A Celebration of Women Writers

"White Corn and the Grasshoppers."
From: Taytay's Tales (1922) Traditional Pueblo Indian Tales, collected and retold by Elizabeth Willis De Huff; illustrated by Fred Kabotie, Hopi (1900-1986) and Otis Polelonema, Hopi (1902-1981)

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


(San Juan Pueblo)

O-way-way-ham-by-yoh, which means long time ago, old man Dried-Up-Corn had two daughters named White Corn and Blue Corn. Mr. and Mrs. Dried-Up-Corn sent their daughters out into the garden one afternoon to pick peas for supper.

When the two Corn maidens went outside they found some grasshoppers dancing and singing all around the garden. But when the grasshoppers saw White Corn and Blue Corn they started to hop away.

The grasshoppers began to dance

"Oh do not go away, Grasshoppers. If you will dance and sing some more for us, we will give you a row of peas."

So the grasshoppers began to sing and dance again:

"We are bow-legged.
Our faces are as hard as can be;
But whatever else may be,
They are alike on both sides; you see.
Fee-de-qui quah, quah.
Fee-de-qui, quah, quah."

The Corn maidens laughed and clapped their hands. When the grasshoppers stopped singing and ate up their row of peas, White Corn begged: "Oh please dance and sing again and we will give you another row of peas."

So the grasshoppers kept dancing and singing until the girls had given them all the peas. Then the grasshoppers hopped away and White Corn and Blue Corn went back into the house without any peas for supper.

What do you think happened to White Corn and Blue Corn then? They were spanked and put to bed without any supper. Which was quite the proper thing, don't you think?


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

This chapter has been put on-line as part of the BUILD-A-BOOK Initiative at the
Celebration of Women Writers.
Initial text entry and proof-reading of this chapter were the work of volunteer
Jim Fritzler.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom