Native American Legends
Speech on the Warpath
A Pima Legend
We have come thus far, my brothers. In the east there is White
Gopher, who gnaws with his strong teeth. He was friendly and came
to me. On his way he came to the surface from the underground four
times. Looking in all four directions, he saw a magic whitish trail.
Slowly following this, he neared the enemy, coming to the surface
from the underground four times during the journey. Their power
stood in their land like a mountain, but he bit it off short, and
he sank their springs by biting them. He saw that the wind of the
enemy was strong and he cut it up with his teeth. He gnawed in short
pieces their clouds. They had good dreams and bright false-seeing,
good bow strings and straight-flying reeds, but these he grasped
and bit off short. The different belongings lying about he took
with him, turning around homeward. On his way homeward over the
whitish trail, he came to the surface four times, and magic fire
appeared around the edges. Then he came to his bed. He felt that
the land roared rejoicing with him.
In the south was Blue Coyote and there I sent my cry. He was friendly
and came to me from his blue darkness, circling around and shouting,
four times, on his journey, making magic fire everywhere. When he
arrived, he looked in four directions, then understood. A whitish
magic trail lay before him. He cast his blue darkness upon the enemy
and slowly approached them, circling around and shouting four times
on the way. Like a mountain was their power in the land, and he
sucked it in. The springs of water under the trees he sucked in.
The wind that was blowing he inhaled. He sucked in the clouds. The
people dreamed of a white thing, and their dreams he sucked in,
with their best bow strings and the straight-flying reeds. All the
different belongings which lay around he gathered and slowly turned
back. Hidden in the blue darkness, he came to me, circling around,
shouting, four times on his journey. Then he homeward took his way,
circling, howling, four times, and shouting reached his bed. With
pleasure he felt all directions thud. The east echoed.
In the sunset direction was Black Kangaroo Mouse, an expert robber.
To him I sent my cry. He was friendly to me and came hidden in black
darkness, sitting down four times upon his way. Magic fire covered
the edges of his trail. When he reached me. he looked in all directions.
The magic trail brightly lay before him. He threw black darkness
around him and slowly reached the enemy, sitting down four times
upon the trail. He found a bag of the enemy, with much prized possessions.
It was tied one knot on top of another but he bit them off. He took
from it the blue necklaces, blue earrings, and the different belongings
lying around gathered up with him. Then he slowly took his way back
on the magic trail, with magic fire everywhere. Hidden in his yellow
darkness, he returned to me. He left the others at the council and
in darkness took his homeward way, resting four times. He sat on
his bed and felt all directions of the earth rustling in the darkness.
Darkness lay all around.
I called on Owl, the white blood-sucker. To him I sent my cry.
He was friendly and came down to me with four thin flys (sailing)
on the way. He looked in all directions. The magic trail brightly
before him lay. He flew, with four thin flys, toward the enemy.
The mountain of their power which stood in the land he bit off short.
The springs he bit off, and their very good dreams. The best bow
strings and the straight-flying reeds he grasped and cut very short.
He bit off their flesh and made holes in their bones. From the things
gathered, he made a belt from a bowstring. Then he returned. He
came through the whitish mist of dawn in four flights. The people
held a council. Leaving them there, he after four thin flys reached
his bed in the gray dawn mist. Then in all directions he heard the
darkness rattling, as he lay there.
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