The way Doctor, Donna, and TARDIS are shown to be pronounced, is the way I thought they would pronounce them. As they heard them.
I am in no way an expert on the Navajo culture. What I've used, I've gotten from various websites. Mostly words. This oneshot takes place before the Long Walk, which was when the US government forcibly removed the Navajo from their lands in Arizona, and Western New Mexico, and marched them to Eastern New Mexico most notably to Fort Sumner between 1864, and 1866. Translations for the Navajo words will be at the end of this post. The Ancient ones mentioned in this oneshot are the Anasazi.
This also takes place after JE and it's assumed Ten was able to alter Donna's DNA in order to stop the metacrisis. She is now physically Gallifreyan, but not a Time Lady. This also assumes EoT did not happen.
I don't own Ten, Donna or Doctor Who. The BBC does. I also don't own the Navajo. Please read and enjoy...
“Tell me a story,” my granddaughter asks. “Tell me about the Sky People, Shah-mah’ tsah’nih”. She sits next to me, next to the fire where our evening meal cooks in front of our hogan. This is a familiar story to her as I have told it many times. I smile and nod, she stirs the pot and waits for me to begin.
They came one day when the sun was low on the end of it’s daily journey across the Dine′-tah. I was chih-keh’, not a girl, but not yet a woman only having seen 13 winters. My sister and I were sweeping the day’s dust from the hogan, when a voice was heard. We saw two figures approaching, one leaning heavily on another. I called to Mother, who took a look, and then called to Father.
Father went out to the people, talking slowly, asking questions. Only one of the people spoke, it seemed the other was injured. Mother gave a gasp when they stopped at the hogan, for they were Bilagaana, white people. One was a woman, the other one, the injured one, a man. They were dressed like no other Bilagaana we had seen, and the woman had hair of such a bright red as to rival the sun as it sank to sleep. Her outer clothing moved aside as she tried her best to lower the man to the ground before the fire, revealing that she was heavy with child. Father helped her, and she thanked him, sinking next to the man, who gave a groan and gripped his leg. It was then we realized they, or at least the woman was speaking the language of the Dine′. No Bilagaana had spoken our language before, not with such fluency.
The woman shifted herself and raised the trouser leg of the man, revealing a purple swollen joint. “He is injured,” Father said. The woman nodded, and took off her outer clothing, folded it and placed it under the man’s head as he leaned back. “You are Bilagaana. Why have you come to a hogan of Dine′?”
“Dine′?” she asked, a confused look on her face.
“Yes. You are in the Dine′-tah, the place given to us Dine′ by the Holy People to live. Bilagaana, the white people, do not come here.”
“We are visitors. We were walking, and he fell into a hole. He is hurt, I can not get him back to our…dwelling alone,” she shifted again, placing her hand on her high round belly. “We need a place to rest for the night, and perhaps some help back to our dwelling in the morning.”
Father looked at both of them, I could see he was wondering if he could trust them. The Bilagaana, while they stayed away for the most part, had been seen more and more by others, and there was tension running between our two peoples. Mother watched the woman, and squatted next to her. She reached out her hand towards the mound of belly, and when the woman nodded, she placed her hands on it. “Your time draws near,” Mother said, touching her arm, near her hand. The woman nodded. “I think they mean no harm,” Mother said to Father. “She is near to birthing, and he is injured. I think we can help them. They can rest here and when the sun rises, you can help them to their hogan. Sitsi Nita can go with you.”
My ears perked up at this. I would go with them to a Bilagaana hogan? Father looked as if he would argue, but Mother shook her head. “If they meant harm, if there were more waiting, then why would they send a woman ripe with child? The stories of the Bilagaana make them out to be a strange people, but I think not even they would send a woman with child.” When Father nodded his eventual agreement, I saw the woman relax. The man took the woman’s hand, and kiss it gently, before his eyes closed and he wandered into the land of dreams.
