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

By Left Handed; Walter Dyk | Go to book overview

19. He goes to an Nda and has several proposals . . . And marries the wrong girl.

I TOOK our things to the cornfield the next morning, and in the afternoon I dragged in some poles and cut off the leaves. The next day I put up a shade. I fixed it up well, and it was nice and cool inside. The rest of the day and part of the evening I dragged in some wood. I had quite a pile by midnight. In the morning my mother said to me, "You herd the sheep today. I'm going to grind up some green corn and make bread." When I came back a little after noon everything was ready. She'd boiled dried peaches and made a lot of corn-bread, and I sure enjoyed my meal. She said, "From here on you herd the sheep. I'll tend the corn. I'm going to make some green corn-bread and want to dry it. When it's dry I'll put it away in sacks. That's good in the wintertime. You can boil it. It's good to eat when it's boiled." I said, "All right, I'll be herding."

I herded a few days, and by then she had a great, big sack full of dry bread. I said, "You've got enough, mother. I think you're satisfied now, and you can herd again. I want to go on Black Mountain and round up my cattle. Some of the calves haven't been ear-marked, and I want to tend to that, and I'd like to drive them down.""You can't drive them down by yourself," she said. "You ought to get one of your brothers to help you." I thought, "I'll do that.""I'd like to go in two days. Tomorrow I want you to make me some lunch to take along." She said, "All right," and I went out with the sheep again.

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