THE STORY OF THE WATER BUFFALO'S KINGDOM
From the Navaho, The Wanderings
The Elder Brother spoke: "The World will use me once more. I shall act for the People once again."
There were at that time different places where the water was sacred; but there were other places where people drowned, where people were killed by lightning, while others sank in quicksand or marshes. This is what the Elder Brother was thinking about when he spoke. He went to the Black Yei, who is called Hasjejine, and told him of his plan. Then he traveled to the home of the Water Buffalo.
Here there is a chant:
E'da'ne, e'da'ne, e'da'ne.
I am he who kills the monsters.
With super power I went before the Water Buffalo.
With super power I spoke to the Water Buffalo.
With this super power I told him I had made a plan,
But the Water Buffalo was silent.
So the Elder Brother rolled up the water and went to the home of the Great Buffalo and said: "I want all of my people." The Buffalo said: "No, you cannot have them." The Elder Brother then asked: "Do you mean what you say?" The Water Buffalo answered: "I mean what I say." This was repeated four times. "Very well," said the Elder Brother and he turned and walked away. He then put fire to the water and it sputtered like oil. When the Water Buffalo saw this he went to the Elder Brother and told him that he would have his people returned to him. Now the Water Buffalo had taken all the people who had been drowned, killed by lightning, and lost in quicksand or marshes. In other words, he was building himself a kingdom with the people of the earth.
After the people were released from the Water Buffalo's Kingdom the men hugged each other, the women hugged each other, and young men hugged each other as did children, for they were glad to return to the earth.
The water had stopped burning by this time, and the Water Buffalo said to the Elder Brother: "It is well, but I will take some of your people once in a while." So that is why some are drowned, some struck by lightning, and some go down in quicksand or marshes. All this is what the Elder Brother had in mind when he said: "I shall act for the People once more."