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The Southern Sierra Miwok Language (1964), by Sylvia M. Broadbent

15. Coyote, Duck, and Mole (Pages 196-207)


15. Coyote, Duck, and Mole (Pages 196)
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15. Coyote, Duck, and Mole
(Told by Chris Brown)

(1) Long ago Coyote came walking down the creek in the sand. He got to a place where a certain Duck was pounding. (2) "What are you doing so hard?" he said. (3) She answered, "This is what I'm doing.


15. Coyote, Duck, and Mole (Pages 198)
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(4) [Song:] What am I doing? I'm pounding, I'm pounding, redmaids seed, redmaids seed!'

(5) "Hey, your little leg looks very, very good to me. Hey, tell me why it is. Put your skirt a little higher, a little higher, more, put it up, that way, that way, that way!"

(6) [Song of Duck:] "What is this? Why do you say this to me? I have a husband, he trusts me. My husband is at home asleep, sleeping."

(7) Then he went. Buzzard was sitting up in a dead tree. (8) "What is he doing? I want to get there, I want that woman too."

(9) [Song:] "Buzzard got burned playing dice [?]"

(10) Coyote came. "What are you doing? What are you doing so hard? What am I to do, I'm shaking all over. What's the matter with you? Lift your leg up higher, higher!"

(11) [Song of Duck:] "Calm down, they give me bad words. My husband will scold me, he will beat me. I love my husband. Don't do that to poor me."

(12) [Song:] "Buzzard got burned playing dice [?]"


15. Coyote, Duck, and Mole (Pages 200)
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(13) [Song of Mole:] "I'm leaving my wife, I'm looking for a different world!"

(14) Then he went, this Mole or something went, under the ground he went in and went, he went through the country (15) to come out in a different place, coming to all of these. (16) Then the leaves, he went underneath. He went and went and went, (17) till he got to a different place, to his aunt's, to his own people's. (18) "Don't tell where I went. (19) I'm going to a different world. I too will challenge my father's enemy," he said, and he went. (20) His wife, meanwhile, was sleeping with that tree that Mole himself put there. (21) She woke up some time in the night, and heard his song when he went far off, quietly, quietly, quietly.

(22) [Song of Mole: nonsense syllables]

(23) he said, as he went through a different country. (24) He could not tunnel through the rocks, so he had to go on top of the rocks. (25) His wife, saying, "Where did he go?" sang:

(26) [Song:] "Where has my husband gone? He treated me badly, he made me sleep with this old tree. I thought he was asleep. Up above, I am astonished to hear it, dying away, of his people, of his language. Where, oh, where did he go? Let me follow him, let me follow him, I am going, I too am going there, that way, let me follow him, hearing his voice disappear, it is vanishing. Where did he go?"


15. Coyote, Duck, and Mole (Pages 202)
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(27) Then she pulled out and broke off a grey hair, her feathers, a hair, and sent it, she blew it, "Huh, huh, huh, huh," she said. (28) Her hair went off to catch up with him when he got to a different place on the other side of the sky. (29) It got there and made bad luck for him, it tied him up by wishing, it tied him all up. (30) Being tied up, (31) "What did she do to me? What am I going to do now? (32) I'm in a sorry state," he said, after he was tied up. Somewhere he wriggled all night long and all day. The other came looking for footprints in the ground below, he went on the other side. She got there in the morning, when it got light. She got there and found her husband rolling around there, he was tired. She reached him and took it off. (33) "What are you doing to me? You ran from me, you did that to me. What are you going to do? (34) Don't let him do that to you. (35) You treated me very badly, you made me sleep with this tree. (36) I thought you were lying with me, lying there close to me, and there was your singing, your voice fading away as you went far away, fading, fading. I went to sleep, [snore, snore], that's what I said. (37) I got up, I woke up and felt it. I put my arms around it, that tree, I hugged it hard. (38) 'What am I sleeping with?' I said. (39) I came at once when you stopped talking, I followed you, I went everywhere. You told your people that (40) you didn't want me to hear what I do, (41) what you do. When you got there, you thought you would go somewhere and vanish from me, that you would leave me and run away from me. (42) I know where you are going, to the different sky. (43) Do you think you will ever get there? They will kill you when you get there. (44) You won't do any good staying in that country. (45) You won't stay long, you will die in a different world. (46) It would be better if you take me with you, you ought to have me along. But now let me help you.

