The Husband’s Promise

The Husband's PromiseThe Husband’s Promise

Tewa

There was once a man and a wife who loved each other very much, but the wife died not too long after they were married. The man mourned the loss of his wife, but eventually grew to live with his sadness. He saw a lighted house and went up to it. There he saw his wife. He couldn’t believe that he was alive. She told him that he should not have come here. They could not be together again until it was time for him to die, but he insisted in staying.

She told him that if he stayed the night, she would go back with him to the village and he promised he would. Part way through the night, there was an awful smell. The husband couldn’t stand it. It was coming from his wife. He decided to leave. He thought he would be free. Just before he got out of the house, the wife caught him.

She told him that he had broken his promise. She said she would chase him. The man did not want to die yet. He ran and ran, he met an old medicine man. The medicine man told him that he would shoot him up into the sky with a special arrow because there was plenty of space to run up there, which he did.

The woman was not far behind though. She came to the same medicine man and the medicine man told her the same thing. She was also shot into the sky. They each became stars, very close to one another; the woman always chasing the man.

Observations

This is pretty much another retelling of Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden. It is a story I have heard elsewhere, but couldn’t tell you where.

Themes

Dead is dead, people. You cannot bring someone back from another plane of existence. This story is told over and over again with a family member trying to resurrect a loved one and things turn out horribly because the loved one no longer belongs here. They turn into an awful creature. They’re a zombie. They’re whatever, but they’re not your loved one.

Overall

Leave it be.

Weigh In

If you could resurrect a loved one, what do you think would happen?

Was the man weak or did he just miss his wife?

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