Sacred-Texts Native American Navajo
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This story only tells about the Mirage Quartz Rock People, xadaxoni’ ye’ dine’é. The Frog Man was a Mirage Quartz Rock man. He was made out of Mirage Quartz Rock. He belonged to the Mirage Quartz Rock Clan. The Sun had intercourse with a Mirage Quartz Rock woman and had a child. The woman was like us, and yet she belonged to this clan. The Sun saw women and liked them. (“If someone tells stories about you, a woman will look for you and grab you. This was the same with the Sun,” F. G.) Frog Man raised all kinds and colors of horses, sheep and goats, and he had given some animals to the Twins.
White Bead Woman had given, at this time, five different colors of sheep to her sons, white, blue, black, yellow and spotted. Near where the Twins lived were some black birds the size of a robin, bluebirds that live in the pinyons (pinyon jays ?), bluebirds, another small bird the size of a chickadee, black birds, yellow canaries, blue canaries, white and black canaries, and red canaries. All of these were couples who had children. They were birds that looked like people. This thing happened at A-Sound-in-the-Earth or Rolling-Ground, ni’xo di·’ca’. These two names mean the same as Black, White, Blue, Yellow Spot and all describe the same place.
These people had feathers for clothes. A barn lark, dibeni’í, also lived there and even now comes back at lambing time. When you hear these birds, the mountain sheep begin to lamb. The same thing will happen if you hear a robin. The birds lived near the corral of the Twins where they could tell where the stock and sheep were. They were the ones who had put up the corral and listened to the south to tell where the sheep were.
One time the sheep did not return to the corral. These birds could hear nothing and so started gazing at the stars to see what they could see. These birds, the robins, grey birds (sparrows ?) and others listened for the stock. Soon the stock came in because of the hope and prayers of the bird-people. Later the birds prayed for all of the sheep which had not come in. These birds were the ones who made the corral for the animals. The birds lived and sang there. Once they heard the sheep making noise and they came into the corral to see what was the matter.
Inside the corral the birds prayed for the stock to return. Suddenly the birds turned into half sheep and half man because they had gotten so excited when they heard the sheep go into the corral. Only one of the robins, one of the big blackbirds and two other birds, one of which was a grey sparrow, did not change into these animals. All of the others turned into these strange beings. These four bird-persons sang on these animals that had changed because of their excitement into the strange looking animals.
Some of them were changed into sheep with two heads; some were sheep only from the chest down; some had arms as sheep, but the rest human; some had human heads and sheep tails (there are animal-people seen in circuses now like that. This is the reason people are born like this now because of what happened in those early days); sheep with six legs; and all other kinds of strange beings.
The four birds sang and prayed for these people to change back into birds so they could talk and fly and yet still remain bird-gods. After the prayer was finished, all of the strange ones were turned back into birds as they were before. This all happened at the time of lambing and because of this the lambs were born as mountain sheep, deer and antelope. “This will happen in the future to foretell evil things that will take place. If you see such things happen, you will know.” This is what was said. “It foretells evil things and definite things to happen in life. You will have to have a sing to get rid of such evil.”
When robins come around and sing nowadays, it is time for the lambing of the mountain sheep and regular sheep, but not for any of the other animals. This all happened in the past, and that is why many of the things that happen now were foretold by the gods. A robin (which comes around in the summer rather than spring and is almost the same color) was told by these other bird-gods to see if the lambs were getting their milk. So the robin went out and came back and said that they were sipping or nipping. That is why birds chirp and say, t’o’ó t’o’ó t’o’ó t’bá t’o’ó t’o’ó t’o’ó.
These bird people kept all kinds of animals. That is the reason they got all kinds of sheep with all colors. The other stories are not right about the sheep and the government (i.e. that the Navaho first got the sheep from the government before the days of Fort Sumner). The Navaho did not get their sheep from the Spaniards or Pueblos. There is a period of time when the Navaho did not know what happened to the sheep after the bird-people captured some and after the time of Fort Sumner. From this point of the story is much argument as to what happened to the sheep, who cared for them and where they came from.