Before my sister and I were sent inside the hogan to take our own walks into the land of dreams, we sat and listened to the woman talk to Mother and Father. She told them her name was Dohn-ah, and the man’s was Dohk-tah. When Father said that the man’s name sounded like the Bilagaana word for medicine man, Dohn-ah agreed it was, but that was the name he used. He had another name, but that was only shared with the person with whom he had a bond, and even then, never spoken aloud by the bond mate. For them, this name was held sacred. Father nodded his approval. The Dine′ also had things that were held sacred. It was good to see that some Bilagaana did as well.
When next I knew myself, I was waking up on my pallet in the hogan, next to my sister, and the sun had begun it’s daily journey across the Dine′-tah. I knew I needed to get ready quick, for Father, Dohn-ah, and Dohk-tah would be leaving soon. I still had my clothing on from the previous day, meaning I had gone on my walk before going into the hogan. Mother was calling my name, and when I emerged from the hogan, she had a bowl of corn mush to break my fast waiting. Father, Dohk-tah, and Dohn-ah had already eaten, and I stared in amazement as Dohk-tah was standing without help. Mother and Father were looking as well. How could this be? The night before, he had been unable to stand or walk without help, yet now he stood before us, healthy.
Dohk-tah said he would explain as soon as they were at their hogan. He was feeling quite well now, but he wanted to get Dohn-ah back as soon as could be done. Mother understood that, as she had birthed both my sister and myself in her hogan, and wouldn’t have wanted to do it anywhere else. Dohk-tah, said that was part of it, but there were other complications that we couldn’t possibly comprehend. This comment earned him a glare from Father, and amusing to Mother, a slap on his arm from Dohn-ah.
Mother handed me a pouch of cornbread, and rabbit for a midday meal, a pouch of the same for an evening meal, and a water bag. It would be my job to mind the food and water on our journey. We did not know how far away Dohk-tah and Dohn-ah’s hogan was. There was no ceremony on leave taking, so with a wave to Father and I, and a hágoónee’ to Dohk-tah and Dohn-ah, Mother returned to the hogan to tend to my sister, who was still on her walk through dreams.
We walked for a long as it took for the sun to reach the half way of it’s daily journey. There was not a lot of talk, mostly just Dohk-tah making sure Dohn-ah was well. When Dohk-tah shouted “A-ha!” startling us, we saw in front of us a tall blue box. Was this their hogan? It looked nothing like a hogan, but then these were Bilagaana. And we had never seen a Bilagaana hogan. Dohk-tah took out a small shiny object, and pushed it at the front of the blue box. It opened and Father and I lost words, and thought. For inside this box, was a room bigger than four or five hogans put together. There were lights, and something in the center that was green and made a humming sound. Was this magic? Bilagaana magic
I went to go inside, but Father held me back. “What is this?” he asked, backing away, pulling me with him. Dohk-tah spoke softly to Dohn-ah who crossed the cavernous room to sit on a bench. He turned back to us, and held out his hand
“This is my home. It’s called a TARDIS.”
“Tahr-dis?” Father repeated. “What magic is this? Do all Bilagaana live in these?” I was struck suddenly by fear. Fear of Bilagaana and what they could do to the Dine′ if they all had hogans like this.
But Dohk-tah shook his head. “We are not Bilagaana. Well, not much. Well, sort of. But not the Bilagaana you are thinking of. They do not have these. No one has these. Just me. And this is the only one. Just like me. One of a kind. Well, almost one of a kind. My wife is like me as well.” Dohn-na made a noise from the bench she was sitting on, and she had a smile
“Then what are you?” Father’s voice was small and it frightened me to hear the fear in it.
“We are vistors,” Dohk-tah echoed Dohn-ah’s statement from the night before. “We travel and visit places.”
“Travel many places, among many lands?”
“Actually, we travel among the stars.”
Father’s eyes widened and my heart quickened. They travelled among the stars. The Dine′ had stories of people such as these, and before us, the Ancient Ones had stories. The Sky People. Other tribes had stories of the Sky People as well. They visited and sometimes imparted great knowledge or wisdom. Other stories told of Sky People who were violent and hurt people, sometimes even killing them. The stories said there hadn’t been a visit from the Sky People since before the Dine′ became the Dine′, before we had been given the Dine′-tah by the Holy People, so these stories said. But here were Sky People in front of Father and myself.
