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Arrow Boy recovers his wife

A Cochiti Legend

Arrow Boy lived in Potsherd Place (east of Cochiti). His wife was Yellow Woman. They had an Eagle, and Arrow Boy hunted to provide it with food and his wife stayed home to feed the Eagle. When he came back with deer, he always saved the back strip of the deer (the best part of the animal) for his Eagle. His wife got tired of always feeding the Eagle, and one day she did not feed it any more. She scolded it.

The Eagle said, "My mother is tired of feeding me; when my father is away my mother will not give me food any more." He tried to escape. He got loose and went off, and the wife ran after him. She took a white manta to catch him, but whenever she got close to him, he flew away. When Eagle got to Whirlpool Place, he lit on the top of the rocks, and she climbed after him. Eagle said, "You are having a hard time. Fold the white manta and put it on my shoulders. Sit down on it and shut your eyes tight. Are you ready?" "Yes." "Keep your eyes shut." He flew up high until he came to the sky. He went through and came to the next world. When they got up they came to the great rock where all Eagles alight in the sky. He left his mother there. "Now open your eyes," he said. She opened them, and found herself in the other world. "Now go where you please," he told her. "You were unkind to me then, and now I shall act in the same way toward you. There is a road; take it and you will come to a village."

Eagle came back to this world. He found Arrow Boy at Potsherd Place. He asked, "Where is my wife?" Day after day he kept looking for her tracks, but he could only trace them as far as Whirlpool Place. He mourned all the time. One day while he was looking he heard some one calling him, "Grandson, what are you doing down here? This is not the place to find her. She is up in the next world. It was your child Eagle who carried her up there. If you wait, I will take you after her to the same place." It was Spider Grandmother. Arrow Boy asked, "How can you take me?" "I can take you." "All right; I am lonesome for my wife. What shall I do?" "Get on my back." Spider Grandmother stretched her back and he got on. "Don't open your eyes," she told him. When they were way up he opened them and exclaimed, "O grandmother, what a red light I see!" "Grandson, you are opening your eyes!" She came down to Earth again. "We will try again," she said, and she put Arrow Boy on her back and went straight up till she came through the sky and arrived at the great rock. When they were on the rock she said, "Open your eyes." Two great snakes were beside him and two hawks were flying above. Spider Grandmother said, "Take this middle road and you will get to a village. You will come. to the house where my sister lives. She knows that you are coming and she will meet you." He went on, and Spider's sister met him. She said to him, "Are you coming?" "Yes; your sister brought me up." "Your wife passed by on this road." "Yes; that is the one I am looking for." "Come with me and I will tell you where your wife is." They went along and she said to him, "In that village your wife is staying. Go up one ladder and you will come to the upper house where she is. Don't worry too much about your wife; she is living here."

He went on to the village and went up into a house. He stayed there. The next day he went hunting and killed three turkeys and brought them in. The mother who lived in that house said, "Thank you, we shall need turkeys in the morning for our feast. We shall get your wife so that she may eat the feast with us. She lives next door." She went for his wife. She did not know that her husband was there. They hid him under a sheepskin. When she came in they brought out flat breads, and paper bread with pepper relish, and a bowl of turkey soup, and set them before her. While she was eating, she remembered all about her life with Arrow Boy in the other world. She said, "Oh how often I used to eat turkey soup when I lived in the other world with Arrow Boy." Arrow Boy was listening under the sheepskin. He said, "Would you like to have that life over again now?" She looked in every direction. There was nobody in the room. She got up and looked, then she said, "I wonder who was speaking." She went to the pile of sheepskin. There she found Arrow Boy. She pulled him out and hugged him and cried for joy. So they met again. Arrow Boy found his wife, and she her husband.

They went out and in the middle of the plaza was Gawi'ma who began to dance and sing:

Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma,
Arrow Boy has met his wife again,
Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma,

The people who lived in that village said, "What is he singing about? Who has gotten his wife back?" But he kept on singing--

Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma.
Arrow Boy has met his wife again,
Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma, Gawi'ma.

The mother of that house said to Arrow Boy, "Take these two turkeys that we saved from those you brought to us, and go to Gawi'ma and pay him for finding your wife." So he took the turkeys and paid them to Gawi'ma for finding his wife, and he went off carrying the two turkeys on his back and jumping and singing the same song.

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