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

By Left Handed; Walter Dyk | Go to book overview

14. The end of Old Man Hat.

THE day after a man named Wearing Ear Rings came to our place. A boy, his nephew, brought him over to us. The man was blind. He was Bitahni's older brother, and a younger brother of my mother's. The boy went right back to his home, and the old man stayed with us there at that place for two days. Then we started to move again. We put him on one of the tame horses, and my mother tied some dishes and jugs over the saddle. In one of the jugs she had boiled blood mixed with meat and corn-mush. She said to him, "Don't try to lead the horse, just let him alone. He'll know where to go," and she said to me, "Take him and drive the horses with him." So I started off, driving the horses with this man. We went quite a way to where there was lots of grass, and I said to him, "Stay here with the horses. I'm going back and help with the herd." He said, "I'll be all right."

I went back to the herd, and as we were driving the sheep down to where he was we looked for him, but he wasn't anywhere around. We could only see the horses, all scattered out. I went over where I'd left him and started tracking him. There was a lot of wild cherry brush, about as high as cedar trees, and he must have let the horse go, maybe he kicked the horse or whipped it; he'd been riding all around in this brush. In the middle of a thick bunch was a little bare spot, and there I found him. He'd been riding around in that little space trying to get out, but he couldn't, because the brush was thick and close together. So then, I guess, he gave up trying and stopped his horse right in the middle of the bare spot. When I got there he was sitting on the horse and chewing away on

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