Yosemite > Library > Miwok Myths > Prarie Falcon’s Marriage >
Next: 6. The Flood • Index
“Going, going to marry Prairie Falcon,” Green Heron said. “Give me a large basket. Give me a basket, so that I may give it to Meadowlark.” The two left that night after they had married the. chief. “Where is my daughter going?” said Green Heron. When they returned, Coyote followed them. Coyote said, ‘You, Green Heron, what will you do when the chief becomes hungry?” Thus spoke Coyote, when he told them to prepare food for the chief.
Eagle told California Jay to obtain food. Then Coyote said to Eagle, “We go now to hunt rabbits.” Coyote continued to California Jay, “Yes, that is all right. Let’s go.” “Whatever you people say is good,” said Eagle to Jay. Then they departed.
Jay and Coyote went hunting. Coyote ran away and hid behind a rock.
Green Heron told his daughters to pound acorns. They said, “Yes.” They went over to the mortar, where they pounded acorns. The chief arose from his bed to marry one of the girls. He had never known any girl intimately. Then he went to the assembly house and told his wife to pound acorns on the following day. Prairie Falcon told his sister to take the acorns to the girls. One of the girls, Meadowlark, gave birth to a boy baby. After she had given birth to the child, she pounded acorns. The Eagle visited her while she pounded acorns. He took her, Prairie Falcon’s wife. “Why is that chief deceiving me by taking my wife away from me?” said Prairie Falcon, and he became very angry.
Prairie Falcon decided to go away. He said to his sister, “Give me a bow and arrow. I am going into the world.” He killed one quail with an arrow. He took the quail with him. He said, “I do not think my sister eats anything.” Then he travelled over the world, along the water towards the north. After that he returned home. He told his sister to tell no one where he had been.
“I will kill my wife, if she follows me. She deceived me, when she married me,” said Prairie Falcon. Then he went around the world, returning again to his sister.
After returning to his sister, he visited his sister’s husband, Lizard. Lizard threw the fire to him. Lizard said to his wife, “What will your brother do over there?” Then Prairie Falcon said to his sister, “I think he does not wish me to remain.” “Hold back your dogs,” said Prairie Falcon’s sister to Lizard, for Lizard had rattlesnakes and bears for dogs. “I do not want them to bite me,” said Prairie Falcon to his sister.
“I go now to the place where my father died,” said Prairie Falcon to his sister, His sister objected, saying, “Do not go; remain here,” for she feared for him. Their father had died at the place to which he was going. “No, I go. My father went there and I go, too,” said Prairie Falcon. His sister then said, “Well, you may go, then. Remember, if anything happens to you, that you did not mind me, when I told you not to go.
“You watch my wife, for she might follow me,” said Prairie Falcon to his sister. “If she comes, I will kill her. She is a pretty woman, but I will kill her, nevertheless.” His sister said, “Do not kill her, for she will save your life when you arrive at your destination.”
His wife followed him all the way. He looked back to find that she followed him. She was coming. Prairie Falcon said to his brother-in-law, Lizard, “Watch her closely, for I shall take her. I do not think that I shall kill her.” Lizard watched her and Prairie Falcon took her. “Yes, I am going,” said Prairie Falcon. “Do not give me that girl,” he said to Lizard.
He went north. he told his sister not to tell his wife where he had gone. “I go to the north,” he said. “I go to the north. I feel lonesome.” Thus he spoke to his sister, as he was leaving. “It is all right if they kill me. I go around the water. I do not think I shall come back, I go around the water. I think that will be the last of me. I do not think that you will see me any more.”
He changed his mind, after he talked with his sister, and went to the south instead. He finally arrived at his destination.
Lizard said to his wife, “Your brother will be back, so the fire tells me.” Prairie Falcon’s sister said, “Our brother has returned.”
Upon his return, Prairie Falcon found that his wife had started for the place to which he had been. He set out again to overtake her. He overtook her before she arrived at her destination. Then they proceeded on their journey together. Prairie Falcon said, “I go to the place where my father died. I shall take my wife with me.”
He arrived there and found that his father, Owl, still lived. Prairie Falcon remained with his father. His father said to him, after he had stayed with him a while, “If they want your wife, give her to them, because she will save your life.”
Prairie Falcon’s brother-in-law, Lizard, told his wife that her brother had gone.
Prairie Falcon told his wife not to come near him after they had arrived at their destination. “Keep away from me,” he said. Lizard threw the fire on the ground. Prairie Falcon told his father, “Fire comes. “His wife saw the fire coming. Prairie Falcon told his father to return.
