Long ago--Ehe--Here in the town dwelt a youth and his wife, Yellow Woman. Her husband went hunting deer. He went thither northward. Then Yellow Woman spoke thus, "I shall follow my husband," said Yellow Woman. The two had a little boy. She carried her child in her arms. Then the two went thither northward. She was following the tracks of her husband. Then she carried her child in her arms. Then his mother became tired. On the river bank she put him down. She dug a hole down into the ground. Then she put the child into it. She put him down. Then his mother went thither northward. She went to the same place far away. She was searching for her husband. Far away she went into the mountains. Her husband went always hunting deer. Then his wife went far away. Then there, somewhere in the north she found her husband. She arrived at the place where her husband was. Then her husband spoke thus, "Oh my! Too bad!" said her husband, "whither did you take my poor child," said her husband. Then his wife spoke thus, "Indeed! there I put him down on the river bank below. I dug a hole down into the ground. There I put down my child," said his wife. She told her husband. Then her husband spoke thus, "Why do you come here?" said her husband to her. Then
his wife spoke thus, "Indeed, I followed you," said his wife. "Oh poor one," said her husband, "you put down my child there," said her husband, "the poor one will be crying all the time"' said he. Then both went back, (he and) his wife. There they went from the north to the river bank. They were coming from the north to the place where she had put him down. The two arrived there. Then the baby was not down there. The two did not find him any more. Then his wife spoke thus, "Here I put him down," said she. "Right here," said she. Then her husband spoke thus, "How? whither?" said her husband, "My poor child," said he. "Too bad, you!" said he to her. "Why did you put the poor one down here?" said he to his wife. He scolded his wife. "The poor one, someone took him somewhere," said her husband. Then he spoke thus, "Now go!" said he to his wife. "I shall search for my child," said her husband. Then he looked for tracks around there. There were the tracks of someone. Someone took away my child," said his father. Then he spoke thus, Now these are deer tracks," said he. "A deer took away my child," said he. "I shall go where that deer went. I shall go after him," said he. Then thither northwestward he went. The baby was sitting on the deer's antlers. The deer took him to his house. Then the deer entered his house. He dwelt in a cave. Then the baby's father arrived there. He arrived at the cave in which the deer dwelt. The father of the baby entered. Then he spoke thus, "Anyway I shall enter where the deer entered," said the baby's father. "Anyway I shall carry my child away in my arms," said he. "The deer has stolen my child," said his father. Then he also entered. It was far inside where the deer had gone in. Then the baby's father also entered. Far inside, it was. To somewhere there the deer had gone out. There were many little deer, young ones, and among them was his child. Then the oldest deer and his wife, the deer, were both there. Then the father of the baby arrived there. "How are things?" said he, "everyone's mothers, everyone's chiefs," said he. He was here searching for his child. Then thus spoke the oldest deer, the father of the deer. 8 Then he spoke thus, "I come here searching for my child whom you brought here," said he to the deer. "I come for my poor child whom you stole from me," said he to the deer. Then they both went there (he and) the baby's father. "There the little fawns are in a corral," said the deer. "If you succeed and if you recognize your child, then you will take him off," said the deer to him; "If you do not recognize him, you will not take him," said the deer to him. To the father of the baby they spoke thus. Now there were many fawns, young ones. The baby's father saw them. [paragraph continues]
Then the deer spoke thus, "Do you recognize him?" said he to him. "No," said he, "I shall not recognize him," said the baby's father. Then he saw the little deer. The oldest deer spoke thus: "Do you recognize your child?" said he. He said to him, "No," said he, "I do not recognize him. They are alike," said he. 9 Then the oldest deer spoke thus, "Now you may take him away. When you take him away, put him inside your house," said the deer to him. Thus he was told by him. "You will tell his mother well (accurately). Now you will take away your child," said the oldest deer to him, the one who had taken the baby. Then his child was returned to him. Then he was told, "Go on! you will take away your child. When you make him arrive at