Once a medicine man was sick and wanted to cure himself, praying for three days and nights without eating or drinking. On the last night, the manner in which he might be cured was revealed in a dream. To do so, he must enter the Hot Spring and visit the nukatem dwelling there.
Entering into a den-like room, the medicine man encountered a Blue Frog, a Snake, another (Red Racer) snake, a Bear, a Lion, and an Albino Child.
Addressing the Blue Frog, he asked how he might be cured. The frog redirected the man to the Snake. Asking the Snake the same question, the Snake coiled itself around his body and sent him on to the Red Racer. The Red Racer did the same, sending him to the Bear and then to the Lion. Finally, the Lion sent him on to the Child, the chief power among the group.
“Now the child had taken the form of an old man, and was sitting smoking a pipe. The medicine man went in and lay down before him. He told him he was sick and had come to be cured. But the old man was looking away, and did not look or speak to him.”
“So the medicine man said again, ‘I am sick, and came down to be cured.’ Then he rose and reached for the old man’s pipe, which the old man handed to him quickly.”
“The medicine man swallowed the smoke three times. Then the old man snatched it away. The medicine man then felt more power and knew that he was cured.”
- Francisco Patencio, Stories & Legends of the Palm Springs Indians, 1943
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