northern corner is the first sister of your mother, therefore
your mother; and the one who sits next to her is, your next mother, and so on. There will be eight of them, and the youngest will be like a sister unto ye. They will place stools for ye, and ye must sit down and call them aunts. They will say: 'Certainly, we are the aunts of all good boys in the cities of men who are not our enemies.' And then ye must tell them that they are your real aunts, that this is your house, that your mother used to live there—was the maiden who never went out, but always sat making beautiful basket-trays of many-colored splints. Then ye must lead them into the next room, and the next, and then into the next one, and point to the beautiful basket-trays on the walls. There on the northern wall will hang a yellow tray, on the west wall will hang a blue one, and on the south wall, a red tray, then on the east wall will hang a white tray, and fastened to the ceiling will be a tray of many colors, while a black one will stand under the floor. And then ye must point to the trays and say: 'These our mother made.' Then they will believe and embrace ye and will not want to let ye go; but after ye have sat and eaten with them, ye must come back to the home of the Badgers. And the next day ye must go to Acoma to get your mother. just before ye arrive at the town of Acoma ye will meet an old, wrinkled hag carrying a big bundle of wood on her back. Ye must call her 'grandmother' and greet her pleasantly. She will tell ye she is the dance-priestess of Acoma. Then ye must ask her why she, a woman,
comes out to gather wood, and she will reply that she gets the wood to make a light. Then ask her why she wishes a light, and she will say to ye that day after day she lights a fire in her ceremonial chamber and that when she reaches home with her wood the young men of her chamber come together and give her food, and that at night she takes the wood to the ceremonial chamber and then sits on a stone seat by the side of the fireplace and builds a fire; that the young men gather in the chamber and prepare for a dance. And when they are ready she takes the bones of your mother from a niche in the west end of the chamber and distributes them among the young men, who carry them in the dance. She gives the skull to the first one, the breast-bone to the next, the ribs to another, and so on until they all have bones to carry in the dance. When the dance is over, she goes around and takes all the bones back again and replaces them in the niche. Then the young men depart for their homes, but some of them sleep there in the chamber, and then she lies down to sleep and to keep guard over the bones.
"Now, when she has told ye these things, ye must ask her if that is all. If she says 'Yes,' kill her; then skin her, and the younger brother must wave his hands over her skin and put it on, and he will look just like the old woman. And he must climb up to the town of the Acomas and enter and do just as the old woman said that she did.
"Now, after the dance is over and he has taken
back all of the bones and replaced them in the niche, he must lie down and pretend to sleep, and some of the young men will go, home; others will sleep there. When they all begin to snore, he must gather all the bones, and the two dried eyes, and the heart of his mother, and bring them away as fast as ever he can to where his brother waits. And when he gets there,—lo! she will come to life again and be just as she was before she was killed by the Twain. Now, mind, ye must not leave a single bone nor any part, for if ye do, your mother will lack that when she comes to life again."
"Very well," replied the boys, "we will do as you have told us; certainly we will."
"Now, I have given ye with your birth the power to slay all game; but mind that not a single rabbit, nor deer, nor antelope, nor mountain sheep, nor elk—though he be the finest ye have ever seen—shall ye slay, for in that case ye shall perish with your mother."
So the two boys promised they would not. "Of course we will not," said the younger brother. "When one's father commands him, can he disobey?"
"Come hither," said the Sun-father to the younger brother. "Stand here." So the little boy did as he was bidden.
"Lift up thy foot." Then the Sun-father drew off the moccasin of bark and put beautiful fringed leggings upon it, and replaced the bark moccasins with buskins like his own, and tied up the leggings
with many-colored garters, and dressed him as he was dressed, and placed a beautiful quiver upon his back. But the poor little boys were dark-colored, and their hair was tangled and matted over their heads. Then the Sun-father turned himself about as if to summon some unseen messenger, and created a great warm cloud of mist, with which he cleansed the boys, and lo! their skins became smooth and clear, and their hair fell down their backs in wavy masses. Then the Sun-father arranged the younger brother's hair and placed a plume therein like his own, and beautiful plumes on his head.
