Bat/Windway Chant

On this side somewhat to the corner of the south side some one spoke out, "Only the old man, I suppose, from Earth Charcoal Place can accomplish something," he said, they say. They were then asking each other in vain who it was that said this. Without finding out the whole night passed. "I did not say it" they were saying as they were telling each other about it. The one who had said it did not become known, they say. "It is clear that he says the old man who lives at the Earth Charcoal Place does it." So on the strength of that he took what is called one laced bundle over there. The one who was the man did this (First Man?).



He brought it over there to him (Black God), I suppose. "My grand uncle, I am come after you," he said to him. "This shall be your gift, my grand uncle," he said, "You must return with your grandchild, it has become unknown where your grandchild may be," he said to him. Four times he pleaded with him in in, they say. He simply returned with the bundle. "He don't want it, what do you know about that! He did not raise up towards me!" he said.

Another bundle was added to it and in this way he left again with two bundles. Perhaps he will accept that much," they were saying. He again packed these over there. "My grand uncle, I am come after you, you must return with your grandchild," he told him again. Again he did not arise towards him, but remained in a reclining position. After he had again pleaded four times in vain with him, he merely brought the two bundles back. He simply returned with them, they say.

After he had made three bundles he started out with them again. Over there he again brought them to him. "My grand uncle, I am come after you, this here shall be your pay, you must return with your grandchild," he again said to him. Four times he again pleaded in vain, the other did not even arise towards him. He simply brought them back again.

He added another bundle to them and left to carry four bundles to him. "I have carried this to you for a gift, I am come after you, you must return with your grandchild," he again said to him. Four times again he pleaded in vain without the other raising in his position. This it seems completed the full number concerning the goods. Then it seems they again held a discussion about it. "Wonder who it was that was heard speaking there at the time. Suppose one of you that have good sense sit down along that spot, while another one of you will sit also opposite to that," was suggested. On that side Old Man Bear was seated, on the opposite side of him the Bullsnake sat down. After that the meeting began to take place. "Are all of you now come together?" was asked. "Yes, we are all together now, there is no doubt about it!", was said. After that, the thing was again discussed, they say. "Wonder what it was that spoke?" they remarked. That it seems was being discussed from that time on, as the same question was put to them time and again during that night.

It was perhaps about the time of midnight when it happened that the two who were sitting on either side of the doorway had become drowsy. "The old man who lives at the Earth Charcoal Place, I suppose, is the only one who can accomplish anything, I say to you!" that one again said. It happened that they had not noticed him, because they were sleeping. "Who is that speaking? Is it perchance one of you that has spoken because you know about it?" they were saying. "I did not take notice of it," one said. "I too, had not noticed it," the one said who was sitting on this side. "What does that mean? You two were supposed to be on the watch where you are sitting!" they were saying to them, they scolded them somewhat. Then it seems the two woke up somewhat. After that the two sat down again with better care. Then they were discussing it again as the night passed on.

Suddenly right at the same spot some one spoke again. "How is it that all of you have surprisingly little sense!" he said to them. "So it is you who are saying this, you who flop about in the darkness!" he was told. Bat happened to be his name, they say. "Yes, right along we have tried him in vain, that's clear, whatever his offering may be!" they told him. "To me alone is known what his offering is, you should realize this!" he said. "All right then make it known to us. What may his offering be?" they said to him. "I shall, of course, make it known. Now then, is a dark bow to be had?" he asked. "There is one, to be sure, they answered him. "Now then, is a fawn skin also to be had presently?" he asked. "There is one indeed!" they answered him. "Now then, are its hoofs still attached?" he asked. "They are in that shape, we see, they answered him. "Now that shall be my offering without fail. Now then, I shall make it known to you, that's settled!" he said.

"Now then, is there a tobacco pouch?" he asked. "There is one," they told him. "Is a figure of the sun placed on one side of it?" he asked. "Is the figure of the moon set upon it on the opposite side?" he asked. "It certainly is thus!" one of them answered him. "Are hoof fringes attached to it?" he asked him. "There is no doubt about it, they are attached to it," he answered. "Is there perhaps a pipe of jet?" he asked. "There is one indeed!" he told him. "Is a turquoise plug placed at its bottom?" he asked. "It certainly is there!" he answered. "But then, from which place is the tobacco that is in it?" he asked. "It is from Black Belted Mountain," he answered. "Now then is there anything to be used as a lighter? With what is it lighted?" he asked. "Rock crystal is used," he answered. "In what manner does it get lit?" he asked. "By holding it this way towards the sun, of course!" he answered. "All right!" he said. "But then, he on that side will try you out with the one which he possesses," he told them. "If it be not like this, he will not recognize it, although you may have made a gift (of it) to him!" he said.

