Native American Tales

A Fish Story

A Fish StoryA Fish Story


It had not rained for many days. The crops were dying. It was the duty of the fish people to pray in the Kiva for rain. They would fast and pray and stay inside the Kiva. The girl responsible for feeding the fish people was named Fee-ne-nee. She would give them a little bit of food and only a few drops of water.

One day, one of the men got so thirsty that he left the Kiva and drank from the pond. He drank and drank until he was all full. He went back to the Kiva, but before he could climb all the way down, he burst. Water came out of everywhere. All the people inside turned into water creatures. Fee-ne-nee went to check on the fish people and saw the man with water coming out of his head and saw that everyone had turned to various water creatures.

She went back to the house of an elderly couple and sat down to grind corn, but she only made one pass when she had turned into a snake. The husband and wife decided that they must take her to live with the other snakes. They gave the snakes blue corn meal and told Fee-ne-nee she was a young lady snake now. The snakes must accept her as a sister. The couple decided that they must leave this place since one of the fish people had failed them.

The people left their home at O-ke-owin and moved to Xun Ochute, which is now San Juan.


Drought can certainly cause a people to move somewhere else. If nothing will grow in that spot, how are you supposed to stay? This isn’t like today where we just drill down and down into a water table to get water. The people had to rely on surface water and rain. If there wasn’t surface water in a feasible area and it wasn’t raining, it would have been very difficult to survive in this place. You can practically survive anywhere if you have water, but as far as continued survival, that takes a lot of water. You have to be able to cultivate for yourself, or at least have an area with water that animals come to drink so you can have plenty of animals to hunt. Sometimes, you just have to leave a place. The weather changes or something happens that makes it impossible to stay, so you leave.


When a group of people are in a tight situation, one person can ruin it for everyone. There are situations where you have to adhere to what a group says. If you do not, things are going to be bad for you, but also everyone else. These people got turned into fish, which isn’t very likely in our everyday goings on, but the situation could have been different. Maybe there was a water ration and there was only so much water to drink for X amount of time and one person drank up more than their fair share of the ration. Maybe people were hiding from an enemy and one person decided they had to make a noise and everyone gets caught. You may not like being in a group, or team projects, or humanity in general, but sometimes, you just have to play by group rules.


Don’t be that guy.

Weigh In

Do you blame this guy? Do you think his fellow people blame him?

What do you think happened to the Kiva full of water animals?


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