"There," said he to the elder; "look at thy younger brother." But the poor little fellow was covered with shame, and dared only steal glances at his brother and the Sun-father. Then the Sun-father dressed the other like the first.
"Ti!" exclaimed they, as they looked at each other and at the Sun-father.
"You are just like Him," they said to each other. But still they did not call him father. Then they fell to conversing.
"Why; he must be our father!" said they to each other. "Mother's face has a black streak right down the middle of it, and father's face is just like it, except that his chin is grizzly." Then they knew that the Sun was their father, and they thanked him for his goodness.
Then said the Sun-father to them: "Mind what I have told ye, my children. I must go to my home in the heavens. Happy may ye always be.
Ye are my children; I love ye, and therefore I came, to help ye. Run home, now, for your father and mother who reared ye—the Badgers—are awaiting your coming. They will not know ye, so ye must roll up your bark moccasins and take along your strings of corn-cakes together with the rabbits ye have slain."
"How can we carry them?" asked they; "for they are heavy."
Then the Sun-father turned about and passed his hands gently over the heap of dead rabbits. "Lift them now," said he to the children; and when they tried to lift them, lo! they were as light as dry grass-stalks. So they bade their father farewell and started home. When they had gone a little way they stopped to look around, but their father was nowhere to be seen.
Sure enough, when they neared home there were the two old Badgers running around their hole, and the old Badger-father was just getting ready to go out and search, for fear that they had perished from cold. He had just gone down to get some rabbit-skins and other things with which to wrap them, when the old woman, who was up above, shouted down: "Hurry, come out! Somebody is coining!"
"Look!" said one of the children to the other.
"There's our poor mother waiting for us. Hurry up! Let's run, or else our father will come out searching for us."
As they approached they called out: "Poor mother, here you are in the cold waiting for us."
But she did not recognize them, and only hid her face in her paws from shame, for they were too beautiful to look upon—just like the Sun-father.
"Don't you know us, mother?" asked the Two to the old woman just as the old Badger came out.
"No!" answered she.
"Why, we are your children!
"Ah! my children did not look like you!"
"We are they! Look here!" said they, and they showed the bark moccasins and the strings of corncakes.
"Our poor children!"
"Yes, our father is no other than the Sun-father, and he came down to speak to us today, and he dressed us as you see, just like himself, and he said that our mother used to live over in the Home of the Eagles, that our aunts still live there, and our grandfather, and that our mother used to live there, but the Twain killed her as she was trying to escape on the back of an Eagle. And when she fell into the Cañon of the Coyote we were born, and father here found us and you both reared us."
"Yes, that is very true," said the old Badger. "I know it all; and I know, too, that there will be a dance at the Home of the Eagles in eight days. Tomorrow there will be only seven left, and when the eighth day comes you will both go there to see it. Come up and come down," said they.
So the two entered, but they were ill at ease in their clothes, which they were not used to. And when the old mother had placed soft rabbit-skins on the floor, they doffed their clothing and carefully
laid it away. Then the whole family ate their evening meal.
"Keep count for us, father, and when the time comes, let us know," said the boys.
So the days passed by until the day before the dance, and that morning the old Badger said to the Two: "Tomorrow the dance will come."
"Very well," replied they; "let us go out and hunt today, that you and mother may have something to eat." So they went forth, and in the evening came back with great numbers of rabbits; and the old mother skinned the rabbits and put some of them to cook over night, so that her children might eat before starting for the town under Thunder Mountain.
At sunrise next morning both dressed themselves carefully, put on their plumes, and started on the pathway that leads around the mountain. They passed the village of K'yátik'ia on their way, and the people marvelled greatly at their beauty and their magnificent dress. And so they followed the road through the Cañon of the Coyotes, thence by the crooked pathway and the covered road under the house into the court of K'iákime. Just as the Sun-father had told them, they found everything there. There was the great house with the tall ladder and the two macaws, and there were the young maidens, their aunts, sitting on the housetop.
