THERE were once two young girls who were sisters, and at this time there was a house made of earth where the Young men used to sleep at night, and they talked about the girls who were sisters, and wanted to marry them, but they could not talk to them themselves, so they told the gopher to go speak to them, and this the gopher was very glad to do.
The girls used to go very early every morning to swim in a pool of water, and the gopher knew that the girls went there to swim, and one morning before it was light he went over there to the pool and got into the water and hid himself.
The sisters came down as usual to the water, but it did not look the same to them as on every other day. The girls sang
It was cloudy and troubled and they were afraid. to enter it.
Song: He-yám He-yó, etc.
But day was dawning and the elder said, "Jump in, my little sister. There is nothing to fear."
"Oh, no. It is you who must go first. It is never suitable for young people to do things in advance of their elders."
So the elder sister entered the pool; and though the gopher was close beside her in the water he did not speak to her; but when the younger sister plunged into the water he came near to her.
Screaming with terror, she ran from the water, and called out to her sister that something had been near her in the water, but she did not know what it was. She was suffering. So the elder sister built a great fire and put an olla full of water on to heat, and put some of the sage plant in the water, and the younger bathed with it and was well.
After this the younger sister was going to have twin babies. (Song.) And she went to the water and sang about it that this was the place where she used to swim. (Song.) When she got out of the water she was so weak that she had to use a stick to help her steps, and when she went into her house she took one of the great -baskets and leaned against it singing sad songs and fearing she was going to die. (Song.) Already she had named her little twins. One she called Par-a-han, and the other A-shat-a-hutsch. (Song: Same as last.)
When the babies were born both of the sisters fell into a faint, and when the elder came to herself there was a little baby boy upon the ground, and she look it upon her lap rejoicing. (Song.) Again they both became unconscious, and again the elder sister, coming to herself, was glad to see a little baby boy upon the ground, and she took the two together upon her lap. (Song.)
(One of the earliest offices of care for the new-born infants required the use of a knife), and the sisters did not know what to do. They tried to use a piece of charcoal, until the elder sister, who was a witch-doctor and knew everything, stood tip and held her hand to the north and brought down a red stone; and when she got home she broke it (chipped it?) into a sort of a knife.
Then she held up her hands to the south and got a blue stone of the same sort. (Song.) And the mother used the knives for first one and then the other of the babies.
And the two sisters were so happy playing with the little twins that they could not stop to eat or sleep. They painted the babies' bodies with red paint, a sort of clay that is found beside the water. "They need a cradle 1 now," said the elder sister, "but they have no father to bring them what they need. They will never know a father's care."
But the two sisters went up upon the mountain and found little long sticks, and they bent them and made cradles out of them. They did not know how to do it, but they made them any way to hold the babies. (Song.)
They sang while they made them that they didn't know how, but they would do to hold the babies. (Song.)
They finished the cradles and put the babies in them, and they wove coverings for their heads. (Song.)
Then the elder sister held up her hand to the north and got a basket, not a good one, for it was roughly made; and this she put upon the elder baby's head. Then she held up her hand to the south and got another basket. This time it was a fine one, and this she put upon the younger baby's head. (Song.) And the mother named the babies, but to both she gave the name Cuy-a-ho-marr.
All the people were playing ball one day, hitting the ball upon the ground with a stick; and the coyote was playing with them all day long; but when it drew towards sunset the coyote looked up and said: "It is time for me now to go home to my children and their mother, who are waiting for me in the house. 1 I must take some wood home with me."
So he went to a big fallen tree, chopped off an armful, and went to the house where the mother of the twins was sick in bed. She had a stick near her bed, and when she saw the coyote coming in on his lying errand she picked up the stick and chased him out of the house, so that he ran far away to the north. (Song.) She sang that since no one knew the father of the twins the coyote thought he could make sport of her.
After that a little wild canary, who had also been watching the game of ball, said: "It is time for me to go home to my family, who are waiting for me in the house." So, like the coyote, he went to the fallen tree, chopped an armful of wood, and went to the woman's house. "Where are you, my dear wife?" he called. The woman hurried to the door, but when she saw that it was only a wild canary she grew very angry, and hit him with the stick and chased him out into the bushes.
Song: He-yo-ho-ree, etc.
You are only a silly bird," she sang. "The people that come after us will kill you and eat you at a mouthful."
One day the mother said to her sister, "Why don't you go and collect the seeds of the sage? They are withering and ready to fall. Why do you keep so close about the house? You have no children to tend. Go far away and work. As for me, I will gather those that grow near the house."
So she shut the little babies in the house, and for a door she rolled a big log from the south against the opening. And as she started to pick the seeds she heard the log talking: "Oh yes, I will put the babies to sleep. They are my own little children."
So she hurried back into the house, nursed the babies, and put them to sleep herself.
The metate stone was weeping as she passed it. There is a sort of water that runs down, and they say the stone is weeping. It was upside down, and she sang a song,--
to tell it she had no time to grind on it, for her children kept her so busy with work for them.