"Is there a big reed?" he asked. "There is one indeed!" he answered. "But then, ye must be sure to cut it just of such length for him, as can be touched by the tips of your fingers (probably three finger-widths)", he said. "Snakeweed you must rub on it for him," he said. "And you must make it completely black for him," he said. "And you must insert tobacco into it," he said, "and you must use cattail pollen to stopper it," he said. "Besides when you have come to him over there you will find him sitting properly (erect) . Whoever goes there will carry it sunwise round his forehead and place it down upon his left hand," he said. That, I suppose, was all that happened. "Whatever you do, do not report me!" he said. Immediately he left for home. "All right, since you wish it we shall not report it," they told him, they say.

Black God.

Immediately after he (Bat) had left, he (First Man?) began cutting (a prayerstick) for him (Black God) here. Immediately after that he placed the pipe which he owned into his pocket and also selected a jewel of the jet kind, some specular hematite, some blue pollen (Delphinium) also, some cattail pollen also. Then it seems, immediately he began carrying them with the prayerstick which they had cut. When he brought these over there he found him in a sitting position. Then without stopping in his walk he carried it around him sunwise, and sure enough, he did this way with his left hand (opened his hand), into which he placed it, they say. When this was done he (Black God) smelled it. "Who but you would do this, you who flop about with the darkness!" he said. "You are the only one who knows my offering, I am positive of this!" he said. "Now there you are talking! As for me where do I ever go? You know that I spend all my days right here!" he said (to the Bat) .

"Go ahead then, my grandchild, prepare me a smoke," he said. "You really should prepare me a smoke, my grand uncle, since I am visiting you!" he (First Man?) said to him. Here he spread out a sewed fabric, they say, on top of which he placed the tobacco pouch which he had with him. "You also, my grand-uncle, put it down here," he said. He (Black God) put in down along there, they say. The tobacco pouch, which this person had, he (Black God) picked up and looked at it from both sides. His own tobacco pouch which he had placed there he picked up and looked over from both sides. "Go ahead, my grandchild, prepare me a smoke," he told him. Immediately he prepared a smoke for him, he raked (tobacco) into the pipe. A rock crystal, which he had, he held up to the sun, by means of which he lit it, then blew the smoke twice on the earth and blew it twice on the sky, they say.

He handed it to him, he (Black God) smoked it. "Go ahead now, my grand uncle!" he said. Exactly as he had done he repeated. After giving it to him he smoked it, they say, "All right, my grandchild, what can happen to him!" he said. "I will positively return with my grandchild!" he said. "What can happen to him! In four days I will follow you," he said. "Not at all, my grand uncle, let it be right now!" he (First Man?) said to him. "What can happen to him! In four days then (I'll come)," he said. "No, my grand uncle, right now!" he said to him. Four times he spoke to him, on his part too, he spoke to him four times. "All right, my grandchild, let us go then!" he (Black God) said. Then it seems he stepped outside ahead of him, but when he had gone just a way from the hogan, he looked back and saw him still coming along slowly in the distance. As soon as he got away from the hogan he lay down with his back to the fire, four times he lay down with his back to the fire (after walking a short distance), they say. Then he arrived home with him.

When he (Black God) arrived he found him prepared. "Let's go!" he said, then immediately added, "I positively know the place where my grandchild is staying!" he said. From that place many were leaving in the direction towards the pool of dark water which was mentioned before. There immediately he (Black God) made a motion this way from the east towards that water with a cane which he was carrying, from the south side he did likewise, from the west side, from the north side also. When he had done this the said water moved just to the side, and a ladder was seen extending out of it. This happened to be a ladder of jet. When he had stepped to that spot it was seen that Big Snake Old Man, dark in color, was lying there. On the south side they found a Big Snake blue in color lying there, on the west side a Big Snake yellow in color was found lying there. On the north side it happened that a Big Snake white in color was lying there, they say.

Immediately Black God entered. "Big Snake Old Man, I came after my grandchild!" he said. "Even great people are making useless efforts to do this, return away out of here, you have a strong odor!" he told him. "Big Snake Old Man, I have come for my grandchild!" again he said. "Even those who are great are saying this in vain, get away from here! return out of here, you have a strong odor!" again he said to him. "Big Snake Old Man, I have come after my grandchild, I told you!" again he said to him. "Even those who are great are saying this in vain! Away from here! Return out of here, you have a strong odor!" again he said to him, "Big Snake Old Man, I have come for my grandchild, I say to you!" again he said to him. "Even those who are great have tried this in vain, I tell you!" again was answered, they say.