And as the dancers came into the court they stepped forward, and then it was that the people first saw and hailed them. The chief of the dance
came forward and asked them whither they came and if they would not join in the dance. So they assented and came forward to the center of the plaza, and as they began to dance, the young girls arose and the dance chiefs went and escorted them to the dance plaza.
Although they told them, "Dance here," they did not obey. They ran right over to where the two young men were dancing, and took hold of their hands just as the Sun-father had told them it would come to pass. And, in fact, everything happened just as he had said. Yes, they all ran down and grasped the two boys' hands, and when the dance was over and they let go, they said to the two handsome young strangers: "Come up; come in."
"It is well," said the two young men. So they all went up into the house and sat down. Now, all these girls were young, and they were very much pleased with the young men. In fact the two youngest were in love with them already; so they smiled and made themselves very pleasant. Then the first brother arose and went over to the eldest one, and said: "Mother-aunt."
"What is it?" she replied, "for of course throughout the cities of men we, as the daughters of a great priest, are the mothers of children,"—and so on until they came to the last and youngest one, whom they called "little mother-aunt," and she also replied that, however young they might be, still they might be counted the mothers of the children of men.
No, verily, ye are our parents," replied the Twain. "Beyond this room is another, and beyond that another, and beyond that yet another where lived our mother, who never went forth from her house, but sat day after day making sacred trays. And there even now, according to the colors of the parts of the world hang her trays on the wall."
And so, as the Sun had told them, they finished their story. Then the people were convinced, and sent for the grandfather, the great priest-chief, and when he came they all embraced their new children, admiring greatly their straight, smooth limbs and abundant hair. Then the grandfather dressed them in some of the beautiful ornaments their mother used to wear, and when evening approached they feasted them. And after the meal was over, as the Sun was setting, the two boys arose and said, "We must go."
"Stay with us, stay with us," the young girls and the grandfather said. "Why should you go away from your home? This is your own home."
"No; we said to our mother and father, the Badgers, that we would return to them; therefore we must go," urged the boys. So at last they consented and wished them a happy journey.
"Fear not," said the Two as they started, "for we shall yet go and get our mother. Even tomorrow we shall go to Acoma where the people dance day after day in her memory." Then they departed and returned to the place of the Badgers.
When they arrived at home, sure enough, there
were their Badger-mother and Badger-father awaiting them outside their holes.
"Oh, here you are!" they cried.
"Yes; how did you come unto the evening?"
"Happily!" replied the old ones. "Come in, come in!" So they entered.
When they had finished eating, the elder brother said: "Mother, father, look ye! Tomorrow we must go after our mother to Acoma. Make us a luncheon, and we will start early in the morning. We are swift runners and shall get there in one day; and the next day we will start back; and the next day, quite early, we will come home again with our mother."
"Very well," replied the Badger-father; "it is well." But the Badger-mother said, "Oh! my poor children, my poor boys!"
So, early next morning, the Badger-mother rolled up some sweet corn-cakes in a blanket, for she did not have to string them now, and together the Twain started up the eastern trail. Their father, the Sun, thought to help them; therefore he lengthened the day and took two steps only at a time, until the two boys had arrived at the Springs of the Elks, almost on the borders of the Acoma country. Then, with his usual speed journeyed the Sun-father toward the Land of Night; and the two boys continued until they arrived within sight of the town of the Acomas-away out there on top of a mountain. Sure enough, there was an old hag struggling along under a load of wood, and as the two brothers came up to her
they said: "Ha, grandmother, how are you these many days?"
"Happy," replied the old woman.
"Why is it that you, a woman, and an old woman, have to carry wood?"
"Why, I am the priestess of the dance!" answered the old woman.
"Priestess of the dance?
