“Mouse Colored Horse” by Ronald YellowBird has been divided into two parts; this is part 2 of 2.
I am the oldest son of the late John S. Williams (Mouache Capote) and Wanda Accuttroop American Horse (Uncompahgre). My beginnings start at Little Chicago in Ft Duchesne, UT. I lived there with all my Ute grandmothers & aunties, all the grandfathers & uncles, and through their teachings have I realized how much we have lost.
By Ronald YellowBird
As the procession continues they see a white cone of snow looking past the mesa in a deep blue of sky. One Who Boasts and the magpies have been watching the mouse colored horse and know of her reason for walking slow. Eventually, the mare falls back and is forgotten, except, for One Who Boasts, who is now on his way to tell the Ute People. He cawed to all who could hear, to watch over her and protect the mare with her unborn. “Tell the mothers of all the children and relatives to show the mare where shade, grass and water is found.”
Big Raven easily climbs into the wind and without effort, he glides into the southern borders, landing on the shade house and with excitement in his voice. “There is a great beginning that is occurring in the valley of the pinon trees. My relatives and I have witnessed a great find”. “You are boasting again”, said grandma Black Otter (pat-suk). “Please, come down here and sit in the shade, a drink of water could I offer? Now, tell me why you are without your group of juveniles. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe your stories.” So, One Who Boasts told the story to those who listened of fortune-hunters. They came into the land of the Deer Dance people. “Men have come here before what makes these wanderers any different?” said Black Otter. “They ride on the four-legged creature from a land far away,” said Big Raven. “They are coming this way and we have been following them. One of the four-legged is with baby inside and soon will be given birth.” These drifters have left her behind and my relatives have taken her to a safe place. Come let us go and see this miracle from the Creator. We must be careful to avoid the mercenaries for they have weapons and have enslaved the Deer Dance People.”
With the breath of life from the Creator, was born a black filly from the mouse colored horse and getting close to her was almost impossible. The newborn was on her feet and aware of her surroundings. She could smell the humans walking around her. She felt strange hands on the body with the feeling of curiosity and the smell. There was a most powerful scent and that is remembered to this very day.
The black filly came from the first horses to enter the homeland of the Utes. From this single birth bequeathed the Utes as “First Horse Nation.” From this beginning, the Ute People seized upon every opportunity to bring new horses into a vast herd. The introduction of the mouse colored horse changed the lives of everyone around her. Being natural conservationist the people raised the horses on good water, high country grass, clean air and revered this creature as the most beautiful of the Creator’s creation. Two centuries passed and during this time, the Ute horses swelled to thousands. This powerful animal propelled the Ute People to visit their domain in quick order. The Ute People could travel further from home and even ventured outside their boundaries. This inquisitive nature of the horse led them to spy on those who came into their country. Always watching from far away and keeping to themselves, the Utes and the horse thrived in this new relationship.
The Ute man, Red Moon begins his story, long before the ca-va appeared, we Utes walked everywhere. We followed the seasons and knew our relatives. One day there was a great commotion in the air. The Big Raven or One Who Boasts and Magpie from the desert country, made it known early that morning that the stories, of strangely dressed men, were making their way through Ute land. They spoke a different language and they were always looking. One Who Boasts and the juvenile magpies saw them there. “They bring many men and a few of them travel ahead of the line.” Big Raven and magpies have flown far ahead to warn everyone.
They are no different from the humans from afar, as they drink water and eat when hungry. A most curious sight though, some of the humans are sitting atop an animal with four legs. It is unbelievable that such a beautiful creature would allow a human to sit on its back. All of the birds have said the strangers do not understand our language when we ask them questions? We would fly right over them like this and even hurled a dropping their way. Their faces would get all twisted, you could hear them snarl. There are many of them and they take a path well worn by many. All of the birds say that they smell of campfire and sweat. That they are careless with a determination to conquer and the old blind man could hear them walking through the land. In motionlessness, sat the Ute people there in the shadow of the pinon pine. They were listening for you and when the time was right, we would have a closer look.
One Who Boasts began his testimony and family members gathered to decide of the truthfulness of his story. It was worth the time to see the mouse colored ca-va, a word used by the birds. He began, “Those of you who can travel fast can come and we must blend in with our earth mother. Men have come into our lands and we will watch them, but we look for the four-legged called ca-va. Do not touch the mercenaries or their long knives. Do not take any of their possessions; they sleep hard from a long walk and full belly. They will be camped on the path with little room to go around. We must walk directly through the camp with the light from moon and keep going to the forest of pinon trees. There is word from the family of birds that the mouse colored mare has given birth. We move light and fast “vu-doom,” says uncle. Along the way One Who Boasts and the magpies told the nuchu about the strangers. There are others with them and they hunted humans what they left behind are the empty villages, pueblos and those who refused to follow were hanging on sharpen sticks. The great family of birds have witnessed many deaths at their hands and the destruction of the earth while looking for their Eldorado.