The Girl Who Took Care of the Turkeys Now we take it up. (audience)Ye------s indeed. There were villagers at the Middle Place and a girl had her home there at Wind Place where she kept a flock of turkeys. At the Middle Place they were having a Yaaya Dance. They were having a Yaaya Dance, and during the first day this girl wasn't drawn to the dance. She stayed with her turkeys taking are of them. That's the way she lived: it seems she didn't go to the dance on the FIRST day, that day she fed her turkeys, that's the way they lived and so the dance went on and she could hear the drum. When she spoke to her turkeys about this, they said “If you went it wouldn't turn out well: who would take tare of us?" her turkeys told her. She listened to them and they slept through the night. Then it was the second day of the dance and night came. That night with the Yaaya Dance half over she spoke to her big tom turkey: "My father-child, if they're going to do it again tomorrow why can't I go?” she said. “Well if you went, it wouldn't turn out well.” So he told her. “Well then I mustn't go.” So the girl said, and they slept through the night. They slept through the night, and the next day was a nice warm day. and again she heard the drum over there. Then she went around feeding her turkeys, and when it was the middle of the day, she asked again, right at noon. (tight) “If you went, it wouldn't turn out well. There's no point in going: let the dance be, you don't need to go, and our lives depend on your thoughtfulness," the turkeys told her. “Well then, that's the way it will be,” she said, and she listened to them But around sunset the drum could be heard, and she was getting more anxious to go. She went up on her roof and she could see the crowd of people. It was the third day of the dance. That night she asked the same one she'd asked before and he told her, “Well, if you must go then you must dress well. YOU must go around just four times: you must THINK OF US," he told her. “You must think of us, for if you stay all afternoon, until sunset then it won't turn out well for you," he told her. "Well well, I'll certainly do as you say: why should I stay there for a long time? They get started early and I'll do as you say," she told her her tom turkey. “Let's get some rest," they said and they went to sleep, but the girl JUST COULDN'T GET TO SLEEP. So she got up and built a fire in the fireplace then she made some yucca suds She washed her body all over and then went back to bed, but she couldn't sleep, she was so anxious, she was EXCITED about going to the dance, she was so excited. She passed the night. THE NEXT DAY the sun was shining, and she went among her turkeys and spread their feed. When she had fed them she said, “My fathers, my children, I'm going to the Middle Place. I'm going to the dance," she said. "Be on your way, but think of us. Well they'll start when you get to those tall weeds, so you'll get to the dance in plenty of time,” so her children told her. “Then that's the way it will be,” she said, and she LEFT. (pained) It was getting so hot. It was so hot when she entered the village. They noticed her then. They noticed her when she came up. She went to where Rat Place is today, and when she entered the plaza, the dance directors noticed her. Then they asked her to dance. She went down and danced, and she didn't didn't think about her children. Finally it was midday, and when midday came she was just dancing awa-----y until it was late, the time when the shadows are very long. The turkeys said “Tisshomahha! our mother, our child doesn't know who's right.” "Well then, I must GO and I'll just warn her and come right back and whether she hears me or not, we'll LEAVE before she gets here,” the tom turkey said and He flew away. He flew along until he came to where they were dancing, and there he glided down to the Priest Kiva and perched on the top crosspiece of the ladder, then he sang: KYANA A A A A A A TOK TOK KYANA A A A A A LI LI LI A TOK TOK YEE-E-E-E HU HU HU TOK TOK TOK TOK THE ONE WHO WAS DANCING HEARD HIM. PAA---------- LHA HE FLEW BACK to the place where they were penned, and the girl ran all the way back. When she got to the place where they were penned, they sang again, they sang and FLEW AWAY, GOING ON until they came to what is now Turkey Tracks, and they glided down there. When they glided down they stood there and made their tracks. WHEN SHE CAME NEAR they all went away and she couldn't catch up with them. Long ago, this was lived. That's why there's a place called Turkey Tracks. That's a----ll the word was short.
—Narrated by Walter Sanchez on January 20, 1965 and translated from the Zuni by Dennis Tedlock in Finding the Center: The Art of the Zuni Storyteller.