"Why, there once lived a maiden in the Town of the Eagles, and the two Gods of War shot her one day from the back of an Eagle who was trying to run away with her, and she fell; and one of my young men was the first to grasp her, therefore we dance with her bones every night."
"Well, why do you get this wood?" they asked.
"I light the ceremonial chamber with it."
"What do you do when you get home?"
"Why, the maidens of my clan come and baptize me and feast me; then when the evening comes I go and light a fire with this wood in the chamber and wait until the young men gather; and when everything is ready I go to a niche in the wall and get the maiden's bones and distribute them; and when they have finished the dance I tell them to stop, and they replace the bones."
"What do they do then?" asked the two boys.
"Why, some of them go home, and some sleep right there, and I lie down and sleep there, too."
"Is that all?" inquired the two boys.
"Why, yes, what more should there be?"
"Nothing more, except that I think we had better kill you now." Thereupon they struck her to the earth and killed her. Then they skinned her like a bag, and the elder brother dressed the younger in the skin, as the Sun-father had directed, and he shouldered the bundle of wood.
"How do I look?" asked he.
"Just like her, for all the world!" responded the other.
"All right," said he; "wait for me here."
"Go ahead," said the elder brother, and away the younger went. He ran with all his might till he came near to the town, and then he began to limp along and labor up the pathway just as the old woman was wont to do, so that everybody thought that he was the old woman, indeed. And sure enough it all happened just as the Sun-father had said it would. When the dance was over, some of the young men went away and others slept right there. There were so many of them, though, that they almost covered the floor. When they all began to snore, the young man arose, threw off his disguise, and stepped carefully between the sleepers till he reached the niche in the wall. Then he put his mother's bones, one by one, into his blanket, felt all around to see that he left nothing, and started for the ladder. He reached it all right and took one, two, three steps; but when his foot touched the fourth rung it creaked, and the sleeping dancers awoke and started.
"Somebody is going up the ladder!" they exclaimed to one another. Then the young man ran
up as fast as ever he could, but alas! he dropped one of his mother's eyes out of the blanket. He kept on running until he reached the foot of the hill upon which the town stood; and when he came to the spring down on the plains he stopped to drink, and lo! his mother had come to life!
"Ahwa!" uttered the mother, "I'm tired and I don't know what is the matter with my eyes, for things don't look straight."
Then the young man looked at his mother. She was more beautiful than all the other girls had been, but one of her eyes was shrunken in. "Alas! my mother," said he, "I have dropped one of your eyes; but never mind, you can comb your hair down over it and no one will ever know the difference.
As soon as they were rested they started again, and soon came to where the elder brother stood awaiting them. When he looked at his mother, he saw that one of her eyes had been left.
"Didn't I tell you beforehand to be careful? said he. "Poor mother; you have lost one of her eyes!
"Well, it can't be helped; never mind, she can comb her hair down over the eye that is dry and no one will ever know the difference."
"That's so; it can't be helped. Now let's go," said the elder brother, and they all started.
When they arrived at the Waters of the Elks, the younger brother said: "Let's camp here."
"No, let's run home," returned the elder brother.
"No, let's camp. Our poor mother will get
tired, and, besides, she can see nothing of the country we are going through."
And although the elder brother urged that they should go on, the younger insisted that they should stay; therefore they camped. The next day they continued their journey until they came near to the City of the Heights, not far from their own home; and as they journeyed, the deer, the antelope, the elks, and the mountain sheep were everywhere.
"Just look at that buck!" exclaimed the younger brother, clutching his bow. Let's shoot him."
"No, no!" said the other; Do you not remember that our father forbade us?" So they went on until they came to some trees, and as it was noonday they sat down to eat. Now, the fine game animals circled all around and even came up near enough to smell them, and stood gazing or cropping the grass within a few steps of them.
"Just look at that splendid antelope!" cried the younger brother, and he nocked an arrow quicker than thought.
"No, no, no!" cried the elder, "you must not shoot it."