your house, you will make him enter inside, this little deer," said the deer. "Then you will tell your wife when you make him enter inside. Now you will take him away," said to him the deer. "I give back to you your child." Then he took his child back. The deer told him, "When four days are passed, you two will take out your child, you and his mother. You will tell her that she must not see her child (before that time)." He made him arrive in the evening. Then he made the young deer enter the inside of the house. Then from there came out his child as a deer (that is the boy had been transformed into a deer). Not at all did his wife see him. Then he made his child enter the inside of the house. Then he entered. His wife was there. Then his wife spoke thus, "Whither did you take my poor child?" said his wife. "I found him," said he to his wife. "My poor child!" said his mother. "Yes," said his father, "I found him. The deer was the one who took him," said he. "I entered the deer's house. It was very far inside," said he. Her husband told her, "Then I took back my child," said her husband. "The old deer, the one who took my child, gave him to me," said his father. "Then I took back my child. I made him enter there inside," said her husband. "Not at all we are to see him, said the old deer, until four days have passed. Then we are to take out our child," said he. He told his wife. "I was told by the deer, 'Don't let his mother see him,' said the deer. 'If she should see him, he will come back here,' said the old deer. Then he spoke thus, 'When four days have passed, then his mother will make wafer bread. She will grind corn and make wafer bread; with it she will await her son when four days have passed. Then she will see her son,' thus said the deer." (Thus he was told by the old deer: "Don't let her see him," said he. "If his mother should see him, he will run away," thus said the old deer. "All right," said his father, "it is good. I shall tell his mother," said he.) Then his child (the
deer) was inside. Three days passed. Now the little deer was inside. Then early his father went for wood. Now his mother was grinding blue corn. She was going to make wafer bread. Then in the evening her husband arrived. He had gone for wood. With it his wife was going to make wafer bread. With it she was awaiting her child. A boy was the child of the two. Then early in the morning the four days would have passed. Then his mother spoke thus, "Let me see my child! how he is there inside," thus said his mother. Now inside there were sounds of the steps of walking. It was a deer. Then his mother went where her child was inside. She opened the door sideways. She opened just a little. At once a little deer came out. It jumped from inside. Then her child went away. Then his mother was crying all the time. "My poor child," said she. "He is gone from there. Maybe I shall never see him again," said his mother. Then she was crying all the time. "Because I have opened it," said his mother. "My husband is not here," said she, "and my child has gone away from there," said she. "Lo! my husband told me that I should not look at him," said she, "but I wanted to see my poor child and so he went out," said she. "Now he has gone forever from there," said she. Then her husband arrived. Then she told him, "My poor child is gone from there," said she. "Lo! I wanted to see how he was inside. He was a deer," said she. Then her husband spoke thus, "Woe, too bad!" said her husband, "Woe, I told you carefully that you should not look at him," said he to his wife, "and nevertheless you opened (the door)," said he to her. "Now he is gone from here forever," said his father. "Therefore I told you, you should not look at him, not until four days had passed. Then we two were to take him out," said her husband. "I told you carefully. Woe, you!" he said to his wife. He was scolding her all the time. "Now we shall never see him again," said her husband. "He is gone for ever. The old deer told me carefully, 'If he goes back you will never get him again,' thus said the old deer." Then his father spoke thus, "No more shall I go to get him," said he. "Now my child is gone forever, the poor one," said he. Then both he and his wife were crying all the time. All the time he was scolding his wife. "My poor child, we were lucky to have a boy," said her husband.
A hunter went out every day. His wife had a new-born baby. They told her that her husband went to San Ildefonso instead of hunting deer. She said, "What shall I do? Shall I look for him? for I have a little baby." The next morning the husband was going
again to hunt and his wife fixed his lunch for him that night. She said, "To-morrow I'll put my baby on my back and follow him."