I was filled with a sudden desire to go inside their Tahr-dis, and pulling away from Father, I walked inside. It was cooler than outside, the hum I could hear from the part in the center while outside was louder now. And it tickled my head. The light was an orange/green color that felt soothing. I should have been afraid. I should have not wanted to come in here. But I wasn’t afraid. If anything, I felt safe. “Show me the stars,” I asked Dohk-tah. “Prove to me you walk among them,” I was surprised by my bravery and sharp tongue. Father and Mother would not approve. Father still stood outside. Dohk-tah held out his hand to him, to invite him inside. He came inside, though I could see he was afraid. I heard the humming get louder, and the room warm a little, and Father appeared to relax. He walked over to me, and I took his hand
“Show us the stars, Sky Man,” Father said. The doors closed, and the Tahr-dis rocked.
He did show us the stars. And they were beautiful. There were colored clouds, bright spheres inside, that burned brighter than a thousand fires. The doors closed, the Tahr-dis shook again, and when it stopped, Dohk-tah opened the doors and we saw a sphere of the most beautiful greens, blues, browns, and whites. Behind it, a bright ball of silver seemed to rise, and in the distance, a bright sphere shone with a brilliance so bright we could not look upon it. Dohk-tah called the colorful sphere Earth and said it was home to many people, including the Dine′, and he and his wife. We looked to this sphere. The Dine′-tah was on this sphere? How many other peoples must there be? “This is your home as well?” Father asked.
Not of his birth, he was quick to say, that planet was gone, lost to a war, the scale of which we could never comprehend. Father glared and started to say that the Dine′ had experience with conflict, but he stopped at the overwhelming sadness that was on Dohk-tah’s face
We stayed there, above that green, blue, brown, and white sphere for a time, I don’t know how long, in awe of it, before Dohn-ah said it was probably time to get us back to Mother and my sister. She was rubbing her belly, and I saw her face. Her time had come. Dohk-tah shut the doors. He moved around the center structure again, the Tahr-dis shaking, and with a small lurch it stopped. Father rushed to the doors, and when they opened we saw our hogan, with Mother and my sister looking at the Tahr-dis wide-eyed.
“Sky People!” Father shouted running to Mother. I was going to follow, but a cry from behind me stopped me, and I turned to see Dohn-ah now off the bench and on the floor, holding her belly. Dohk-tah looked as Father did when Mother had birthed my sister. He was saying something about needing to get to Cahr-dif and Mahr-thah, but there was no time. I did not know what those were, but I knew Aunt had helped with Mother’s birthing. Perhaps Mother could help with this one. I ran out and took Mother’s hand, pulling her inside, though she fought me, at the sight of the huge room. Then she saw Dohn-ah on the floor, and I knew she’d help.
My sister and I both walked in the land of dreams while Mother helped Dohn-ah birth her child. Father woke us before the sun began it’s journey, and told us Dohn-ah had birthed two babies. A boy and a girl. I could hear the sounds of babies crying. I and my sister got out of our blankets, and went outside, and into the Tahr-dis where Dohn-ah sat next to Dohk-tah, each holding a tiny baby, both with the sun-red hair of their mother.
“What will you name them?” my sister asked.
“We don’t know yet,”Dohk-tah answered. “Their names will be revealed in time.” And we remembered how he had told us their names were held sacred.
The Sky People stayed near our hogan for three days, while Dohn-ah recovered from the birthing. They had become friends and we were sad to see them leave. When they left, Father wished them good traveling. We would never forget them. I would never forget them
I am Sitsi Nita, and I have seen the Sky People.
Shah-mah' tsah'nih- Grandmother
Chih-keh- young woman
Dine′- The People (Navajo)
Dine′-tah- land given to Dine′ to live by the Holy People
Bilagaana- white people
Hogan- Navajo home