"Why not? Here our poor mother has nothing but corn-cakes to eat, with all this meat around us." And before his brother could speak another word, he drew his arrow to the head, and tsi! it pierced the heart of the great antelope and it fell dead.
Now, all the great animals round about grew angry when they saw this, and tene! they came thundering after the little party. So the two fools, forgetting all about their poor mother, jumped up
and ran away as fast as they could and climbed a big tree to the very top. When they straddled a big branch and looked down, the great deer had trampled their poor mother to death. Then they gathered around the foot of the tree to batter its trunk with their sharp horns, but they could not stir it. Presently some big-horn bucks came running along. Thle-ee-la-a-a! they banged their horns against the butt of the tree until it began to split and tremble, and presently bang! went the tree, and the boys fell to the ground. Then the mountain sheep and the great bucks trampled and tore and speared them with their sharp horns, and tossed them from one to another and lacerated them with their hoofs until they were like worn-out clothing—all torn to pieces except the head of the elder brother which none of them would touch. And there the head lay all through the winter; and the next spring there was nothing but a skull left of the two brothers.
Now, off in the valley that led to Thunder Mountain, just where it turns to go south, stood the village of K'yátik'ia, and down in the bottom of the valley the great priest-chief of K'yátik'ia had his fields of corn and melons and squashes. Summer came, and the squashes were all in bloom, when the rain poured down all over the country; and thus, little by little, the skull was washed until it fell into a stream and went bumping along on the waters even till it came to the fields of corn and pumpkins and melons in the planting of the priest-chief of K'yátik'ia.
Now, when the pumpkin and squash vines were in bloom, the priest-chief's daughter, who was as beautiful as you could look upon, went down every morning just at daylight to gather squash-flowers with which to sweeten the feast bread. The morning after the rain had passed over, very early, she said to her younger sister: "Stay here and grind meal while I run down to the squash patch to pick a lot of flowers." So she took her mantle with her and started for the fields. She had not been picking flowers long when a voice rose from the middle of the vines
Here are more flowers,
Here are more flowers.
"Ah!" said the girl, "I wonder what that is!"
So she put her blanket of flowers down as soon as possible and started to hunt. As she approached the vine where the skull had been wont to lie, lo! there was a handsome young man!
"What are you doing?" asked the young man.
"Gathering flowers," said she.
"If you will promise to take me home with you, I will help you," said the young man.
"Very well," replied the girl.
"Will you surely do it?" inquired the young man.
"Yes," said she, and lo! the young man reached out his hand and there was a great heap of flowers
already plucked before him! And while they were yet talking, the Sun rose; and as its first rays touched him he began to sink, until there before the girl was nothing but a hideous old skull.
"Oh, dear!" cried she; "but I promised to take it, and I suppose I must." So she took the skull up with the tips of her fingers and put it into the blanket among the flowers, and started for home. Then she entered an inner room of the house, and taking the skull carefully out of the blanket, placed some cotton in a large new water-jar, and laid the skull upon it. Then she covered the jar with a flat stone and went to work grinding meal.
When the Sun was setting, a voice came from the jar.
"Take me down, quick!" And the girl took the skull down and placed it on the floor, and as it grew dark there stood the same handsome young man as before, magnificently clothed, with precious stones and shells all about him, just as the Sun-father had dressed him. And the girl was very happy, and told him she would marry him.
Next morning, just as the Sun rose, the young man vanished, and nothing but the old white skull lay on the floor. So the girl placed it in the jar again, and taking up another water-jar went out toward the spring. Now, her younger sister went into the room and espied the jar. "I wonder what sister has covered this jar up so carefully for," said she to herself; and she stepped up to the jar and took the lid off.
"Ati!" cried she. "O dear! O dear!" she
screamed. For when she looked down into the jar there was a great rattlesnake coiled up over the smooth white skull.
So she ran and called her father and told him in great fright what she had seen.
