From The Navaho Age of Gods

In the Age of Gods: The Twins spoke to the three in the home. "Yesterday our father told us that we must act together." They planted four prayer sticks and four hailstones in the hogan. The Younger Brother was to remain there and watch the medicine sticks each day, while the Elder Brother went out against the monsters. The Elder Brother said: "When you see one of the medicine sticks start to burn you will know that the enemy is getting the better of me. Take the medicine stick in your hand and draw the smoke from it into your mouth and blow the smoke onto the sticks and the hailstones, one by one. And then draw some more smoke from the burning stick and blow the smoke toward the four directions."

note: "The Elder Brother killed Yeitso, the Younger scalped the giant"; Matthews calls the Elder Brother Nay'enez gani, Slayer of Alien Gods; and the Younger Brother, not To'badsist sint, Child of Water, but is here given a new name: Naid ik isi, He Who Cuts Around, because he cut the scalp from the giant.

note: Some medicine men say that he cut the giant's head off, others, that he scalped him.

note: Twenty songs are sung here, and the Twins met Hasjelti and Hasjohon who embraced them and called them "grandchildren." They sang two songs and then conducted them to their home.

The plan of the hogan.

After everything was arranged the Younger Brother was left in the hogan and the Elder Brother asked his grandmother where he could find the Giant Elk. She said: "He is to be found over on Bikehalzi'n, the Red Plain, but no one can go near him. When he sees anyone in the distance he charges and catches them and eats them alive. He is very dangerous." Now these monsters had supernatural strength from the rainbow and the lightning, and they were very powerful. But the Elder Brother said: "To all the ends of the earth there is no such place as dangerous." So he went forth to find the animal.

He came to the Red Plain where his grandmother said that the Giant Elk was to be found. When he got to a knoll he gathered a bunch of grass and, as it was tall, he held it in front of himself and crept to the top inch by inch. Just as he reached the crest he saw the Giant Elk, through the bunch of tall grass, quite a distance away. The animal was standing. It was big. It had hair like a moose and a great pair of horns that stood up far into the air. The Elder Brother crept around in a huge circle trying to get closer, and. just as he was losing hope an old woman came to him.

She said: "What do you want, my grandchild?" She was the mother gopher. The Elder Brother said: "Grandmother, I am trying to get near the Giant Elk so that I can kill him." She said: "Grandchild, it is impossible. It is impossible to go near that animal. But when my children are cold I can go to him and chew off some of his hair which he gives me for my nest." The Elder Brother said: "Grandmother, you shall have a precious gift if I can have your help."

note: Preparation of sacred reeds (cigarettes) and prayer sticks.

The entrance to the Gopher's tunnel.

She agreed to help him, and she instructed him to wait there while she went into her hole.

When she returned she said that all was in readiness. She had chewed away the hair over the Giant Elk's heart. She told the Elder Brother to follow her; but when he tried to enter the hole which was the entrance to her home he found that it was too small. He hesitated a moment. The mother gopher said: "Raise your right leg." And she puffed into the entrance of her tunnel four times. It was now large enough for the Elder Brother to walk into it. When he reached the end directly over him lay the Giant Elk. He could hear his heart beating: tap, tap, tap. The Elder Brother had with him the weapon which the Sun had given him, the lightning how and arrow. He aimed and shot. The Giant Elk leapt way up in the air, and when he fell, he fell horns first. He started to tear up the tunnel. The Elder Brother ran back as fast as he could. He ran back to almost the mouth of the tunnel when he heard the Giant Elk drop. Then the Elder Brother walked out onto Bikelialzi'n, the Red Plain.

In those days each animal had certain powers. It was theirs alone. This time the Elder Brother had used the power given the mother gopher. Now after the Elder Brother came out of the tunnel he found the mother gopher with her hands over her heart. She said: "Oh, my heart is sick with fright!" She told him how the Giant Elk acted. "If he had reached the mouth of the tunnel we would have been eaten alive."

Just then a man came up. He was the chipmunk. He came to see if the great animal was really dead. They, the chipmunk and the gopher, were still frightened. The chipmunk wanted to make sure that this was so. He said: "If the animal is quite dead you will see me at the top of one of the horns." The Elder Brother and the mother gopher watched and when they saw the chipmunk at the top of the Giant Elk's horn they went near. The chipmunk had gotten the blood from the animal's mouth and wiped it on his back, from his head to his tail. That is why the chipmunk has dark lines on his back today. The gopher also took some of the blood and rubbed it over the palms of her hands, and then over her f ace. That is why gophers have dark faces.

note: Some say that it is hazai, the ground squirrel, not the chipmunk.

The Elder Brother skinned the Giant Elk. He cut the hide and made it fit his body like a coat. He cut holes for his arms to pass through; he cut the belly and made holes for laces. Then he cut out the main arteries and blood vessels and tied them so that the blood remained inside, and he put them around his neck. They hung down over his heart, and he tied them there. Then he removed the coat, placing the arteries, and laces inside it. He took these things, together with the horns, but he told the mother gopher that she could have the rest of the Giant Elk. And so saying, he set out for his home.

When the Elder Brother returned he entered his home and said: "Grandmother, I have killed the Giant Elk." The grandmother spoke up: "That is an impossible thing to do." But he answered: "Look, the hide is outside." The grandmother went outside, and taking the hide she chanted and danced as she had chanted and danced with the Giant's scalp.

Now two of the monsters were killed. The plan of the Sacred People was being fulfilled.