The Hitchhiker Diaries, Part IV

By Cindy Yurth
Tseyi' Bureau

CHINLE, Nov. 3, 2011

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Back by popular demand, here are more stories gleaned from the roadsides of the Navajo Nation. You might call this installment "Mano a Mano."

The Fighter

You're probably wondering where I got these big ugly stitches on the top of my head. I'll tell you.

Friday night I came home drunk. I went in the house and passed out on the floor.

When I woke up, my wife was in the kitchen. I asked her to make me some breakfast.

She was acting strange. She wouldn't look at me.

Finally I got up and went over to her. Big hickies all over her neck!

That was my seventh woman. All six of the others cheated on me, but I never expected this one to.

I wanted to hit her, but my dad told me never to hit a woman. So I stormed out the door, looking for someone to hit.

The last two days, I've been to all my relatives' houses. I just barge in and start talking crap, looking for a fight. Finally I pissed my nephew off and he started fighting with me.

We were fighting just with our hands, like men. It felt good. Then all of a sudden he picks up a piece of chizh and smacks me over the head with it!

My own nephew! Do you believe that?

So I get someone to drive me to the IHS. It's not the first time I've been in there for fighting. I always get the same young doctor.

This time he says, "I'm tired of patching you up. I don't want to see you in here again. Next time go to the VA clinic in Albuquerque."

Yeah, right! I'm supposed to hitchhike to Albuquerque, all bloody from a fight? Who's going to pick up a bloody old man staggering down the side of the road?

These young bilagaana doctors, they spend a couple years out here, they think they know how it is. They don't know crap.

They sew you up a couple of times, they think they know you. He doesn't know me.

If he had my life, he'd hit somebody too.

Feathered Frenzy

When I was growing up, my dad had to go away sometimes to work. He didn't like leaving my mom and us kids in the house alone.

We had dogs, but they were lazy. If someone came in the yard, sometimes they wouldn't even lift their heads.

My dad, he's Mexican, he decided to buy some of those Mexican fighting cocks. He said they're as mean as dogs, and not as lazy.

He was right about those birds. They drove out everybody and everything that came into our yard. Pretty soon people knew to stay away from our house.

One day, a hawk swooped down and got one of the roosters. He picked the wrong bird to make a meal out of! That rooster fought as hard as he could.

We just stood there and watched. There was nothing we could do. The hawk carried him way up in the air, maybe a hundred feet. But that cock was fighting the whole time. All we could see was a ball of feathers and talons.

Finally, the hawk dropped our rooster. He flapped his wings hard, trying to fly. Finally he just spread his wings and the wind caught them. He sort of glided to the ground.

Our rooster had a lot of injuries, but he recovered. He carried himself different after that, like an old soldier proud of his war wounds. We all respected him.

I don't know what happened to the hawk. It never came back.

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