"Ah!" said the father, for he was a very wise priest-chief, "thou shouldst not meddle with things. Thou shouldst keep quiet," said he. He then arose and went into the room. Then he approached the jar, and, looking down into it, said: "Have mercy upon us, my child, my father. Become as thou art. Disguise not thyself in hideous forms, but as thou hast been, be thou." And the skull rattled against the sides of the jar in assent.
"It is well that thou shouldst marry my daughter. And we will close this room that thou shalt never come forth"; and again the skull clattered and nodded in glad assent.
So when the young girl returned, the voice came forth from the jar again, and said: "Close all the windows and doors, and bring me raw cotton if thy father have it, for he has consented that I marry you and throw off my disguise."
Then the girl gladly assented, and ran to get the cotton, and brought a great quantity in the room. Then when the night came the voice called once more: "Take me down!" The girl did as she was bidden, and the young man again stood before her, more handsome than ever. So he married the girl and both were very happy.
And the next morning when the Sun rose the young man did not again change his form, but remained
as he was, and began to spin cotton marvellously fine and to weave blankets and mantles of the most beautiful texture, for in nothing could he fail, being a child of the Sun-father and a god himself.
So the days and weeks passed by, and the Sun-father looked down through the windows in sorrow and said: "Alas! my son; I have delivered thee and yet thou comest not to speak with thy father. But thou shalt yet come; yea, verily, thou shalt yet come."
So in time the beautiful daughter of the priest-chief gave birth to two boys, like the children of the deer. As day succeeded day, they grew larger and wiser and their limbs strengthened until they could run about, and thus it happened that one day in their play they climbed up and played upon the house-top and on the ground below. Thus it was that the people of K'yátik'ia saw for the first time the two little children; and when they saw them they wondered greatly. Of course they wondered greatly. Our grandfathers were fools.
"Who in the world has married the priest-chief's daughter?" everybody asked of one another. Nobody knew; so they called a council and made all the young men go to it, and they asked each one if he had secretly married the priest-chief's daughter; and every one of them said "No," and looked at every other one in great wonder.
"Who in the world can it be? It maybe that some stranger has come and married her, and it may be that he stays there." So the council decided that it would be well for him and the girl and
their two little ones to die, because they had deceived their people. Forthwith two war-priests mounted the house-tops and commanded the people to make haste and to prepare their weapons. "Straighten your arrows, strengthen the backs of your bows, put new points on your lances, harden your shields, and get ready for battle, for in four days the daughter and grandchildren of the priest-chief and the unknown husband must die!"
And when the priest-chief's daughter heard the voices of the heralds, she asked her younger sister, who had been listening, what they said. And the younger sister exclaimed: "Alas! you must all die!" and then she told her what she had heard.
Now, the young man called the old priest and told him that he knew what would happen, and the old priest said: "It is well; let the will of the gods be done. My people know not the way of good fortune, but are fools and must have their way."
Therefore for two days the people labored at their weapons, and on the morning of the third day they began to prepare for a feast of victory. Then said the young man to his wife: "My little mother, dearly beloved, on the morrow I must go forth to meet my father"; for he suddenly remembered that he had neglected his father.
When the Sun had nearly reached the mid-heavens, the young man said to his wife: "Go up and open the skyhole. Farewell!" said he, and he suddenly became a cloud of mist which whirled round and round and shot up like a whirlwind in the rays of sunlight.
When he neared the Sun, the Sun-father said nothing, and the young man waited outside in shame. Then said the Sun-father in pretended anger: "Come hither and sit down. Thou hast been a fool. Did I not command thee and thy brother?" And the young man only bent his head and said: "It is too true."
