Sacred-Texts Native American Navajo
Index Previous Next
This story took place at Tough-Flint or Hard-Flint-Place where the Old Lady (Bat Woman) took her grandchildren. This story is about the Bat Woman who took the Twin down from Shiprock. This story is used in time of war, for if a person knows this story, he has the power to be successful in war. The War Twins were trying to get in a war with another tribe. the No-Bone-Enemy People, ’ana·’ bic’in’ádini·. These people lived on the other side of Mount Taylor, tsṓdzĭł, which is to the south of this place above Farmington.
At this place there were two rivers that come together at Blue House and Pointed Rock or which is called Rock-in-the-Middle-of-the-River. All of these names were called for this place. In this general area was where p. 78 the enemy tribe lived. The First War Twin and his companions gathered before the war started. He had enlisted anyone who was in good condition and who would go to the battlefield. All his companions went over to the place with three names and fought.
The First Twin lost the battle and lost all of his companions. If this had not happened then we would lose no men on the battlefield now. He once again went out and gathered many men, and this time they were numbered by the hundreds. Again the Twin started out to fight. He went over there four times to battle at Blue House. Each time the battle took place at Blue House and each time the men were destroyed. Then First Twin went out and recruited more men.
Before the fifth battle the Twin got help from the Bat Woman. He got help from the Hard Flint People and the headquarters for the Bat Woman was at the Tough or Hard-Flint-Clan. Between the two entrances, where the rivers come together, were fought four mighty battles. The friends of the Twins were insects, birds, animals or any people that wanted to fight. They were still people, but they had these animals’ characteristics. Later they turned into the insects, birds or animals which they represented. The First War Twin sent out a message to the Bat Lady and told her he needed help. The reason the Twins went to the Bat Woman was because they were more friendly to Bat Woman than to the enemy—like England is to us. If she had not been friendly, she would not have helped the Twin off of the rock.
The Old Lady had some warriors, and she told them to go to war over at Rock-in-the-Middle-of-the-River to help the First Twin. All had a meeting about the war before they left to get instructions at the Twin’s headquarters. One turtle was sitting on the left side (south side of the hogan entrance) and a frog was on the right (or north side) during the meeting. The turtle was like we are, yet having clothes of shell for protection like a turtle does now.
The frog was still human, but with a fat stomach, fat throat and narrow bulging eyes. The final meeting, before the war, was in the hogan. All of the warriors, who were like us, and not yet animals, were there. Everyone was quiet and gave the War Twin his chance to speak. The War Twin’s party and Bat Woman’s party both had a meeting. Although in separate groups, a decision was made to go on the warpath.
The frog said, “You should have told us before there was a war. Talk about it and while it is being settled we will be going on ahead. We are very slow, and we will start traveling towards the enemy. We will do p. 79 this while the other side is getting ready.” Bat Woman’s children were the Flint Boys of the Flint Clan. Frog and turtle were asked what they were waiting for before they went on the warpath. The frog said. “This is what I Iike to hear. We will walk. We are not very fast runners. We will go ahead, taking our time to the war.”
The frog and turtle were on the side of the War Twin. The frog and turtle were really fast travelers and they just said this for fun. They traveled on a rainbow spectrum to the enemy’s camp. The frog and turtle started in the evening so as to not be left behind. The Bat Woman’s people were the Hard-Flint-Boys and they were preparing for this war. The War Twin and his men were at Reversible Mountain. The turtle and frog were at the Twin’s hogan.
The two friends, frog and turtle, started in the evening and soon came to a large pit of water where the enemy got their water. The turtle and frog had gotten ready for battle before they left the Twin’s hogan. The turtle had put on hard shell and hard clothing. That is why people nowadays wear steel helmets and armour plates. This is where they got the design.
At the bottom of the pit or hole was a well. To get to this well was a trail going around and around the side of the pit. The two friends climbed down the trail and got into the water and began to swim around. In the morning, as it became light, two unmarried girls came down into the pit with cups to get water. They dipped their cups into the water twice. Suddenly the frog and turtle grabbed the girls and then smiled.