She went along the river, and when she got to Old Mesa, she came to the big arroyo. She laid the baby on a bank and went on running. She reached San Ildefonso at dusk. She went to a house on the second story and peeped through the window. She saw her husband on one side of the fireplace. She went up and opened the door and went in. She said, "So this is where you go to hunt? This is where you find deer? Come out, and let us go home." "Where is my boy?" "I left him way back on a bank of the arroyo by Old Mesa."
They ran fast. When they got to the place, the baby was gone. There were only the tracks of a deer and these went across the river. He sent his wife home and he tracked the deer. The mother came home crying.
The hunter reached the entrance to the deer's house. It was a big hole (to the underworld); he went in. Water was running from the west under the hole and he went on in a tunnel expecting to see light at the end. At last he came to the end. There was a meadow of watermelons, muskmelons, squash, pumpkins, corn. He kept on until he came to a pond. Around it were many katcinas roasting yellow corn. As each corn cracked they jumped up frightened. Still the hunter saw the deer's tracks going on. He asked the katcinas where the chief of the deer lived. They told him, "Toward the west side, on the second story." He went up the second ladder, and there he found the great chief of the deer. As he went in he called, "Hello! I have come to look for my little boy." "So? You have not done right, neither you nor your wife. You ought not to have done this, for you are the one who goes out hunting and we have been offering you as many deer as you wanted, for you were a good man, but now you have another sweetheart." The man bowed his head. The chief said, "I will let you go in to see the little deer, and perhaps you will know which is your baby." He opened the small room and let the fawns come out. As they came out the hunter looked at each one of them. He said to the littlest, "This is my baby." It was true, but he was just like the other little fawns.
The hunter brought him home straight to the Giant Society and shut him up with them for four days. His father and mother were forbidden to peep through the doors, and the medicine men plastered the entrances tight. After four days he was to be human again. After three days the mother could not stand it. She unplastered the window to look in and peep at the baby. As she peeped in, the baby deer got up and ran back as fast as he could to the place where the deer had taken him. He never came back any more.
The baby sat on the bank and a deer heard the baby crying. He came to the baby and said, "O, dear baby, are you here alone crying?" He came closer and spoke again, "Poor baby, you are left alone here to cry? But come with me and I will take you to my home." He came close and stopped and took the baby on his antlers and carried him away to the high mountains where, he lived. They put him with the other little fawns.
The father of the baby came tracking him. He saw that deer tracks led away from the place where the baby had lain. He tracked them to the high mountains and came to the place where the deer lived. When he did not find the child or the deer, the poor hunter sat outside and began to cry for his baby. He came back to his home and called a council and asked for help. They planned that he should make prayer sticks and take them to the place where the deer had disappeared with the baby. As the father planted the feather sticks and scattered the sacred meal and prayed for his baby, he heard a voice tell him, "It was not your fault that the baby was lost; it was the fault of your wife because she was jealous. When she left her baby, the deer came upon it as it was crying and he cared for it. But do not fear, you will get your baby back again." The father finished his prayers and the door was opened to him. He went in, and there, in that room, he saw his son. When they gave back the child to him they said, "Do not let the child out of your hands all the way to your home. Be careful and you will go safely." He remembered all the way, but as he came near the pueblo he put the baby down just an instant, and the boy became a fawn and jumped off, away from the hunter. The father looked for him all the way back to the high mountain where he had found him, but he could not overtake him. The fawn went back to the deer. They told the hunter, "There is no way to get the baby back again. You knew what you must do, and you did not do it. Your child is lost forever." When the father saw that the boy had gone back into the cave, and heard the voice which told him that there was not any hope of recovering him again, he stood before the cave and cried. The baby boy never came back to the pueblo, and whether or not the father ever returned nobody has ever told.
72:7 Recorded in text by Franz Boas. Informant 7. Notes, p. 223.
73:8 This speech is omitted.
74:9 There is a gap here. According to parallel tales there should be an incident telling how he recognizes his son who gives him a signal.
75:10 Informant 2.
77:11 Informant 1. The opening incidents are the same as those given in the version above.