| An Apache was very poor and went about among the Pueblo Indians
picking up the food they threw away. That was all he had to eat.
Over by the river there was an eagle nest on top of a sheer
cliff. The Pueblo Indians treated the Apache well giving him plenty
of food. He went with them to the eagle's nest. They tied a rope
to him and lowered him down where the two little eagles were sitting.
He took off the rope and stayed there with the eagles. Those above
pulled up the rope just by itself. In vain, they let down the rope
to him. He remained with the eagles. The others left him and went
away. They came back again and let down the rope in vain. Again
they left him.
He was very thirsty. He heard someone laugh here below. He jumped
up to him. The person said to him, "You have been taking care
of the children. Drink this," and gave him a piece of ice about
so large (forefinger). "This will not be enough to satisfy
me," he thought. He drank it and was satisfied. He lay down
beside the little eagles.
The father of the eagles came home. "DagônadeL, you
are staying with my children. I thank you," he said. Then he
opened the house and they went in. (His house was behind the solid
rock.) He gave him some food in a very small clay dish. "That
is not enough for me," he thought. The man took off his coat
and hung it on the wall. Then he was like any other man. He gave
his coat to the man. "Run around with my children for me,"
he said. He flew across to a stone standing on the other side and
back again. He flew way off and came back. He was strong.
The man who lived there called and from the center of the sky
a large number of them came down. Some of them wished to carry him
on their interwoven wings while some of them wished him to fly and
others did not want him to. They put wings on him that were stretched
out long and started out with him, up into the sky. The eagles flew
under him carrying him up. When he was near the sky hole he began
to fall he was so tired. The others got under him carrying him up.
Then Panther let down his tail through the sky hole. The man seized
it and he was pulled up. Panther had his home there.
They had enemies there with whom they fought. The hornets were
their enemies. Some of them were black, some of them were yellow.
The yellow ones had yellow houses; the black ones had black houses.
Panther had much buckskin from which he made him shirts of many
thicknesses. There were holes just for the eyes. The man went with
the eagles to find the enemy. They camped close by them. He was
carrying a quirt in his hand. Early the next morning when they went
after wood they met the enemy and began to fight with them. The
hornets were killing them. The man put on the shirt Panther had
made for him and began whipping around with the quirt. He strung
the bodies of those he had killed on a stick. He had two sticks
of them. The eagles came back to their home. One of them said, "DagônadeL
was killed first of all." Panther said, "My grandchild
is very brave. Watch for the men he has killed." When he came
back there from fighting the enemy, they commenced dancing around
in a circle. Meadowlark danced around sunwise. "You had better
go down, you say bad words against the people," they told him.
About the Author: Pliny Earle Goddard (1869-1928) was an ethnologist
and linguist of American Indian languages. After college graduation
he worked in a religious organization helping with a number of impoverished
schools and eventually took a position as a missionary with the Womens
Indian Aid Association. Deciding to make ethnology his life's work,
he continued his studies, gaining a Ph.D. in linguistics. During his
lifetime, he published a number of books and journals including several
volumes entitled the
Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History.
This tale comes from his Jicarilla Apache texts, from Volume VIII
of that series, published in 1911.