The babies were growing fast, and the mother sang to them that they had no father. She did not know who or where he was.
Meaning of the song: They had no father, no one to lead them by the hand. They would never know their father, and would die without knowing him.
One day the mother and her sister went away again to gather the sage seeds. The seed that they bad already brought home they had spread out on a great flat rock to dry. They left the little babies hanging in their cradles outside the house; and the quails came and began eating the seeds.
The babies in their cradles were talking together.
"Jump down, brother," said the younger baby, "and drive the quails away."
"Do it yourself."
"It would not be right for me to do that. The younger should wait for the older," was the answer.
With that they both jumped down, and went into the house, where they found a bow and arrow, and tried to shoot the quails. But they hit nothing, and the quails flew off a little way and then returned. The little babies sat on the ground and did not know what to do.
"What ails you, brother?" said the younger. You said that you knew all things. Why can't you kill the quails?"
With that the older brother began shaking his head, and great hailstones came out of his ears. The younger did the same, until the ground was piled with hailstones, and then they made a sling and with the hailstones shot and killed all the quail and left them lying on the ground. (Song.) All were killed but one, which they caught in their hands and held on their laps until they hurt it, and then they let it go. It was the quail who sang the song because of his joy in being free, but the brothers answered, "You are glad now, but you
won't be glad in the future. The people who come after us will kill you in just the same way." (Song.)
The boys then made some ropes of twisted straw and played with them until sunset; but as it grew late they began to fear that their mother would find they had left their cradles, so they took all the dead quails and tied them to the rope and hung them about inside the house, until the house was full of them. Then they got into their cradles.
When the mother came home and saw the quails hung within the house she said, "I have a husband then, who fills my house with game," and full of anger she cut the rope and threw the quails away.
One of the babies began to cry and the sister went and took him down and brought him to the mother to nurse, but the baby refused to nurse and cried the more. Then the other cried and would not nurse, and the more the women tried to still them, the harder they both cried.
"What can ail them?" said the sisters. "Is it the red ants that are stinging them?" They took off all the babies' clothes to look for the red ants, but still the children cried.
"Perhaps they cry because I threw the quails away," said the mother. "It may have been they who killed them. Go build a fire and let us cook the birds."
So they built a great fire and cooked and ate the birds, and then the babies were content.
Song: Yá-ká-cha-wáh, etc.
Then the mother and her sister went away to another home, and took the babies with them; but the sister got lost on the way, and the mother was left alone.
One day she went away from home and left the babies hanging in their cradles; but thinking that they might come down from their cradles and do something on the sly, she determined to stay close at hand and watch what might happen. So she changed herself into the stump of a tree growing not far away.
As soon as she was out of sight the babies jumped down from their cradles, and made themselves little bows and arrows, with which they began playing in the house; then they ran out of doors to where the mother stood in the shape of a stump. The elder brother hurried past her without a glance, but the younger called out to him, "Be careful, brother, what you do. I see something strange."
"Come on," said the elder brother. "What are you afraid of?
"Come back, I say," repeated the younger. "There is surely something worth looking at here."
"What is it you mean?" asked the elder, running back.
"Look," said his brother, pointing at the stump.
"Oh, that is nothing but the stump of a tree, the sort that small boys use as a mark to shoot at."
"If that is so I'll hit it," said the younger, raising his bow.
"So will I," said the elder.
Just as they pointed their arrows at the stump the mother called out to them, "Wicked boys, is that the way you treat the mother who worked and cared for you when you were small and helpless? Just as soon as you grow large you wish to kill me. The people who come after us will tell the story of the bad boys who killed their mother."
With that she came to them in her own shape and patted them on the cheeks, for she saw that they were angry at her chiding; but they turned their heads away and would not listen to her. Instead of mother they called her Sin-yo-hauch 1--the woman who had been turned into a stump.
But she caressed them until they were content again, and she promised to make them bows and arrows and teach them how to hunt.
So she sent one to the north and the other to the south to get the right sort of wood to make arrows. In the evening they came back each with a great bundle of sticks. The mother was very glad when she saw it and said: "The people who come after us will make arrows as I am going to do."
So she went to where there was a big pile of ashes and cleaned the wood for the arrows, and put them on top of the house to dry in the sun. (Song.)
Next day she made the arrows from the wood for the little boys, but she made the arrows for the younger son the best.
And she told them to go to bed very early that night, so they could get up betimes in the morning and go to a hill very far away where a willow-tree grew, which they must cut down and bring home to her that out of it she might make them bows. They went as she told them and cut the willow-tree and brought it home, asking if that was the wood she meant.
"It is," she answered, and she split it in lengths and made two bows, one for the elder and one for the younger, but the bow of the younger was the better.
That night the boys could not sleep for wishing for the day when they might go hunting.
As soon as it was light they hurried forth, and saw not far from their home a big lizard with a blue breast lying on a rock. They were so frightened that they hastened home. "What ails you?" asked the mother, and when they told her of the monster they had seen she told them that that was a thing to shoot for food; so they went and killed it and brought it home.