The turtle said, “Get inside my shell,” to one of the girls. Then the frog said. “Get under my arms,” to the other girl. After the two had grabbed the girls and told them to get under their clothes, the girls smiled. All four of them then went into the water. Later the enemy wondered about the girls, and one of the enemy warriors came around to find where they were.
When the warrior got down to the well, he only found the jugs the girls had carried. He yelled for the other warriors to come and help him. That is why the Hopi, when something goes wrong, holler for help now. These enemy were Cliff Dwellers or ’anásází. When many warriors arrived, they moved towards the well. They searched, but could not find the girls. They decided that the girls had to be here somewhere, and so they decided to empty the well.
The warriors stood in a line, some in the water and some on the bank. They passed the girls’ jugs out full of water. When all of the water p. 80 was emptied out of the well, they found only two men and no girls. The enemy leaders said, “Get those two men out of the bottom, and we will kill them. They must be the ones who killed the girls.” Some of the men laid a woven blanket out at the bottom of the well and pushed the men on top of it. Twelve unmarried men stood on the one side of the blanket and twelve unmarried women on the other side, the left, and pulled the two men out of the hole. The leader spoke again, “Kill those two men.”
The enemy had axes and the frog said to his friend, the turtle, “I am afraid I am going to be killed.” In reply the turtle said, “I am not afraid of what is going to happen.” Meanwhile the other two groups of the army of Twin and the army of the Bat Woman’s Clan were moving in on the enemy.
When the enemy grabbed for their axes, the turtle said to his friend, “Get under my shell.” When the frog got inside the turtle’s shell, the turtle began to move his body as the enemy chopped at him. The axes slipped off of his shell and the men cut off their own legs and arms. They were having a tough time trying to kill those two. The enemy was using a loose axe which was a stone axe and was not tied very strong. This continued on all day long until sundown. All were still fighting one another at the enemy’s camp.
Meanwhile the Twin’s and Bat Woman’s people were moving in slowly, for the distance was great. They were also afraid and that is why they went slow. In the enemy camp the leaders said at last, “We cannot do anything about the turtle. Let us put him in a pot and boil him.” By now the friends of the frog and turtle were just a little distance away. The enemy put water to boil all night. Towards morning when the Morning Star came out, the frog said, “I am getting worried again.” The turtle once again answered, “I am not worried about what is going to happen.” When the two were placed inside the container the pot split into pieces.
While all this was taking place, the Dawn began to break. The enemy did not know what to do and they finally said, “We will have to take them back to our House-in-the-Middle-of-the-River. This was near the Rock-in-the-Middle-of-the-River. They lived where the ground was in the open. There they held dances. The enemy took frog and turtle inside the village. When they arrived they said, “Let us build a big hole and make a fire. We will make it big and then we will throw frog and turtle inside.” The turtle was put under a lot of wood and the fire was started. The fire was started at p. 81 the four directions. Once again the friends were afraid, but this time turtle said, “I am really afraid I am going to be killed.” Frog Man said, “I am not afraid of what is going to happen.”
While this was going on, the Twin’s group was moving quietly, but the others, belonging to Bat Woman’s Clan, were making a lot of noise. As the Flint Clan moved along they hit each other and made sparks. Lots of noise came from their armour! The Twin argued with them and tried to keep them quiet. As the two groups moved closer towards the enemy, the noise became greater and greater. There was only the First Twin here, for the other was home with the prayer stick and White Bead Woman.
The Twin, his army, and his allies were camped about one and one-half miles from each other. The Flint People enjoyed the outing they were having, but the Twin got mad because of the noise they were making. The War Twin became more and more angry because of the war. The next morning the armies of the allies met. The headman of the Flint Boys was talked to by the War Twin who said, “Why make so much noise when we go to war?” When the Flint headman came forth, he became very angry. All of the clan gathered around making sparks by hitting each other and making lights as if they were tracers or rockets.