(47) [Song:] You are going with me, to your enemy, where he was killed. Now we are going somewhere else, it's your fault, we are going to the other side of the world, we are going to see a different one."

(48) They got to the place where the sky comes together. (49) He jumped across. (50) "Come on, then:" he said to his wife. (51) "What am I going


15. Coyote, Duck, and Mole (Pages 204)
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to do? Maybe I can't get there.

(52) [Song:] I am going to try, see for yourself, I'm going to show you now"

(53) "Ow! It smashed my feet, it smashed m,, feet!" she said crying there.

(54) [Song:] "My feet are made flat now. Maybe I won't get there. I'm trying to keep up."

(55) They got there, he carried her in his arms. (56) "You see, you wanted to come with me. Do you think I am going to a good place? I'm going to a different world, where I walk is not good. (57) I'm going to my enemy, to where they killed my father. I'm going to challenge him to play football. (58) I want him to play ball and kick his ball the other way, so that he can't kick it away. (59) In the same place I am going to kick him around and kill him, he won't recover. (60) We are going to that different world where my people live, my uncle. (61) You will sleep with my uncle, and I will sleep with my aunt." (62) Then he could not see, he has to listen to everything. At night they talked, they whispered. (63) His uncle told the Duck, "This is what was done to his father. He was kicked to the south, from the south they brought him back north. (64) They went west, he came east. (65) The ball got there and came out this side of the track. (66) He kicked him all around and killed him. (67) In the same place he roasted him, he cremated him, your father-in-law. They cremated him in the same hole." (68) Then also, Mole is sleeping with his aunt, they are whispering to each other. "That's what he did," she said. (69) "He treated your father badly, your enemy. He ill-treated him. He did that after he ill-treated him. (70) He is doing the same thing now to your husband. He will treat him badly," he [?] said. (71) Then they went. In the morning he challenged him. (72) At night, the other, "What's going on? What are they talking about? Hey, who is he talking to?" he said, (73) he was told that one from both sides. The next day he went. "I have come here. (74) I am going to challenge you with this ball that we are kicking. (75) You won all my father's things, his food, everything he had hidden, their abalone shells, his olive shells, his clothes, you won the beads. (76) Here are mine ready." "You are doing the


15. Coyote, Duck, and Mole (Pages 206)
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same thing, you are going just the same as the way your father went," he was told. (77) "Ready. Let's try it when the sun rises," he said. (78) They ran then. He kicked it south right away. Mole kicked it north and won, (79) then he kicked those enemies all over. He cremated him in the same place in the hole. (80) The fire burned, it burned and went right up. (81) It brought bad luck to Mole. (82) Mole ran under the ground when he was suffering. The ground got hot, the water boiled, the tree burned, the rock got hot and melted. (83) "Where am I to go? What am I to do?" he said. (84) "You see, I told you, they are going to kill us, that's what I told you when we came."

(85) [Song of Duck:] "They are killing us, now, the early riser. Do your best. Let's run, in the water, but the water's getting hot, it's boiling, when they go, when they go. He was right, that one, the sky who did that, he made my feet flat, I can swim, I can swim along this creek."

(86) They got there. (87) All the water was boiling. (88) They ran this way and that way, everything was burning. (89) Then they got to a lake. Duck pulled out her arrow and pointed it there, and there, and there, around this whatever, the lake, the water, with the arrow. "Keep still there! Don't burn any more! Don't let the water boil!" she said. (90) She carried her husband on her back. (91) "You see, I saved your life, you were dead.

(92) [Song:] You were dead, if I had not come, obviously. Let the water and the land get cold."


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