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Native American Legends

The Prairie Falcon's Wife

A Yaudanchi Yokut Legend

The prairie falcon lived there. His wife, the duck, lived there. Coyote lived there with them. The three were there. Then the prairie falcon went off. He told Coyote: "Do not sleep."

Then the prairie falcon's wife went off from there. She gathered seeds. Then they [the woman and Coyote] returned. The prairie falcon also returned. They all returned safely.

Then in the morning the prairie falcon again went. He told Coyote: "Do not sleep." Then the prairie falcon's wife again went. Now Coyote slept while she gathered seeds.

Then the condor saw her from above. Then he came from there. He lit near the prairie falcon's wife. He said to her: "We will go up."

The woman said to him: "I will not go."

He said to her: "We will go." Then she agreed. She said to him: "How shall I go?"

He said to her: "Lie down right here on my back." Then they two went off. They went up. Then they arrived there, far off, at the hole of our world. An old man was there. Now the two lived there. The woman was with him. The old man there guarded the woman. Then the prairie falcon came home. He said: "Where is my wife?"

Then he [Coyote] said: "I do not know."

He said to him: "What did you do? Did you sleep?"

He said: "Yes, I slept." Now they two looked for her. They did not find her. Then they sent the dove to look. The dove did not find her. Then they sent the buzzard also. The buzzard did not find her. They sent also the large fly, and he did not find her. Then they sent the large lizard, k'ondjedja [species?]. Then the lizard came out from the rock. He looked about. He saw the hole of our world above. Then the lizard said: "Far up." Then they sent the large fly again. He went up. He came there above to the hole of our world.

Then the fly saw that woman. From there he went back. He came to the prairie falcon. He told the prairie falcon: "Your wife is above there." Now the condor went. He said to the old man: "Do not say this to my wife; do not tell her: 'Bring water!' Well, now I am going." Then the condor went.

Now the prairie falcon arrived there where the water was. Then the prairie falcon saw his wife there. He told his wife: "Do not say anything." Then he went from there. He arrived there. Then the old man said to him: "Where are you going?"

Then he said: "I am traveling for nothing." Then he said: "I am going now." He told his wife: "Come to me there where the water is." Then his wife said: "Yes." Then the prairie falcon had gone. That old man slept. Then the prairie falcon's wife went. Then the prairie falcon's wife came to him at the water. Then they went. Now they two arrived at their house.

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