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Native American Legends

Speech on the Warpath

A Pima Legend

We have come thus far, my brothers. In the east there is White Gopher, who gnaws with his strong teeth. He was friendly and came to me. On his way he came to the surface from the underground four times. Looking in all four directions, he saw a magic whitish trail. Slowly following this, he neared the enemy, coming to the surface from the underground four times during the journey. Their power stood in their land like a mountain, but he bit it off short, and he sank their springs by biting them. He saw that the wind of the enemy was strong and he cut it up with his teeth. He gnawed in short pieces their clouds. They had good dreams and bright false-seeing, good bow strings and straight-flying reeds, but these he grasped and bit off short. The different belongings lying about he took with him, turning around homeward. On his way homeward over the whitish trail, he came to the surface four times, and magic fire appeared around the edges. Then he came to his bed. He felt that the land roared rejoicing with him.

In the south was Blue Coyote and there I sent my cry. He was friendly and came to me from his blue darkness, circling around and shouting, four times, on his journey, making magic fire everywhere. When he arrived, he looked in four directions, then understood. A whitish magic trail lay before him. He cast his blue darkness upon the enemy and slowly approached them, circling around and shouting four times on the way. Like a mountain was their power in the land, and he sucked it in. The springs of water under the trees he sucked in. The wind that was blowing he inhaled. He sucked in the clouds. The people dreamed of a white thing, and their dreams he sucked in, with their best bow strings and the straight-flying reeds. All the different belongings which lay around he gathered and slowly turned back. Hidden in the blue darkness, he came to me, circling around, shouting, four times on his journey. Then he homeward took his way, circling, howling, four times, and shouting reached his bed. With pleasure he felt all directions thud. The east echoed.

In the sunset direction was Black Kangaroo Mouse, an expert robber. To him I sent my cry. He was friendly to me and came hidden in black darkness, sitting down four times upon his way. Magic fire covered the edges of his trail. When he reached me. he looked in all directions. The magic trail brightly lay before him. He threw black darkness around him and slowly reached the enemy, sitting down four times upon the trail. He found a bag of the enemy, with much prized possessions. It was tied one knot on top of another but he bit them off. He took from it the blue necklaces, blue earrings, and the different belongings lying around gathered up with him. Then he slowly took his way back on the magic trail, with magic fire everywhere. Hidden in his yellow darkness, he returned to me. He left the others at the council and in darkness took his homeward way, resting four times. He sat on his bed and felt all directions of the earth rustling in the darkness. Darkness lay all around.

I called on Owl, the white blood-sucker. To him I sent my cry. He was friendly and came down to me with four thin flys (sailing) on the way. He looked in all directions. The magic trail brightly before him lay. He flew, with four thin flys, toward the enemy. The mountain of their power which stood in the land he bit off short. The springs he bit off, and their very good dreams. The best bow strings and the straight-flying reeds he grasped and cut very short. He bit off their flesh and made holes in their bones. From the things gathered, he made a belt from a bowstring. Then he returned. He came through the whitish mist of dawn in four flights. The people held a council. Leaving them there, he after four thin flys reached his bed in the gray dawn mist. Then in all directions he heard the darkness rattling, as he lay there.

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