Saturday, October 3, 2009

Montezuma's Castle- (no revenge)

As it turns out, Montezuma had nothing to do with it, and it wasn't a castle, more like a high-rise apartment building for communal living.  Can you believe this beautiful cliff dwelling? I imagine a small band of people wandering into the beautiful valley, finding water and plenty of vegetation, and figuring it would make a good place to settle then looking around and thinking to themselves, "well, where should we sleep tonight?"  Somebody, probably one of the men, said "hey, there's a cave up there, lets climb up there and check it out."  He decided his family should sleep there and after 4 or 5 nights his wife said "this cave isn't bad, but it sure would be nice if I had a little wall right here to keep the animals out of our food."  And so the husband said "lets build a little wall then."  And so she had a nice little pantry she could store her corn and amaranth in and she liked it and thought to herself as she peered down at her pregnant belly "This cave isn't bad, but it would sure be nice to have a little wall right here so the baby won't roll off the cliff." So she told her husband "I'd sure like another wall, so the baby won't roll off the cliff."  And so they built the wall, and she left her handprints in the mud because she was too tired to smooth it out nicely, and she looked around herself and thought "Ahhh, this is nice." And then she realized, "My in-laws are coming! Where am I going to put them?"  And she went to her husband and said " know how your folks are coming for a visit when the baby arrives?" and he, seeing a major honey-do coming on, hesitantly replied "yeeeeeees?" And she said "well, I was thinking, they would probably really appreciate some privacy while they are here.  I know they said they don't mind sleeping on the cave-floor, and they'd be happy to fend for themselves and get their own meals while they're here, but I just feel like such a terrible hostess putting your mother on the hard limestone floor without even a wall for privacy.  I haven't even had a chance to polish it or make any petroglyph's on the walls." And he said "and so you want?" to which she replied, "Do you think we could add one more room and another storage room?  We could really use the space as the baby grows anyways, so its not like it won't be useful." And he obliged. (Even though he was tired from taking down that 8 point buck earlier that morning and fighting off the mountain lion late the night before.)  She helped him mix the mud and put it up on the walls he constructed for her, and she left a few more handprints (hoping her mother in law wouldn't notice.)

After the baby was born, the grandparents came and visited and word got out that these two sure had a nice set-up, plenty of storage and room to grow plus a huge green valley and plenty of water.  So guess what?  The wife's brother lost his job as lead-hunter in his band of people when there was that whole coyote-shape-shifting miscommunication thing and he accidentally shot a mischievous local teenager with his bow and arrow. Since food and water was running scarce in his village and he was having trouble finding another hunting gig, he decided to pay a visit to his sister in her big-fancy cave where he heard she had a nice guest room that wasn't being used, and plenty of storage space. So he and his family of 17 came wandering into the camp destitute and looking for shelter.  How could she turn him away?  So she returned to her husband and said "honey?" and a lively conversation followed where they argued over whether or not there was really a "misunderstanding" about that "coyote" and if they let them stay in their guest house, were they really helping them, or just giving them a handout and would they help hunt?  And if they did help hunt, could the brother really be trusted with a bow and arrow again? They finally decided the brother's family could stay, but only until his luck changed, and... he and his wife had to help out around the place.  Three years later they realized the brother was still there, and now his family had grown and they needed more space and more storage, and so up went some more walls.  Eventually, the brother got tired of his sister's husband acting like he was doing them all a favor by letting them stay there and so the family built their own castle next door.  The brother made it bigger, with even more storage, and his wife filled the rooms with so much junk he had to put down new floor boards every so often, but they built their castle in the middle of the real-estate boom and the contractor's hurried the project along and did it as fast as they could with the cheapest materials they could find so the house fell down a couple hundred years later.  The sister's house still stands, its beautiful and unique.  Mostly unadorned except for the hand-prints her husband came to love, the home is simple in its beauty with hand-carved wooden ladders, lovely windows, and 3rd level terrace dining.  The beautiful two toned "paint" job inspires neighbors for hundreds of miles around.
Of course...I could be all wrong. ;)


GRAMEE said...

That is sure a darling story! now when my mother in law comes to visit we are going to have to go check it out! I checked it out it is 80 miles from my house!

Jillybean said...

I always wondered why they built their houses on the cliff like that.
Thanks for clearing things up for me.

Does this mean that every time my inlaws come to visit, that I am entitled to an addition to our house?

The Wixom Zoo said...

We went there for a vacation a couple of years ago. It was beautiful! (But the hike up to the cliff dwellings was so hard!)

ramsam said...

Cliff dwelling is so amazing- we went to Mesa Verde last year and it was so interesting. I have one son that loves Indian history- and he loved it!

Have you been to Crzy Horse? SOOOOO worth it. Very interesting!

Hartson family said...

I absolutely love your ability to craft a story that I can visualize. Thanks for the break to clear my head while I checked into yours.