field notes ➤ William Harjo, 1941


Look like springtime come already, don’t it?
Look like gonna be another pretty day;
Everything jus’ warm up all over;
Sun he’s come up early shine all day.
I’m glad too, ’cause hungry whole lot now;
Winter he was make me be that way;
If I’m like a bear it don’t hurt me nothin’
‘Cause bear go to sleep all winter every day.
But man has to eat jus’ like in summer time;
He can’t sleep all winter in a log somewhere,
An’ me, I’m jus’ like all other Indian;
I sure aint be all time like a bear.

Pretty soon I gittin’ fat again now, me;
Things to eat grow again when sun git hotter;
Nothin’ he don’t grow like that in winter time,
An’ me — I can’t livin’ on water!
Pretty soon wild onion time is come again;
He grow whole lot all over every way,
An’ I pick him any time I want it;
Eat wild onion three four times a day.
If weather he be like this all the time —
Red beans raise, tomatoe an’ apple pie;
Then fat hog be like if I don’t careful,
An’ eat so much ’till almost I jus’ die!

Sprintime make a new man out of me,
Like a boy I fishin’ in the creek all day;
Springtime make me feel good the children too,
He want to git outside all day an’ play.
But lots of work was come in springtime too,
An’ I don’t like it too much that part, me;
‘Cause work he’s pretty hard to do sometime —
Plowin’ field aint like he use’ to be.
Yeh, springtime he is pretty good all right,
But I don’t want him all the time to be;
‘Cause all that work — catchin’ mule an’ plowin’
Jus’ make it every day too hard on me. ❞

Sour Sofkee
by William Harjo [Thomas E. Moore]
(privately published, 1983)

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