The Flint headman said, “If you are such a hero why do you ask for help and go so quietly to war?” The War Twin replied angrily, “Shut up and stay quiet,” but could do nothing with them. The Bat Woman was proud of her clan making so much noise. She was proud of her Flint Grandsons showing their courage and power.
In the enemy camp all the wood that was left was gathered and a fire was built. After the fire was started the two animals were put into it. From the Twin’s camp could be seen the fire. From this time, it was said, when you see a fire at night, it foretells evil, sickness and disease. In the morning the Twin’s army was divided into groups and all started out to find the enemy in all four directions. All watched the fire to tell the direction to go. At the camp the enemy left for they thought the frog and turtle would be dead by morning. They went away that day, and in the morning when they came back there was water all over and ashes were floating on top of the water. This time the enemy really got mad and said, “We will build a fire all day.”
The friends of the two animals were still moving in. The Twin did not move forward when he saw the fire going that night again, but left the next morning. Once again all the warriors got together and were ready to move in.
After the fire had been going all day, the enemy was ready once again to try and cook the frog and turtle—and unknown to them, the two girls. It was evening and the Flint’s and the Twin’s groups were moving in together towards the enemy, but very slowly. This is the same during the war when they move very carefully and not quickly to the enemy. So this is the reason why armies move slowly now. The friends were now camping together and the Flint people were having fun hitting each other and making sparks. The Twin said nothing, but just took out his tobacco and started smoking to control himself.
Back in the enemy camp frog and turtle were put inside of a hole with wood and rock put on top of the hole so they could not get out. Again a fire was lighted underneath the two friends. The turtle said. “I am afraid of what is going to happen.” After the fire had started, the enemy went away and said, “They will burn up now.” The next morning they came back and the whole place was soaked all over with lots of water. The rock that had been on top of the two strangers was floating, and the frog and turtle were underneath in the water. When the people saw this, they became very angry again and said, “We will throw them off the highest cliff and that will certainly kill them.”
By now the Flint People and the Twin’s People were moving in a file as small groups. The frog and turtle were once again taken on the woven rug and taken to a high cliff near Pointed Rock. Beneath the cliff stood a small body of water. The whole camp started to go with the warriors to see the frog and turtle finally doomed. The enemy were singing and pounding on a drum as they traveled along. The plan was that the frog and the turtle were to be pushed off of the cliff and hit their heads below and break them open.
The men and women got hold of the rug and swung it four times. and the frog said, “I am really afraid I am going to be killed.” The turtle once again said, “I am not afraid of what is going to happen.” He then told the frog what he was supposed to do. The frog went underneath the shell of the turtle. Just as the frog did this, they were thrown over the cliff by the men and women holding the rug. They went down the cliff with the turtle’s shell whistling as the wind went through it.
Just as they were to hit the ground, the turtle floated off like a feather and barely missed hitting the rocks. He floated on and away and went towards the water. The turtle floated in the air until he dropped into the water. The frog got out of the shell and the two swam back to the shore of the small body of water, away from the cliff. When they got p. 83 to the shore, the turtle took out the girl he had under his shell and said, “Here are your girls, whoever you are.” Covering her body were white bead earrings, bracelets, beads and decorations.
The frog did the same to the girl he had hidden and said, “Here are your girls, whoever you are.” The two said this to whomever those two girls had belonged to. The reason the girls had been able to be hidden in such a small space as they had been was because the gods had made them this size by their power. The girl that the frog had hidden had turquoise all over her. Her hair hung clear down to the ground. The turtle said, “This is the last time you are going to see these girls.” All four of them got on a rainbow spectrum and went to where the Twin and his armies were.
When they got to the lines of the Flint’s and Twin’s army, the enemy became very angry because of their escape. They were also unhappy because of the loss of the girls. In between the army of the allies came the enemy, angry because of the insults given to them. This began the mighty battle. All of the enemy were killed except the headman who was captured. According to what happened then, enemies are now captured in battle. The girls were kept as was promised by the frog and turtle, and the victors went back to their homes.