Sacred Texts  Native American  Southwest  Index  Previous  Next 

p. 97


p. 99


AND at the vahahkkee which the white men now call the Casa Grande ruins was the home of Seeollstchewadack Seeven, or the Morning green Chief.

And one morning the young women at that place were playing and having a good time with the game of the knotted rope or balls, which is called toe-coll.

And in this game the young girls are placed at each end, near the goals, and at this time, at the west end, one of the young girls gradually sank into the earth; and as she sank the earth around her became very green with grass.

And Seeollstchewadack Seeven told the people not to disturb the green spot until the next morning; and the next morning the green spot was a green rock, and he told the people to dig around it, and as they dug they chipped off small pieces, and the people came and got what they wanted of these pieces of green stone. And they made ear-rings and ornaments from these green stones, which were tchew-dack-na-ha-gay-awh or turquoises.

And after the turquoises were distributed, and the fame of this had spread, the chief of another people, who lived to the east, whose name was Dthas Seeven (Sun-Chief) thought he would do something wonderful, too, being envious, and he opened one of his veins and from the blood made

p. 100

a large, beautiful bird, colored red.

And Dthas Steven told his bird to go to the city of Seeollstchewadack Seeven and hang around there till that chief saw him and took him in. And when they offered him corn he was not to eat that nor anything else they gave him, but when he saw his chance he was to pick up a bit of the green stone and swallow it, for when it should be seen that he would swallow the green stones then he would be fed on turquoises.

So the bird was sent, and when it arrived at the city of the turquoises the daughter of Seeollstchewadack Seeven, whose name was Nawitch, saw it and went and told her father. And he asked, "What is the color of the bird?" and she answered, "Red;" and he said, "I know that bird: It is a very rare bird, and its being here is a sign something good is going to happen. I want you to get the bird and bring it here, but do not take hold of it. Offer it a stick, and it will take hold of it, with its bill, and you can lead it here."

And Nawitch offered the bird a stick, and it caught hold of the end by its bill, which was like a parrot's bill, and she led it to her father.

And Seeollstchewadack Seeven said: "Feed him on pumpkin seed, for that is what this kind of bird eats."

And Nawitch gave the bird pumpkin seed, but it would not eat. And then she tried melon seed, but it would not eat. And then she tried devil-claw

p. 101

seed, but it would not eat. And her father said, then: "Make him broth of corn, for this kind of bird eats only new dishes!" And she did so, but it would not eat the broth of corn.

And the old man told her to try pumpkin seed again; and she tried the pumpkin seed again, and the melon seed again, and the devil-claw seed, and the broth of corn, but the bird would not touch any of these.

But just then the bird saw a little piece of turquoise lying on the ground and it sprang and swallowed it. And the daughter saw this and told her father that the bird would eat turquoises. And her father said: "This kind of bird will not eat turquoises, but you may try him." And she gave it some turquoises and it ate them greedily. And then-her father said: "Go and get some nice, clean ones, a basket full." And she did so, and the bird ate them all, and she kept on feeding it until it had swallowed four basketful.

And then the bird began to run around, and the girl said: "I fear our pet will leave us and fly away" but the old man said: "He will not fly away. He likes us too well for that," but after a short time the bird got to a little distance and took to its wings, and flew back to the city of Dthas Seeven.

And Dthas Seeven gave it water twice, and each time it vomited, and thus it threw up all the turquoises.

And so Dthas Seeven also had turquoises.

Next: Notes on the Story of the Turquoises