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Native American Legends

Teaching the Mudheads how to Copulate

A Zuni Legend

The Mudheads are not very bright. Long ago they didn't know many things, even very simple, everyday actions. So a man tried to instruct them.

He tried to teach them how to go up a ladder. He showed them how to do it, and they tried to copy him, but they couldn't. One tried to go up the ladder with his feet upmost, standing on his head. Another tried to climb the back of the ladder. A third kept falling through the rungs, while a fourth got tangled in the rungs.

They just couldn't do it.

The man tried to teach them how to build a house. He showed them the right way to do it, and they tried to imitate his actions. But one started with the roof and made the others hold up the ceiling while he tried to build downward from it. Another put together a house with no doors and windows. He built it from the inside, and when he wanted to go out, he found he had walled himself in. The others had to break down the walls to let him out. Still another made the mud bricks out of sand. When it rained, his house collapsed into a sandpile.

Try as they would, the Mudheads just couldn't do it right.

Then the man tried to show them a really simple thing - how to sit on a chair. They watched and tried to do as he did. One sat on top of the chair back and tumbled over. Another sat underneath the chair. Another sat on the chair with his back to the front. A fourth tried to sit upside down with his head where his rump ought to have been.

They just couldn't get the point.

"Well," said their instructor, "I'll try one thing more. I'm going to show you how to copulate." There was a fat old woman who hadn't had a man in her for a long time. "They can all practice on me," she said, "I don't mind." So she lifted up her manta and bent over, and the instructor copulated with her in the simplest way - from the back as dogs do.

The Mudheads watched closely, and then they all wanted to try. But none of them could find the right opening. One did it in the anus, another in the knee bend, another in the arm bend, another in the armpit, another in the navel, another in the ear.

They tried and tried. They really wanted to do it right, but they couldn't. "I give up on you," said the instructor. The fat old woman just laughed.

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