A witch was herding the sheep of a man of Bernadillo. A Cochiti herdsman asked for employment of the same sheep owner and was
accepted. He went to the sheep country and met the man who was a witch. They herded together. They became acquainted and they told each other stories. The witch told many wonderful stories of the things that had happened to him. The other said, "I wish I could meet somebody who would tell me how to make these things happen to me." The witch said, "If you really want to find out, I will look for a witch. I will tell them to teach you." Again he asked the other, "Are you sure you really want to meet a witch?" "Yes." Finally the witch said, "I will go back to town and look for a witch." Before he left he said again, "Are you sure you want to be a witch? You would have all your wishes fulfilled. You would always get every animal you hunted, every girl you desired, everything." He said, "I want to be a witch."
The witch came from the sheep country back to his own town, and went back again to the plains. He met his partner. He said, "I saw the witch headman, but he turned his power over to me. He told me everything I needed to know. I can tell you." He explained everything. At last he said, "I, too, am a witch. If you still wish to be a witch by Friday, come on that. day, for that is the only day witches meet." On Friday evening the witch said, "Are you ready?" "Yes; I'm willing if there is no danger. Shall we run any risks about our flock of sheep?" "No; we shall come right back. The flock will stand still all night." At dark the witch knelt on the ground. "Put your hands on my shoulder," he said. "Shut your eyes and don't open them until you're told." He knelt by the hearth. The other put his hands on his shoulders and shut his eyes. Off they went. The other didn't know how they went; he did not open his eyes. Soon it sounded to him as if he had landed, but he was told they were going south to old Mexico. When they landed the witch said, "Are you willing to do as you are told?" "Yes." "You will not have great possessions of money and merchandise, but you will always have your wish." "Yes; I am willing." "We are here close by the door." They moved east a little way and a door opened in a bare open place and showed a great room inside. There were people talking and laughing there. The witch said, "When we go in, don't be afraid. Sit beside me. All the different peoples will be there: Mexicans, Indians, Navahos, Apaches, Comanches, Americans. Many animals will come out, whatever they were made witches by."
They went in. The table was set for a feast. People went back and forth setting out food, everything boiling hot. Again the witch said, "Don't be afraid. Everything is free to you." They took knives and forks and spoons and began to eat. When the man took
a piece of meat on his fork, it was a baby's finger. He held it up; he nudged his partner. The witch said, "It is boiled already. It's not dangerous. Eat it." He ate it but he felt sick. After they finished, the tables were cleared. The outsider remembered about his flock. "Christ! Our flock will get scattered." "I told you not to think of your flock. I explained everything to you before we started out and now you name Christ. Is it that you want to back out?" "No." "You know I explained everything." "I will keep my promise."
A handsome man came out into the room; he had a fine moustache and on his forehead you thought you saw some horns. He said, "There is an outsider here. If he wants to become one of us he shall have his wishes." He went back. Next a handsome woman came out, she had pretty hair, fine clothes. She said, "There is an outsider here. If he wants to become one of us he shall have his wishes." The next one who came out was an ugly man with a big head and belly and little legs. The witch said, "But the next will be uglier yet. Don't be afraid even if he crawls all over you." The next was a great serpent that went crawling all around the room and when he came to the outsider he curled ready to strike at him. "Don't get scared," said the witch. The serpent crawled over his legs. Again the witch said, "Don't get scared." The serpent went away. Next came a he goat. He went around the room and smelled of each person. The outsider had an odor different from the rest. The goat got on his hind legs and tried to buck the man. "Don't get scared," the witch said. Again he bucked him, and again the witch said, "Don't get scared." The goat went away. The goat was the last.
When everything was over and the witches were saying goodbye the man who was being initiated said goodbye also and went out. His friend missed him and asked for him. He, went out and found him. He knelt and the other put his hands on his shoulders, he shut his eyes and they flew off. As they were getting near home, the man who was not yet a witch remembered again. "For Christ's sake, hurry so that we will get home before our flock is stolen." As he said the name of Christ the witch threw him off and left him on the plains.
He picked himself up all alone and started to walk back. It was a long distance and there were no towns there then. He was very hungry and thirsty. It was east of Sandia. At last in six or eight days he got to camp. He found his partner there but the witch did not greet him because he had not done what he promised. The other decided to go back home; he was feeling bad. Soon after
he got home, he died. He told the people, "I die because I promised to become a witch but did not keep my promise." That man died here in Cochiti.
105:26 Informant 4. The man from whom he had this tale is said to have known this unsuccessful aspirant to black magic. Notes, p. 234.