Then the Sun-father smiled gently, and said: "Think not, neither be sad, my child. I know wherefore thou comest, and I remember how thou didst try to prevail upon thy younger brother to obey my commandments; and that it might be well I caused thee to forget me, and to come unto the past that thou hast come unto. Thou shalt be a god, and shalt sit at my left hand. Forever and ever shalt thou be a living good unto men, who will see thee and worship thee in the evening. And through thy will shall rain fall upon their lands. True, I had designed, had my children been wiser, that thou shouldst remain with them and enrich them with thy precious shells and stones, with thy great knowledge and good fortune. But those are men very unwise and ungrateful, therefore shalt thou and thy children, and even thy wife, be won from thy earth-life and sit by my left hand. Descend. Make four sacred hoops and entwine them with cotton. Make four sacred wands, such as are used in the races. Hast thou an unembroidered cotton mantle?"
"I have," replied the young man.
"It is well. This evening spread it out and place at each of its four corners one of the sacred hoops
and wands. Place all thereon that thou valuest. Leave not a precious stone nor yet a shell to serve as parentage for others, but place all thereon. The people will gather around thy father's house and storm it, and then retire and storm it again. Now, when the people approach the house, sit ye down, one at each of the four corners; grasp them and lift them upward, and gradually ye will be raised. Then when the people approach nearer, lift them upward once more, and ye will be raised yet farther. And when they begin to mount the ladders, lift ye again, and yet again, and ye shall come unto my country."
So the young man descended. No change was visible in the old priest-chief's countenance. He had caused gay preparations to go forward for the festival, for a priest knows that all things are well, and he makes no change in his mind or actions. And when he asked the young man what the Sun-father had said to him, the only reply was: "It shall be well. Tomorrow we go to dwell forever at the home of the Sun-father."
Early in the morning the two Priests of War mounted to the house-tops and called out: "Hasten, hasten! For the time has come and the people must gather, each carrying his weapons, for today the children of our priest-chief must die!"
So, after the morning meal, all gathered at the council chambers of the warriors, and a great company they were. The Sun had risen high. Brightly painted shields glittered in his light. Long lances stood black with paint like the charred trunks of a burned forest; and the people raised their war-clubs
and struck them against one another until the din was like thunder.
"Ho-o-o!" sounded the clash of weapons and the war-cries of the people, and in the home of the priest-chief they knew they were coming. All night long they had been preparing; the young man had placed all their belongings upon the blanket, and now one by one they sat down. The wife and the husband grasped two corners, the children grasping the two others. They lifted them and slowly arose toward the ceiling. Once more, as the people came nearer, they lifted the corners and neared the skyhole. When again they lifted the corners, they passed above the roof, and the people saw their shadows cast upon the ground.
"Quick, quick!" shouted the young men. "See the shadow; they are escaping!"
Already the arrows began to whistle past them, but the Sun cast his shield beneath them, and the arrows only glanced away or flew past. Once more they drew the corners of the mantle upward, and as they rose higher and higher, the people, old and young, began to quarrel and fell to beating one another, and to fighting among themselves. The old ones called the young ones fools for attempting the life of a god, and the young ones in turn called the old ones fools for counselling them to attempt the life of a god.
"Thus shall ye ever be," cried the young man, "for ye are fools! Your father, the Sun, had intended all things for your good, but ye were fools; therefore with me and mine will pass away your peace and your treasures."
My children, at sunset have you not seen the little blue twinkling stars that sit at the left hand of the Sun as he sinks into night? Thus did it come to pass in the days of the ancients, and thus it is that only in the east and the west where the Sun rises and sets, even on the borders of the great oceans, may we find the jewels whereby we decorate our persons. And ever since then, my children, the world has been filled with anger, and even brothers agree, then disagree, strike one another, and spill their own blood in foolish anger.
Perhaps had men been more grateful and wiser, the Sun-father had smiled and dropped everywhere the treasures we long for, and not hidden them deep in the earth and buried them in the shores of the sea. And perhaps, Moreover, all men would have smiled upon one another and never enlarged their voices nor strengthened their arms in anger toward one another.
Thus short is my story; and may the corn-stalks grow as long as my stretches, and may the will of the Holder of the Roads of Life shelter me from dangers as he sheltered his children in the days of the ancients with the shield of his sunlight.
It is all finished. (Tenk'ia.)