Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


December 15, 2001 - Issue 51


pictograph divider


Zas (Snow)


Shooting StarIt was the middle of the night and I was home on the Navajo reservation at Toadlena, Two Gray Hills. I slept in a small room and my grandparents slept in the next one. I was visiting their place, we had supper and went to bed, it was winter.

I heard the sound of maiis-coyotes were wailing far off. Shi-che-my grandfather came to me. Usually his hair was tied up but it was bushy and going every which way, I heard him say, Nchah-, nchah-, it sounded funny to me, because that is what is said to a baby when it cries, I said, I am not small anymore. He laughed and told me to get up. It was the middle of the night and cold. I said what is wrong, and he said just come with me. I thought maybe something had gotten into the sheep corral, and put on my clothes quickly. He reached out and touched me and said be quiet, and so I wondered what was going on.

There was fresh snow on the ground, and we stepped out into it, and it was all white, and cold, so cold you could see yourself breathe and your breath froze in small pieces of ice around your mouth. The sky was clear and the stars were all out. The stars shined and lit up the crystals that twinkled on the ground. We went out and walked over to the sheep corrals and everything was ok with them. There was just stillness and he told me that maiis are no good always playing tricks on everyone, and they will always be that way.

In the blanket of stars that stood high above us, there were so many up there they went from east to the west, they stood out and shined. There was a shooting star that crossed the sky from North to South and moved quickly and was gone just like that.

He spoke about how when the stars were being placed on a rug long ago to be arranged on how they would be put in the sky, the old coyote came around and when he got a chance ran up and grabbed the rug and threw those stars up any old way, and that is why they are where they are now. Maii-laughed about it and ran away, he is the mischevious one always playing tricks.

In the light of the night sky, we talked about yeis, and how the Holy Ones got around and where they lived. In the twinkling of an eye they travelled about and when travelling took the shape of shooting stars. It was what I have heard many times and when I see them I wonder where they are going, for what purpose and by chance that by their travelling that a sing is going on for someone. We stood there and watched the stars and then went back in.

From time to time I can see the night sky and remember his face, and how he spoke to me and when I see those shooting stars know that those Yeis and Holy Ones are travelling somewhere, and that on a winter night after snowflakes have fallen on a field of driven snow there might me a falling star and they will be travelling from here to there through the night sky.


Toadlena NM Map

pictograph divider


Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


Canku Ota Logo


Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Thank You