They went out again, and not so far away they saw a big rat building its house, and they ran home as fast as they could go.
"What ails you?" asked the mother anxiously. "Have you been bitten by a rattlesnake?"
"Oh, mother, we saw something building a house, and it had a great long tail." "Why, that is something that is good to eat." So they went out and killed it and brought it home.
Next time they went they saw a little rabbit, and, running home as fast as their legs would carry them, they told their mother that they had seen something gray walking about. "Why, that was nothing but a rabbit, and very good to eat." So they went and killed it and brought it home.
Next day they saw a big hare, and, half scared to death, they told their mother that something with great long ears was walking about. "It is a hare, my children, a thing that is good to eat." So they went out and shot it and brought it home.
Next day they went again and saw a big deer, and, more frightened than ever before, they ran home to their mother.
"Oh, mother, we have seen a thing that is walking about with a tree growing out of its had."
"Now that is a deer," said the mother, "a thing that you must not kill by yourselves, but you must call all the people together, and all go on the hunt and each have a share of the meat."
But the little boys would not listen to their mother, for they were determined to kill the deer by themselves. So the next day they went and chased and killed the deer, and left it lying while they went to tell their mother what they had done.
She would not believe that they had done this, for it was not the right way to do. Many must eat of that meat.
"Come, hurry, mother," said the boys; "bring knives and cut it open and let us carry it home." The mother did not want to go, but, urged by her sons, she followed them to where they had left the deer.
"I see, my sons, that you have disobeyed me and killed the deer, but we cannot carry it home. We must skin it here and cut it up, for that is the way to do. The people who come after us will do as
we do, not carry a deer home, but skin it in the mountains where they kill it."
Song: Kwa-kwe-kwa-hm, etc.
"Bring grass to lay the pieces upon as I cut it," said the mother, and the boys began to gather the grass near at hand.
"No, that grass is not good," said the mother. "Go farther off and bring a heap of plants to spread upon the ground."
And while the little boys were gone to get the grass, the mother, who was a sort of a witch, stood by the deer and made him come to life again. So just as the boys came back the deer got up and ran away.
The mother told them what she had done, but they did not answer her. They stood there in silence with their arms full of the bundles of grass. For a long time they did not say a word.
"What ails you?" asked the mother. "The people that come after us will do the same way. If they hunt a deer and do not kill him as they should, they must go after him again. Go, my sons, and follow him. Go both to-ether, the younger following the elder and watching the tracks."
So the brothers obeyed her, and flinging down the bundles of grass they ran after the deer.
(Song, sung by the mother.)
They went to the south, and many deer were there, but not the one they were seeking. They saw many tracks, but not the one they knew.
Song: Ha-ma-yo-whee-ee, etc.
They sang that now they would see the track, and then they would lose it again.
And they went on and on till they came to the Eastern Ocean.
Song: Ka-mé-to-ka-lá, etc.
At last they found the track they were after, and they saw the deer standing by the ocean.
When the deer saw that he was pursued, he turned and ran on and on until he came to the Ocean of the West.
Song: A-kwa-kwe-ko, etc.
And when they came close behind him he jumped into the water, and they could not reach him to shoot him because he was in the water. And as the sun was setting and they could not kill the deer, they went home and lay down by the fire, one on either side, and when the mother spoke to them they would not answer her, for they were angry that she had made the deer to live.
"What ails you?" asked the mother. "Have you been fighting or did some accident happen to you? Look at the meal I am cooking for you and for no one else. Eat it and sleep, and in the morning I will show you how to hunt the deer. He is on a high mountain, and you must set fire to the mountain and he will run out and you can kill him."
So all night long the mother remained awake, sitting upon the housetop on a deerskin which she spread there; and she sang all night long, although there was a heavy fog and it began to rain.
Song: Ma-kai-ya-ma-kai, etc.
In the morning, when the sun rose, she went first of all to the mountain and set it on fire herself. When the two sons came she told the elder to go up on the mountain while the younger remained below; and while the elder searched upon the hilltop the younger shot the deer. The brothers killed it and sat beside it and talked of all they had done and suffered on their mother's account. They were so angry with her that they determined to skin the deer and cook and eat the meat without giving her a share.
And this they did,. and waited till sunset before they went down the mountain to their home. And among the rocks on the homeward journey they killed many rabbits, which they took home to their mother, but not a word did they tell her about their having killed and eaten the deer. This ends the story of the deer.
217:1 Chaup is the name for shooting-star, or rather for the great fire-balls of electric or meteoric origin which are sometimes seen in the clear air of the Southwest, illuminating the ground with a bright light and accompanied by a sound like thunder. Chaup is the same as Taquish of the Cahuillas in some of his characteristics.
217:2 Copyright, 1904, by CONSTANCE GODDARD Du BOIS.
218:1 Baby basket
219:1 Brush hut, translated "house" by educated Indian interpreter.
222:1 This is also the name of the Earth-Mother, very sacred to the older Indians. Those who have been under Spanish influence identify her with the Virgin Mary.