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The Essay
Show #332
Weasel Slayer, Part I
David Gunn

According to Navajo mythology, mankind was born in a huge cavern at the center of the earth. The cavern extended deep into the earth's core, but its end was finite. The cavern's entrance was obstructed by a roaring river named Ood-nan-tunk. So mankind had no place to go and, outside of turning a section of the cavern into an abattoir where they had friends over for dinner, nothing to do. This was because the Spirit Guides, who watched over them, declined to grant them free will. Occasionally, the river would calm down, and the water would recede, exposing abalone shell, coral, white shell stone, black jet stone and turquoise. Mankind gathered these shells, rocks and calcareous secretions of anthozoans and revered them as their Sacred Stones. One day, one of the Spirit Guides, "Shiva Bob," stole into the cavern to more closely observe the Ceremony of Veneration, but unfortunately he got too close to the abattoir, where he was posthaste transformed into "Shishka Bob." Irked at the loss of their whiskers six-draw card sharpener, the remaining Spirit Guides--Billie Mae, Wampum Joe, Betty Sue, Fairlane Ford, Bunyip Boy and Talking God--unleashed terrible monsters upon mankind: badgers, weasels, gophers, lemmings (big ones, thanks to a hypersecretion of somatotropin into their endocrine systems), bellicose quail and black flies. Together, they drove mankind to the very brink back of the cavern and were about to attack, when a strange blue-black aura suddenly illuminated the ground in front of them. Bewildered, the monsters retreated to the area of the abattoir, where a surprise awaited. One night a couple of weeks ago when the Spirit Guides were otherwise preoccupied, mankind had bifurcated into man-and-womankind, and the latter had not yet been recognized as lifeforms by the Guides. They kept mostly to the abattoir, where the monsters--who likewise didnít know what to make of them--now gathered. With amazing speed, womankind dispatched, filleted, grilled and served them. To be sure, there were relatively few "monsters." The badgers, weasels and gophers numbered but fifteen; the lemmings barely touched the two-score mark; and the quail, if slightly compressed, would fit inside of a Quaker breadbox--which is how one of the womenkind opted to serve them. The black flies, on the other hand, numbered in the mid zillions and escaped. The aura--which we now know originated from ÷Grzoplaid, fourth orbiting celestial entity from Star ZWR9(b) in the Crab Nebula's centerleast sector--found and chased the six Spirit Guides into Ood-nan-tunk, where they remained for thousands of generations.

Thousands of generations passed. Man-and-womankind continued to live peacefully in the cavern, collect the occasional Sacred Stone, roast the occasional neighbor. And then one day, Wampum Joe, full of contrition and weary of a fish-only diet, emerged from the river and approached the caverndwellers, careful not to attract the attention of the aura, which was still hanging around the abattoirium, providing full-spectrum light. Wampum Joe presented man-and-womankind with a large rabbit, which he pulled out of a hat, and which they gratefully ate. He told them that it was finally time for them to leave the cavern and commence a great journey. He said it was their destiny. Actually, he only got as far as "des..." before he was grabbed, marinated and shoved into a crockpot. But, after dinner, man-and-womankind began to weigh the benefits of a change of scenery against bedrock boredom, and, half a generation later, they resolved to give it a go. They selected two persons from the explorers guild and one weasel from the herd--womankind hadnít butchered them all, after all--and sent them off. They conveniently kept a journal, and here now are excerpts from it.

We are First Man and First Woman. We cross mighty Ood-nan-tunk on back of Big Weasel, who swim better than he smell. We see Talking God in river. "Ya-tah-hey," says God. "Have a nice day!" Big Weasel climb out of Ood-nan-tunk onto distant shore. Big Door there. We enter. Inside is glittering ground carpet which lead up and far away. Big Weasel follow instinctively. What with wet fur, him also Big Stink. We pass through many strange worlds full of insects and masked spirits until we get to Third Underworld, Dook'o'osliid, whence we at last emerge into Overworld, Dzil Na'oodili. Big sky. No cavern. No river--well, a couple streams, but nothing to write home about. There we meet Spider Woman, who give us corn pollen. "What the hell is this?" we ask. "Shut up and listen," replies Spider Woman. "You are Ni'hookaa Diyan Diné. That means Holy Earth People, a heap big responsibility. I am here to teach First Woman to weave and First Man to sing Blessing Song." But Spider Woman also teach us what else can happen when First Man and First Woman get together in Garden of Dzil Na'oodili. Soon First Woman is craving ice cream and pickles and feeling nauseous. Under Spider Woman's tutelage, we set down mountains on land, place sun, moon and stars in sky, and make trees, rain and clouds. The clouds are especially cool, being many shades of white, black, yellow and blue. We still don't know what the hell to make of the corn pollen. Nine months later, amidst vapors of yellow clouds, First Woman bears twins, "Child-Born-of-Water" and "Weasel Slayer." Why the hell should anyone want to slay a weasel?, we wonder.

But Coyote, the trickster, has been counseling Big Weasel. With help of cameo by skinwalker ghost of Wampum Joe, he convince the large carnivore it payback time for past ignominy in cavern's abattoir. A conspiracy ensues.

Meanwhile, First Man build mobile from abalone shell, coral, white shell stone, black jet stone and turquoise that we bring from Ood-nan-tunk and hang it over crib. This occupy increasingly restive twins enough for us to get some shuteye. One night during REM sleep dream (Sun turns corn pollen into Corn Dogs, which are first revered, then eaten by Holy Earth People), a pep-talked Big Weasel steals into boudoir of First Woman. He is about to turn her left leg into an hors d'oeuvre when his tail brushes against stone and shell mobile. Instantly the twins are awake, Child-Born-of-Water demanding for umpteenth time a glass of same, and Weasel Slayer instantly sizing up situation and living up to his birth name.

Proud of their progeny, First Man and First Woman soon revisit Garden of Dzil Na'oodili delights and begin to make "Kiiyaa aanii," the first of the Four Original Clans that will one day bring to fruition First Man's dream of Corn Dogs 'n Weasels, the first successful Navajo take-out restaurant franchise.

But what of Weasel Slayer's alliance with Office of Homeland Security superintendent Beano Bengaze? Patience, gentle audient, patience.

Or if not patience, how about franchise? Yes, we here at Kalvos & Damian like to think of the New Music Bazaar, of which this episode is but one of three hundred and thirty-two, as a franchise just waiting to happen. We're primed, packaged, and presently available. Want details? Just go to the kalvos dot org website and search for the Kalvos Prospectus.