All of the ground was burned after Lizard threw the fire. Prairie Falcon told his wife that a large fire was coming. “We had better hurry or it will catch us.” His wife replied that she did not believe him. She pulled two hairs from herself and threw them on the ground. They became a lake. She did this after Prairie Falcon left. She entered the lake and stayed in the water, while the fire burned around it. She swam around the lake. Finally she came out of it and went to her father. Upon meeting her father (Meadowlark man), she said, “We are safe now, the fire has gone out.” Meadowlark’s wife said to him, “We go to the place to which Prairie Falcon has gone.” Then they went. They obtained a large rock, which rolled upon the wife’s leg.
Prairie Falcon told his wife that they had arrived at their destination. “They are going to have a game with me,” he said. “If they win, they will kill me.”
Prairie Falcon’s father, Owl, helped him. He helped Prairie Falcon in the game, which they played. Prairie Falcon called strong winds from every direction to help him in the race. The big wind came as they started the jumping contest. Prairie Falcon jumped about before he jumped through the hole. He jumped through the hole. It snapped at him, but just missed him. He said to his wife, “We have gone through one place safely. Now we are going to my father.”
Prairie Falcon’s father dreamed that his son was coming. Prairie Falcon’s father said that he dreamed that his son was coming. “I am going to meet him. He is on his way, coming to see me. He is coming. I think they will kill him when he arrives here.”
The people told him that his son had arrived. “We can have a game with him,” they said. “He has arrived. He has brought his wife with him.” Thus spoke Chief Mountain Sheep to his people. Mountain Sheep gave a festival in which games were played.
Mountain Sheep said, “We are going to have a big festival. We are going to have a football game. Get Prairie Falcon’s wife. Bring his wife. I like his wife. He can have my wife.” They took Prairie Falcon’s wife and brought another woman to him. They held a festival. They told Prairie Falcon that he could have his wife back after the games were over. Prairie Falcon replied, “All right.” Then, upon second thought, he said, “No. I would rather have my wife with me. I will send the string of beads.” Eagle said, “All right. I will take the beads over there.”
The other girl went to Prairie Falcon, but Prairie Falcon told her not to come near him, told her to stay away. She slept in a different place. Then she went to Mountain Sheep and told him that Prairie Falcon did not sleep with her. Prairie Falcon’s wife went to Mountain Sheep’s house and stayed there overnight. Everyone liked her.
Prairie Falcon told Gopher to dig tunnels in the ground on Mountain Sheep’s side of the field, so that he would stumble when he ran. Then Gopher made tunnels in the ground. Next day they played football. Roadrunner helped Prairie Falcon and Dove; so did Kingbird. They ran. Owl kicked the ball; then Prairie Falcon’s side won.
Next day they played more games. Prairie Falcon won the first game played. Owl kicked the ball; from where it landed Coyote kicked it; then Dove. After that they played another game.
Then Prairie Falcon said to his father, “Give me my arrows. Mountain Sheep is tired. They will kill me, father, if they win the game. I shall forestall them.” Then he killed Mountain Sheep with arrows. After he had killed him, he returned home.
He returned home to his sister. Then he told his wife that she should bathe. “After that we will go home,” he said. Owl bathed her. After she had been bathed, they started for home.
Prairie Falcon told his sister not to worry. “I have been over to Mountain Sheep’s place,” he said. “That is all for Mountain Sheep. I killed him, just as he killed my father.”
Prairie Falcon came again to the hole through which he had passed. He called upon the winds from every direction to help him pass safely through it. He told his wife to cling to him tightly, when he jumped, His wife clasped him tightly about the waist. The hole opened just as he prepared to jump. Then he jumped through it.
When he had passed to the other side of the hole, he said to his wife, “We are going home.” Then he went to his sister’s house again. He told her that he had killed all of the people on the other side.
His sister told him not to talk thus while his brother-in-law (Lizard) was listening. Then Prairie Falcon became angry and went home. Then he went beyond his home. He said that he would never return to that place again. He took his son with him. He did not sleep in his home, but went beyond it.
He left his wife at the assembly house. He told her that he did not know whether he would return or not. He arrived at a large rock, which was his father-in-law’s place. His father-in-law (Green Heron) asked him if he wanted anything to eat. He also asked him if he had won in the game. Prairie Falcon replied, “Yes, I went there and killed the chief.”
He stayed at his father-in-law’s place for two nights. Then his father came to take him home. He told Prairie Falcon that his wife was worrying about him. Prairie Falcon came down from the large rock and talked with his father. he told his father that he did not desire to return. Then Dove and Coyote came behind him. They told him that they had left one and that they had not found the other one. Dove and Coyote were given bear hides to sit upon. Then they told him to marry the girl with whom he had been going. He did not reply.
His father asked him what he ate, while he was traveling. He told his father that he had nothing to eat. His father told him that he would get him a quail, if he would marry. “Quail is the only thing I ever eat,” said Prairie Falcon to his father. His father went hunting.
[Prairie Falcon’s assembly house was at Goodwin’s ranch near Montezuma in Tuolumne County. Mountain Sheep’s village was at the south end of the world.]
Next: 6. The Flood • Index