Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Goat Woman

from Johnny Rustywire

One day on the Western Navajo, just East of the Grand Canyon, at a 
place on Highway 89 not far from Tuba City there is Gray Mountain. 
Like any small place you have people stopping to buy gas and head on 
down the road. 

There were some old Navajo men standing around there visiting with 
each other. There was Hosteen Acothley from a place call the Gap who 
was talking in a small group of old men standing near the door to
the store.

There was a Yellowman from Coppermine, a Bedonie from Navajo
Mountain and old man Sloan from up by Marble Canyon way near Page,

They stood in a group with worn straw hats and a Stetson with a
silver band.

Hosteen Yellowman said, Way over by Skeleton Mesa, one of those
Blackhair boys came home maybe two or three weeks ago they
of Johnny Blackhair's boys...

Acothley said, Yes I heard about that boy, what was he called?

Johnny Blackhair, the one we call Curly Toes from Shonto in the
Navajo way of speaking, it is his son.

Yes, that's the one. His son came home from California, brought a
white girl from over there. There was a Sing over near there, by
Kaibeto a little ways from there...

When was this?

Probably a few days ago, maybe two three weeks ago, I guess.

This woman came with big hair, it looked white, blonde they say in a
big car with big wheels and sat there they say. She never been to
place before, just sat there while he went in and visited.

After a while the people there said to him, Why don't you go get her
and bring her in so we can talk to her.

He said, she has never been here before. she doesn't know what to
think of the place.

Go get her, and so the women followed him out there to the big car
and spoke to her and she got out...

Someone cleared a place in the Chaoh-shade house for her and brought
some stew and frybread. Her clothes were bright colored they say,
yellow with pink pants, some said she looked like the colors of

She sat down and ate the food, and then after a while she went out
of the Chaoh and the women didn't see her for a long time.

Someone said where did she go...taking a look outside she was not in
the car and was not in the crowd looking around.

What happened to her?

There was a goat, one of those kind that likes to run off, so it was
kept around the house. It was a billy goat with small horns. It
followed the old lady around...

What about the white woman?

She went to the outhouse someone said and didn't come out. She was
in there for a long time, it sat in the cedar trees a little ways away.
Some would look at it and see that someone was in there, so they
didn't bother them.

After a long time, someone said what is wrong with her, how come she
is staying there a long time? You better go and find out what is
wrong with her...

Curly Toes son, went over there and stood by the door, and spoke to
her to find out what is wrong, they said.

She was in there, and she was afraid to come out they say.


That one, the old goat saw that woman with the big hair when she got
out of the car and had never seen anything like that before I guess,
a woman with hair all puffed up and white, blonde they say and
dressed like the colors of dawn. That goat sat there and watched her
eat they say...when she was followed her to the outhouse,
some say...

That goat chased her inside and banged his head against the
door...when she was inside, some say. She sat in there and after a
while every time the door opened the goat would run up and ram the
door they say...she sat there for a long time and the goat guarded
that door they say...

She was in there for a long time...some say maybe three or four hour maybe two some say...

The people thought she must be sick or have stomach trouble...and
after a while they made him, Curly Toes' son go check on her.

She finally came out they say and went back to the big car and
wouldn't get out they say and then she left with him they say...

The old men stood there listening to this talk, there by Gray
Mountain Store. Their wrinkled faces seeing this as . they stood
there listening to Old Man Acothley saying this to them.

What happened then? they asked him. He leaned against the wall and
gazed to the East and with his lips pointed over to the front of the
store, where a woman was coming out of the place, a white woman with
big hair. Old Man Acothley said, there she goes walking right

The group of old men turned and looked toward the gas pumps and
could see her walking. What is she called, they said.

Asdzaa Tliizhi'- the Goat Woman...and they laughed.

johnny rustywire

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