Many years ago, the Ugly Otter was selling Indian Jewelry in Santa Fe, NM, at an indoor flea market. The following story is true, and happened as follows. However, this story is being told as a story of interest, and not as a story to "make fun" or to be disrespectful of another's beliefs. After all, who among us knows all the answers?
At the time of this story I was selling Indian Jewelry, Navajo Kachina Dolls, and Indian Pottery in a small stand of mine in the indoor flea market in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the winter of 1992, or thereabouts.
I was tending my booth when a young Navajo girl of about 18 years old approached holding three or four Kachina Dolls that she wanted to sell to me. I saw they were of good quality, well made, and my inventory of Kachina Dolls was low.
I asked her if she had more of these, and she answered "Yes, we have about twenty more outside in the car with my grandfather, who makes these". I asked her to bring them in, and perhaps I would buy them all if they were as good as the samples she had shown me.
She left, and in a few minutes came back with some boxes of Kachina Dolls, followed by her elderly grandfather. He appeared to be in his 80's, perhaps.
Now, the person who had a stand next to mine was selling various furs and animal parts. Rabbit furs, fox tails, cow skulls, cow hides, feathers, and various items of this nature which people in the area use to decorate their houses and shops.
When the young girl's grandfather spotted the stand next to mine, he became highly agitated, and rushed right into the next stall and started to sift thru the various items for sale. He spent several minutes in the stall, sorting thru the items to the astonishment of the other stall owner.
After a few minutes, the grandfather calmed down, came back to my stall where the granddaughter was with the boxes of Kachina Dolls, and I proceeded to buy the Dolls from her. The grandfather spoke no English, so all the dealings were with the granddaughter. After the deal was completed, I asked the young girl what had happened to cause her grandfather such alarm and to act as he did with the next door stall. She replied:
"We live on the far side of the Rio Puerco Valley, and that is the home of the Nightstalker. Our family is of the "Wolf" clan, and everyone knows that the wolf and the Nightstalker are great friends. My grandfather was afraid that some of the furs or bones in the next stall may have been from a wolf, and that the wolf's spirit would get really mad at us if we were in the presence of wolf parts. My grandfather wanted to make sure there were no wolf bones or furs in that stall, because if there had been, we would have to leave immediately before being seen by the wolf spirit."
She further explained that if the wolf's spirit was mad at her family, the wolf would get his good friend, the Nightstalker, to take revenge on them. That, she said, would be a terrible tragedy for the whole family as they lived so close to the Nightstalker's home.
There were no wolf parts in the stall, so all ended well, and all was happy.
Now, I know nothing more of this except what I saw and what the young girl told me. I do not know if her story is true, but I have every reason to believe that she and her grandfather did believe it.