Monster Slayer and Ye'iitsoh

Monster Slayer and Yé'iitsoh

Changing Woman's [asdzáán nádleehé] twin sons had been born for the purpose of ridding the earth of the Monsters who were killing all the people. When the boys were grown, a matter of 12 days, they told their mother that they wanted to visit their father. Changing Woman [asdzáán nádleehé] tried to discourage them, not properly identifying their father, and when that failed, telling them how dangerous this trip would be, how many guardians there were at his house, how he was without mercy. But they also got advice from others, such as the Arrow People, and Wind's Child [nilch'i biyázhí] has been placed at their earfolds to advise them at all times.

They overcame many hazards on their trip to their father's house and were given a white shell [yoolgaii] prayer [sodizin] plume by dawn [hayíílká] to use to protect themselves when they were in the Sun's [Jóhonaa'éí] house. They also received advice from Father Sky, Hornworm, Water Sprinkler and Spider Man. The twins then moved along the top of a rainbow [náás'íílid] to the house of their father, the Sun [Jóhonaa'éí].

In the Sun's [Jóhonaa'éí] house, they underwent many trials to prove to the Sun [Jóhonaa'éí] that they were indeed his sons. The white shell [yoolgaii] prayer [sodizin] plume was essential for their survival during these tests. But, in the end, the Sun [Jóhonaa'éí] accepted them as his sons, clothed the older in turquoise [dootl'izhii] and the younger in white shell [yoolgaii], and inquired of them why it was they came to see him. He opened doors in each of the cardinal directions, doors of turquoise [dootl'izhii], white shell [yoolgaii], abalone [diichili] and jet [bááshzhinii], offering the boys jewels, livestock and game, plants and beautiful flowers, rain and rainbows [náás'íílid], but Wind's Child [nilch'i biyázhí] at their earfolds, advised them to answer each time, "We did not come for that, my father; that is not our purpose in being here." Then Wind's Child [nilch'i biyázhí] told them to say, "We two came for the pair of zigzag lightning that lie up there, and flint shoes, flint clubs, flint leggings, flint garmets, flint headgear, flint wristguards, these we two came for. On account of the monsters there is just about one person left."

The Sun [Jóhonaa'éí] answered them slowly, telling them that they are brothers to the monsters they wish to kill, but that that is apparently no more. He then placed agate in them, making them immune to injury and gave them the garments and weapons they had asked for; the older got dark flint and the younger blue flint garments. The Sun [Jóhonaa'éí] gave them prayersticks and then told them that the younger of the two (Born for Water) would sit watching these prayersticks while the older (Monster Slayer) went out to kill the monsters. If these prayersticks began to burn, this would signal that his brother was in danger and that he should go to him to help. He then took them to the sky opening, just over Mt. Taylor, and told them where to find Big God [Yé'iitsoh].

Wind's Child [nilch'i biyázhí] then took word over to Hesperus Peak, to Yellow Wind, to spread the word that they were returning.

The Sun [Jóhonaa'éí] placed the older one at the tip of a zigzag lightning and shot him to the center of Hot Spring, the home of Yé'iitsoh. He placed the younger on on the tip of straight lightning and shot him to the center of Hot Spring. There they waited for Yé'iitsoh to come for water, as he did everyday, exactly at noon. Each day he drank all of the water.

When Yé'iitsoh arrived, he approached from each direction, a little closer each time, inspecting the vicinity of the spring. He saw no one as the twins were concealed by a dark cloud. After the fourth time he came all the way to the spring and began to drink. When almost all of the water was gone, when Yé'iitsoh was drinking for the fourth time, Wind's Childs [nilch'i biyázhí] told them to step out and make themselves known. They left the dark cloud and walked into plain sight where Yé'iitsoh saw them when he looked up. Then they exchanged taunts. Yé'iitsoh threw flint clubs at them, missing each time because Wind's Child [nilch'i biyázhí] was whispering advice in their ears. The spinning club he threw cut a path through the trees and stones, making a barren strip. Then Yé'iitsoh had no more weapons.

At that point a big storm began and Yé'iitsoh was wrapped in zigzag lightning. This lightning stripped off his flint armor. Wind's Child [nilch'i biyázhí] told the twins that this was their time now and to shoot into the sole of Yé'iitsoh's foot. Monster Slayer used one of his zigzag lightning arrows to do this. He then shot a straight lightning into Yé'iitsoh's hip, which brought Yé'iitsoh to his knees, but he rose. Monster Slayer then shot a zigzag lightning into the small of Yé'iitsoh's back. He fell to his knees but rose yet again. Then Monster Slayer shot a straight lightning arrow into the back of Yé'iitsoh's head. This time Yé'iitsoh fell. At some distance away, from a place called Open-Mouth Bear, blood came pouring out. Yé'iitsoh had hidden his heart, nerves and breath there. The blood from the body and from the distant place moved toward each other. Wind's Childs [nilch'i biyázhí] pointed out that, should these streams meet, Yé'iitsoh would come to life again/ Monster Slayer immediately drew a zigzag line with his club between the streams, while giving his call, ha ha; Born for Water drew a straight line between the streams with his club while giving his call, ha ha ha. Then they repeated these actions and the blood stopped flowing there. The earth trembled and sounds filled the sky. The blood turned to the lava seen around Mt. Taylor today. Monster Slayer removed the scalp of Yé'iitsoh and the two were overcome by the vapors from the body. They helped each other stagger over to a juniper where they recovered by chewing some of the juniper.

When they returned home, after an absence of only four days, they needed to convince their mother, Changing Woman [asdzáán nádleehé] , that they had actually been successful in killing Yé'iitsoh. She then danced outside with Yé'iitsoh's scalp between her teeth.

This discussion is taken from the River Junction Curly version of the Blessingway story as found in Blessingway by Leland C. Wyman © 1970, University of Arizona Press.
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