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Native American Legends

Cactus Lover

A Cochiti Legend

A Navaho girl had no lover among her people. She went every day to the mountains. The people said, "Where is it that she goes every day?" At last one of the men followed her. He tracked her to the mountains, and at last he came to the end of her foot prints. He hid himself near by. There was something covered up there. He heard talking. Pretty soon he heard an answer. They were making love to each other. Finally the girl got up and uncovered herself. She had been lying with her cactus lover (yatapa, a cactus). The man who had followed her came back and told the people what he had seen. That is why when we see yatapa, we call it "the Navaho girl's lover."

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