in the evening, sun almost all the way down in the west, bouncing alone Borrego
pass road, heading home from the sheep camp.
sits quietly, head tilted back. Tired? I ask....he doesn't answer, but take his
work gloves and shows me his right hand palm, an angry red blister the size of a
nickel has formed on the center, it has busted and it look nasty.
kind of sheep cost that? I asked
digging holes for fence posts, he answers.
contemplates his hand in silence, and suddenly he spits on it...four times
,stop that ,it's going to get infected ..besides is gross. I say
will heal it...
no use to argue with him...I just give him a mean look and go back to
concentrate in driving.
I ever told you about my auntie that used to be a spitting woman? he asks
you never did...and as matter of fact I never heard of such a person in our
It was in my fathers side, that is why.
was a Nakai.
so was she a Nakai when your family is Navajo?
mother married a Nakai...she was beautiful...real beautiful...I was a little
buck but I remember her.
she really spit on people?
, she will go and get some herbs and chew them good and then she'll spit on
whoever needed it.
she learned to do that ,did it came natural?
a tinge of impatience in his tone) They pay her good money and silver and
turquoise and came from far away for her to spit on them.
she ever actually heal anybody?
you don't know them.
Benally, from Ramah...he got his leg burned with gas...his old lady brought him
to Auntie, she made a bed for him under the arbor and spit on him for four days
and then he was heal, his leg was like knew.
doubtful look from me )
was so pretty...she married an old man...real old.
he good looking?
she was in love with him...
was my uncle-grandpa(????)and he show me how to make an snare to catch rabbits
is good (I think)
lived to be ninety...I liked him ,when he hitched the wagon to go to Ramah
shopping I helped him and he bought me hard candy from Candy Kitchen
you were born in the fifties...there were no wagons...just cars.
had a wagon
are a lier!
bet that there wasn't a spitting woman either.
it was...her name was Marge Pino...I named Marge (one his daughters) after her.
come I never heard of her before?
were never here to hear of anything.
I did heard of the Listening woman ( great aunty to both of us)
listening woman only diagnoses...a spitting woman heals.
what happened to her?
before you came
she had children?
her husband was too old. I told you that.
But he did outlive her and kept all her good stuff and married again.
go on , spit on your hand if you must...we soon be home .
stays quiet the rest of the trip.. A hurt look in his eyes
always hard to know when brother is telling the truth....he prevaricated so
any of you ever heard of such a thing as a spitting woman? I like to know
if such a person ever existed.