Left Handed, Son of Old Man Hat: A Navajo Autobiography

By Left Handed; Walter Dyk | Go to book overview

13. He loses a horse and a girl, but is consoled . . . The old man begins to go down . . . Why Slim Man never came around any more . . . "I'm full of sorrow for the days of my youth" . . . His father speaks to him of property and life, and teaches him some songs.

I WAS herding a few days, and then my father said, "We'll round up the horses and see how many of the young stallions need cutting. They scatter all the mares, so we'll go over and cut them." My mother took out the herd, and we went over and rounded up the horses. There was a corral at the place we call Tsowahi Mountain. We drove them in there, and he went in and tried to rope one of the young stallions, but he missed him. He fixed his rope again, and while the horses were passing by he started to rope another. Just then one of them stepped on a stick. It was quite a long stick, and the stick raised up and ran into the horse's groin about a forearm's length. The horse began kicking and bucking, and there was my father, standing and looking at the horse dragging the stick around. "Alas," he said, "what has happened?" Then the horse stopped a little, and he put the rope on it and grabbed the stick and pulled it out. As soon as he pulled it out the blood came pouring from the horse's belly. The horse jumped around, and while it was jumping the blood was gushing out, and the horse was neighing. In a little while he quieted down, and suddenly he dropped and rolled over and stretched himself and died.

-238-

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