CHINLE, Ariz., Jan. 31, 2008
I don't pick up hitchhikers for free.
They either have to teach me a Navajo word I don't already know, or tell me a story.
Lately, I have been hearing the same story so often, with so many variations, I'm beginning to wonder if it's true.
It is the story of a creature I've come to call "the Navajo Bigfoot." According to at least five different hitchhikers I have picked up over the last three years, there is a Bigfoot-like creature roaming in the Navajo Nation.
It is about 7 feet tall, black, hairy and apelike, and has feet about a foot-and-a-half long. None of the hitchhikers had actually seen it, but they all knew people who had.
Most people seem to think it resides somewhere between Summit and Fluted Rock, but a man from Navajo Mountain swore it lives somewhere up there. (Maybe there are two.) Footprints have allegedly been found as far south as Klagetoh.
Some folks say the creature has supernatural powers. It reportedly appears at some gatherings, and one man told me several friends of his at a ceremonial gathering saw it appear and then vanish into thin air.
The Bigfoot might have been around a very long time. A middle-aged man remembered his father telling stories of such a creature, saying it appears when times are about to get really bad.
But, if it is something supernatural, it apparently still needs to eat.
A woman told me all the ranchers near Fluted Rock know about the monster, because they will find dead sheep that appear to have been partially butchered with some kind of blunt knife. And the giant footprints are sometimes around.
A man I picked up near Ganado said a neighbor of his had chased it across Highway 264 on horseback once, but it was so fast that it got away.
Another guy said he visited one of the Apache reservations and was surprised to find they have similar stories ... except the Apache Bigfoot is white while the Navajo one is black.
I'm not saying I believe these stories ... for all I know, there's some kind of conspiracy among the hitchhikers to pull one over on hapless drivers.
All I'm saying is, if I'm driving late at night and some big, hairy, barefoot guy sticks out his thumb on the side of the road, I'm going to keep driving - unless he has a mighty good story.
Monday, February 4, 2008
A Navajo Bigfoot Story
This was sent to me by a good friend of mine, who is the creator of The Granmother's Circle Gathering here in Eugene. She had fowarded this to me from one of her contacts.