The Story Of The Children Of Cloud

: Aw-aw-tam Indian Nights

There was a woman who lived in the mountains, who was very beautiful,

and had many suitors, but she never married anyone.

And one day she was making mats of cane; and she fell asleep and a

rain came and a drop fell on her navel.

And she had twin babies, and all the men claimed them, but when the

babies were old enuf to crawl she told all the claimants to get in

a circle, and she would put th
babies in the middle, and if they

crawled up to any man he would be the father.

But the babies climbed upon nobody, and she never married.

And when these twin boys were old enuf their mother showed them a

cloud in the east, and said: "That is your father, and his name is

Cloud, and the Wind is your uncle, your father's older brother."

But the children paid little attention, but when they got older they

asked their mother if they could go and see their father. And their

mother let them go.

And they went, and came to a house, and the man who lived there asked

them where they were going, and they said they were looking for their

father, whose name was Cloud.

And the man pointed to the next house, and said: "That man, there,

is your father."

And they went to that man, but he said: "It is not so. He is your

father. He is Cloud," and sent them back again.

But the first man sent them back once more to the second, who was

really Cloud.

And Cloud said, that time; "I wonder if it is so that you are my


And the boys said: "That is what they say."

And Cloud said: "I want you to do something to prove it."

Then the oldest boy thundered loud and lightened, and the other

lightened a little, and Cloud said, "It is true, you are my children!"

And before night Cloud fed them, and then went into his kee and shut

it up and left them outside all night. And it rained and snowed all

night, but they staid outside.

And in the morning Cloud came out, and said: "It is really so, that

you are my children."

And the next night he took them to a pond, where there was ice, and

left them there all night. And the next day, when he came there and

found they had staid in the water all night he said: "It is really

so--you are my children."

So Cloud acknowledged them for his children and took them into his

kee. And after awhile the boys wanted to go back to their mother,

and Cloud said: "You may go, but you must not speak to anybody on

the way. And I will be with you on the journey."

So the boys started, and cloud was over them, in the sky, shadowing


And after a while they saw a man coming, and the younger boy said:

"We must ask him how our mother is."

But the older brother said: "Don't you remember that our father told

us not to speak to anyone?"

The younger said: "Yes, I remember, but it would not be right not

ask how our mother is."

So when the man came the boy asked: "How is everybody at home, and

how is the old woman, our mother?"

And then the cloud above them lightened and thundered, and they were

both turned into century plants.


In Emory's report, before alluded to, also in Captain Johnston's,

we find variants of The Story of the Children of Cloud. Thristy Hawk,

the Maricopa, told Emory "that in bygone days a woman of surpassing

beauty resided in a green spot in the mountains, near where we were

encamped. All the men admired and paid court to her. She received

the tributes of their devotion, grain, skins, etc., but gave no love

or other favor in return. Her virtue and her determination to remain

unmarried were equally firm. There came a drought which threatened

the world with famine. In their distress, people applied to her, and

she gave corn from her stock, and the supply seemed endless.... One

day as she was lying asleep with her body exposed, a drop of rain

fell on her stomach, which produced conception. A son was the issue,

who was the founder of a new race which built all these houses"

(ruins, vahahkkees).

Johnston has it: "The general asked a Pima who made the house I had

seen. 'It is the Caza de Montezuma,' said he, 'it was built by the

son of the most beautiful woman, who once dwelt in yon mountain; she

was fair, and all the handsome men came to court her, but in vain;

when they came, they paid tribute, and out of this small store she

fed all the people in time of distress, and it did not diminish;

at last, as she lay asleep, a drop of rain fell upon her navel, and

she became pregnant, and brought forth a boy, who was the builder of

all these houses."

The seeneeyawkum gives her twins but knew nothing of any story of

their children or of these buildings, the vahahkkees.