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
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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