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Bat Boy

A Cochiti Legend

A chief had two daughters. The eldest was Turquoise Girl, and the younger, Corn Tassel Girl. They went to the river to get water. As they were coming, they heard some one singing. The elder said, "Listen!" they heard the song,

Turquoise Girl, Corn Tassel Girl,
Come to my meadow of squashes
And gather all the blossoms,
Take them to your father and mother,
And make a great soup for you all.

The elder said, "Do you hear that song?" "Yes, I hear it. He is calling our names." "Shall we go across the river?" "Yes, let's find the boy who sings the beautiful song. He is playing the pipe." "We will go to look for him." They took off their shoes and left them at the edge of the river and went across. They pushed through the bushes and looked and looked, but they could not see anybody. At last they came to a little shelter-hut, and saw him sitting on top, singing.

He had on fringed leggings and moccasins and a man's black manta-shirt. His face was painted red, and on his head were downy eagle feathers. He was playing a pipe. They said, "Hello," and he answered, "Hello, Turquoise Girl and Corn Tassel Girl." "Are you the one who is singing the song of your meadow full of squash blossoms?" "Yes," said Payatamu, "Come to my squash meadow and gather blossoms to take home to your father and mother." They went to his fields and they played together, gathering the squash blossoms.

Afterwards they went to his house. He lived in White House which was only a little place. His old grandmother was there. They went up the ladder. Everybody was laughing at them. "These two girls are foolish to take such a boy," they said. He called to his grandmother, "I am bringing two girls, Turquoise and Corn Tassel; I am going to marry today." They went in, Turquoise Girl first, then Corn Tassel, and the boy last. He went straight into the inner room. The girls sat down. He came out; he was half bat (on median line). They were ashamed. The grandmother told Corn Tassel Girl to grind blue corn and Turquoise Girl to grind sprouted wheat.

When they had finished Turquoise Girl put a big bowl in the fireplace and filled it with water. Corn Tassel Girl brought the bowl of meal to stir into the water. They poured in the corn and wheat and mixed them. It soon boiled, and then cooled. They took it off and emptied it into smaller bowls for the evening meal.

At supper time the grandmother set the bowls on the floor and they helped themselves. They had a good time. Bat Boy drank and drank; he ate too much. When it was time for bed that night, the grandmother said to the girls, "Don't pinch my grandson." They went to bed but they would not sleep with Bat Boy. When his grandmother was sound asleep, and the Bat Boy, too, had shut his eyes, Turquoise and Corn Tassel got up quickly. They pinched Bat Boy as hard as they could. He burst. They ran out and went to the river, took their water jugs and went home. They took their squash blossoms with them. When they got home they gave them to their father and mother. Their father said, "Where were you yesterday and today?" "Payatamu took us to his house. He gave us these squash blossoms." "Thank you," said the mother. So they gave her the squash blossoms.

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