Long ago the people were living on the mesa. Corncob Boy's father and mother died and left him an orphan. As he grew up he went from house to house and was given food that had been left by his neighbors. When he became older he began to tell people the things that were going to happen. Some believed but others laughed. [paragraph continues]
After it happened as he had foretold, they believed him; but they began to say he was a witch.
Masewa made proclamation that in a few days they would have a rabbit hunt, both men and women. The young men made fun of Corncob Boy and said, "You will kill nothing, not a rabbit," "As you say, so it will be to you," said Corncob Boy. Others said, "You have no power." "Wait and you will see what will happen." They started on the rabbit hunt. They did not find even one rabbit. The people said, "Why did we not find even a rabbit? We always see many rabbits." Then they remembered what Corncob Boy said. One of the fathers (officials) said to the young men, "Tell me the truth. What did Corncob Boy say to you?" That evening the council called Corncob Boy to Masewa's house. The caciques were there. They asked him what he had said. Corncob Boy told them, "I said they should not catch a rabbit." The fathers said, "Why?" "Because the boys were making fun of me. When I said that, the rabbits heard and hid from us and we did not find any. If these men will not make fun of me any more, I will work for my people and for the fathers." "Very well, we will test you. We will appoint a day for another hunt and see whether the rabbits give themselves up." Masewa said, "I shall tell my people that in four days we shall go hunting." Masewa went out and made proclamation, "For four days prepare your bows and arrows and, rabbit sticks and make ready. On the fourth day we shall hunt rabbits." He came in. Corncob Boy was still there. He threw his arm around Masewa's neck and he said, "I hope we shall kill many rabbits." The priests went to their homes. "I will go and ask our Mother," said Corncob Boy, "to send the rabbits." Next morning be purified himself. He drank water, vomited, and asked our Mother that they might get what they went out for. Some people saw him and said, "Now we shall get what we want." Some still did not believe.
The day of the hunt came. Masewa went out and made proclamation that the people should be ready and that they should go first south, and then east. They started and went to the meeting place, first to the south, then to the east. As soon as they started out they saw a great number of cottontail rabbits and jack rabbits. Friends went together. First they went south and then east and there, not far from the village, this side of the river, they made the first circle and started the rabbits. They killed many. They made the second circle and started those rabbits. They killed many. They made the third circle and started those rabbits. They killed many. They made the fourth circle and started those rabbits. They could hardly carry the rabbits they had killed. Then they believed that Corncob Boy had power and that he always got what he asked for his people.
Still, however, not all the people believed in him. They had had no rain. One day an old man met Corncob Boy and said, "Why is it we have no rain?" "It will rain in four days." In four days it rained hard. In the morning when the rain was over, the old man went to Corncob Boy's house and put his hands on the boy and said, "My little boy." "My father." "I believe now that you can do anything you ask. When will we have snow?" "I will let you know at midday." Corncob Boy went to ask our Mother and at midday he went to the old man's house. He said, "My father, you asked me when we shall have snow. It will begin in four days. It will start with evening, and in the morning it will be deep on the ground. Then we shall hunt lots of rabbits; we must be ready."
Again the father went to Corncob Boy and he said, "My son, tell me how the next year will be. I know that you have been brought up by no father and mother; our Mother has raised you to be a help to your people." Corncob Boy said to the old man, "I thank you, my father, that you have known this. In four days I will tell you how the next year will be." He purged himself, and he went to ask. He said, "I have come to ask you for next year. I am asking that we shall have a good year, good yellow corn, good blue com, good red corn, good white corn, good black corn, good speckled corn, good sweet corn, good watermelons, good muskmelons, good squashes, good peaches. That is what I am asking." Then they answered him, "Next year shall be as Corncob Boy has said." He went back and told the father.
After this, people asked Corncob Boy everything that should happen, and he purged himself and asked our Mother for blessing. He became a great man, and they asked him to be cacique, but he said, "No; I was not born for it." He taught the people many things: How to hunt deer and antelope; how to set a noose trap for geese; how to make snowshoes and use them hunting mountain goats. He taught them to stand in a deep place to catch big fish, to fasten flowers to a piece of rag and tie it under water, and when the fish came up to smell them, to catch them in their hands. 23 He made a rabbit stick and taught them to use it on the rabbit hunt; he always killed the most rabbits on a rabbit hunt.
In his day there was no sickness among the people. He taught them how to live, not to steal, not to live with other men's wives, to ask our Mother for help. For this reason the old men still know what is right and teach the younger ones just as Corncob Boy taught.
He taught them what they should do in time of war, and taught Masewa and the cacique to lead the people. He told them that at last a strange people would come to this country, and all the tribes
would be scattered. There would be fewer and fewer deer and bears and mountain goats; there would be less and less rain; the worms would eat the corn and the apples and the peaches; there would be many strange sicknesses. These people would bring wars, and afterwards they would bring peace which would last a long time. Then his people must keep the peace; even when the United States and Mexico were fighting his people should stay out. All the pueblos heard these things which Corncob Boy told, and now they have a great deal of respect for Cochiti, because Corncob Boy belonged to Cochiti.
62:22 Informant 4. Noes, p. 219. See also Arrow Boy, p. 43.
64:23 The narrator caught fish In this way in his youth.