Native American Legends
Bird and Toad play Hide and Seek
A Cochiti Legend
Down by the river there lived a little snipe (stuiga). A toad lived
near by, and he said, "I'll go and ask this bird to play hide
and seek with me."
Toad went to the river. The little bird was teetering her body
on the sand. "What a pretty way you have with your body,"
said Toad. "Is it a pretty way?" "Yes! Shall we play
hide and seek?" "Yes, let us play." Toad said, "I
must go back home to tell mother. Wait for me here. I must tell
my mother so that she won't be looking for me and thinking somebody
has killed me." "Go as quickly as you can." So Toad
hopped home. He got to his house and called, "Mother, I'm coming
to tell you that down at the river there is a sandy place. We are
going to play hide and seek That's what I came to tell you."
His mother said, "Don't go far off. Somebody might kill you."
"No, mother, I'll just stay in that sandy place."
He went back to Bird. "Are you coming?" "All right,
we will start." They went out to a very sandy place. They both
were laughing and having a good time. "Now we'll start,"
said Toad. "You be first." "No, you be first, you
invited me to play." So Toad went to hide. Bird said, "When
are you hidden, call out to me. Cover yourself up." Toad hid
and when he was ready, he called. Bird came to hunt for him. She
came right up to where he was, but she could not find him. "I
can't see any tracks. Where is he hiding?" she said. So she
was going back. She stepped right on Toad and almost fell over.
"Hai li li, I found an arrow bead to take to my grandfather
for a knife." "I am the toad." She took him up, and
they both laughed and laughed. "Now it is your turn, birdie."
"All right, you must cover your eyes and not look at me."
She went to the same sandy place and hid in the same place where
Toad had hidden. She just left her bill up. "Ready, Toad,"
she called. Toad started to look for her. He searched and searched,
but couldn't find her. He hopped back. He ran his stomach against
the bird's bill that was sticking out of the sand. "Hai li
li, I've found an awl for my grandfather to fix his shoes with!"
He began to pull. "I am Bird." They laughed and laughed.
So both found each other and Toad went home to his mother well and
safe and the bird stayed at the river.
Native American Legends
Back to Top
Other Native American Legends