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The Traditions of the Hopi, by H.R. Voth, [1905], at


A long time ago some Oraíbi children were hunting some Tû'chvos. They found a nest high up on a bluff, somewhere east of the village, but as they could not get to it they returned to the village. By and by a Bull-snake (Lölöoköngwuu), being in search of food had also discovered the nest of the Tû'chvo. While coiled up at the foot of the bluff. the Snake was discovered by the Bird. The latter, feeling secure at its high place, began to joke the Snake, singing as follows:

Lölöoköngwuu, lölöoköngwuu!
Bull-snake, Bull-snake!
Tcöngmomoki, tcöngmomoki
Dying of hunger, dying of hunger,
Súun pi pâk wûptipkaa,
Never you'll ascend here to my nest.

and then rushed back into its little hole. The Snake at once became angry and said: "I am going to get up to you there. You are talking

p. 217

to me that way now, but I am going to devour you." Whereupon he commenced to hunt a place of ascent. Finally having found a place, tried to climb up, but soon got tired and fell back. The little Bird seeing it, triumphantly sang:

Súun pi pâk wûptípakaa.
Never you'll ascend here to my nest.

This made the Snake still more angry and it tried to get up to the nest again and succeeded in climbing up higher than before, but fell back again. The little Bird again sang its little song of triumph. Thus the Serpent made three unsuccessful efforts, but the fourth time it succeeded in reaching the mouth of the opening in which the little bird's nest was, and hooking its mouth over the rim, looked into the hole and saw four young birds in the nest. He said to the Bird: "Now, don't you run away, I am going to devour you," and then entered the hole. The bird escaped, leaving its little ones in the nest. The Snake coiled up in the nest and devoured the four little birds, whereupon it remained in the nest four days. On the fourth day it left the place but crawled up on the bluff where it coiled up. The old Bird kept flying and running about in the neighborhood of the Snake, bewailing the loss of its brood. The Snake then began to exert its charm on the poor Bird, trying to cause it to come nearer. This the Snake did by strong inhalations, and whenever the reptile inhaled the bird would be drawn towards the snake, when it exhaled the bird would try to escape, but would be drawn closer towards the Snake's mouth at the next inhalation. 1 This game the Snake carried on with its poor victim for quite a while, the poor Bird being entirely under the charm of the reptile. Finally it was drawn by a last strong inhalation on the part of the Snake close to the latter's mouth and then the Snake devoured its victim.


216:1 Told by Tawíima (Mishóngovi).

216:2 Told by Qöyáwaima (Oraíbi).

Next: 84. The Snakes and the Locusts