Spider Woman at Apple Hollow

Spider Woman's Children

by Navajo Poet, Hershman John


Each day she cards wool,
Releasing aromas of wet lambs.

She sings her song slowly for her sheep,
For her rug, for her hands, for the sun
above and
for her mother who taught her the
words so long ago...

"House made of dawn
House made of evening light
House made of dark cloud
House made of pollen..."
Masani, Grandma's hogan sits alone
Near the lowly adobe bluffs.
Loneliness overtakes the desert lands
As the night crawls from the east.
Her heart lingers for companionship.

She soaks wool in the eyes of Spider Woman,
The weaver of creation, weaving together
Brown, yellow, black, white and red--
Shade of her soul-self.

She pulls spindled threads
Intertwining them through the web-loom
And the desert storms are caught
Within the geometric patterns,
White clouds and black lightning and water beetles.

None of her twelve children ever return
Only when money asks them to.
They come to take her hard work, her beauty.
"In beauty it is finished, thank you, creator."
Without ears, they are like prairie dogs,
They don't understand her anymore and cry wants.
Each has lost her teachings and tongue.
Her mind wants to reach out
"Please, stay...talk to me, my grandchildren."

Coming from limbo beyond the
Rainbow's blessings
They smile as payment for robbing her
And quickly return to their burrows
Far to the cold north, Los Angeles and Phoenix...
Into the night her weaving comb
Locks her tears into the wefts of wool,
The much needed rain in the storm pattern rug.

Each night she cards wool,
Releasing the aromas of wet lambs.

Many thanks to the creator of this poem, Herschman John , for his kind permission to use it in our Folklore web pages. Please visit his site for more of his writings.

Editorial note: While I was searching for information to put this page up, I was touched very deeply by this sad story; it happens all too frequently.


For links to our spinning, weaving and knitting pages, or to find more fairy tales,

Copyright 1998 - 2011, Apple Hollow, LLC. Permission is required before using or reproducing material found on any of the pages on this site, regardless of whether text or images or unique ideas. Much of the art is original. Permission is NOT granted to anyone who intends to use our name, Apple Hollow, alone or in combination with any other words, for commercial or personal reason, on or off the net. Additionally, I have made every effort to both ask permission and give proper credit where necessary when using material from others, however, if any of this material is being displayed in a matter you feel is inappropriate, please contact me via email so I can correct the situation.

MacThis page last updated: 16 May 2012

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