Immediately he (Black God) reached for the fire drill which he carried with him and took it out. Then he put it between his feet and set the (stick) in the notch, drew in his breath, and by twirling it smoke was produced, they say. He again gathered his strength for it, and when this happened twice more smoke was caused in a circle. When he had drawn his breath in three times for it a great volume of smoke arose, when he had drawn his breath in four times for it, it shot real fire over there, they say, that water began to catch fire. With a crackling noise it began to bum along. Immediately the Big Snakes mentioned could be heard throwing themselves around. "Over there is the place your grandchild grew up, you must know, my grand uncle, extinguish it!" he (Big Snake) said to him. At once he said "pah, pah, pah, pah," and by blowing four times upon it he extinguished it.

The One Whose Feet are in Pollen.

"Over there is the place, you must know, where your grandchild has grown up, my grand uncle, it was in dark mirage that he grew up, within a dark hoop he grew up, you must realize, within a dark plume he grew up you should realize, within a dark flint he grew up, you must realize!" he said to him. "Within a dark cloud it was that he grew up, within zigzag lightning which was his front lacing, he grew up. By means of collected water (which collects in depressions in stone or at the base of waterfalls) he was reared, by means of pollen he was reared, you must know!" he said. The Dark Big Snake which, as said, was lying on the east side, said this, they say.

The one who was here on the south side also spoke, "Over here it is your grandchild was raised, I want you to know, my grand uncle," he said. "Within the blue mirage he was raised, within a blue hoop he was raised, in fact. Within a blue plume he was really raised, within a blue flint he was raised, you should know!" he said. "The fact is he was raised within a blue cloud, he was raised within rainbow which was his cradle!" he said. "By means of water's child (water from springs), you must know, in fact he was raised by means of pollen!" he said. The one that said this was the Blue Big Snake mentioned before.

Again the one who was on west side, the Yellow Big Snake mentioned before, also spoke up, "Over here it was that he was really raised within a yellow mirage; he was raised, in fact, in a yellow hoop, he was raised within a yellow plume; he was, in fact, raised within a yellow flint; he was raised within a yellow cloud, in reality!" he said. "He was raised with a zigzag lightning which was his front lace string, in matter of fact he was raised by means of collected water, he was raised by means of pollen!" he said. Up to there this so happened, again, they say.

The White Big Snake which was mentioned as lying on the north side again spoke up, "The fact is, your grandchild was raised within a white mirage!" he said. "He was really raised within a white hoop, he was really raised within a white plume, he was really raised within a perforated flint, he was really raised within a white cloud, he was really raised within a rainbow which was his cradle!" he said. "He was raised by means of water's child, he was raised by means of pollen!" he said. This is what the White Big Snake mentioned before had spoken.

Immediately thereafter, it seems, he (Black God) stepped towards the east facing the dark cloud which was lying up there. When he had unfurled this there was nothing within it. Again he stepped towards the south and unrolled the blue cloud which was lying there. Again he (the boy) was not within it. He next stepped also to the west side where the yellow cloud was lying up there. This also he unraveled but again he was not in it. Again he stepped towards the north and unrolled the white cloud which was hanging up there. And there he found him (the boy) standing in the center of the room. "I am coming for you, do you see, my grandchild!" he said. Immediately it seems, he began leaving with him towards the ladder which extended out. On this four crossbars were fitted one above the other, they say. Up along these the return with him took place, the Dark Wind and the Blue Wind, the Yellow Wind and the White Wind which were already mentioned, returned up with him, they say.

Then it seems he asked him (the boy) about it, Black God did. "From which place was it that you were picked up, my grandchild?" he asked. "This is the place here where I was picked up, I am positive!" he answered. Right along there songs were originating. He had returned to his mother (who had lost him), he had returned to his father also, he had returned to his brothers and sisters also. "Now then, we have returned home, you see, my grandchild!" he said to him. "You shall be called One-who-has-his-feet-in-pollen, my grandchild!" he said. Up to this time, it seems this so had happened. "The fact is that now everywhere it has become pleasant again, my grandchild, now I shall begin my return, my grandchild!" he said. He began to return, they say. As soon as he had left, the Bat, before mentioned, immediately arrived again at that place. Dark bow (which had been promised him) was given to him, the promised fawn skin was given to him with its hoofs still attached to it, they say. He slipped into the fawn skin which had been given to him, while the dark bow which he received he merely stuck (in his side) for a wing. "This is the thing, my grandchildren, thanks!" he said. It developed that this was simply a garment into which he had slipped. He then encircled the place right around there four times with his outspread wings, but he left with signs of weakness and with the sound of "tsil tsil," which the hoofs that were attached made. Up to this time that so happened.

The Windways of the Navajo, 1962; Leland C. Wyman