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Legend of the Wolf Star: 

Native American Lore:
 

          When the time had come to create the earth, a great council was held and all the
animals were invited except Wolf Star. He resented this treatments and looked for ways
to express his anger. He began to watch the Storm That Comes Out of the West, who
was responsible for traveling the world and seeing that all
went well. In his travels, the Storm That Comes Out of the
West carried a whirlwind bag in which he kept the first
people. Every evening, he would stop and release people
and they would camp and hunt.

Seeing an opportunity, Wolf Star sent a gray wolf from the
sky to steal the whirlwind bag. While Storm was asleep, the
wolf took the bag and ran away. He finally opened it,
thinking he might find something to eat, and the first
people came out and set up camp. But they quickly realized
there was no buffalo to hunt. And the discovered that wolf
had let them out instead of Storm, they became angry and killed the wolf.

      The Storm that Comes Out of the West came upon the first people
and the wolf they had killed. He told them to skin the wolf
and make a sacred bundle with it, wrapping it in
everything that would bring back the memory of what had
happened. Then he named the first people Skidi Pawnee,
the wolf people, and told them that by killing the wolf they had
brought death into the world.

      Wolf Star continues to rise just before dawn,
reminding the people of this time and accompanied by a
chorus of earth wolves as they howl skyward before the
first light of day.


 
The First Fire
 

Cherokee 
  Native American Lore
 
 
 

In the beginning of the world, there was no fire. The animal people were
often cold. Only the Thunders, who lived in the world beyond the sky arch,
had fire. At last they sent Lightning down to an island. Lightning put fire
into the bottom of a hollow sycamore tree. 

The animal people knew that the fire was there, because
they could see smoke rising from the top of the tree. But
they could not get to it on account of the water. So they
held a council to decide what to do. 

Everyone that could fly or could swim was eager to go after the fire. Raven
said, "Let me go. I am large and strong."

At that time Raven was white. He flew high and far across the water and
reached the top of the sycamore tree. While he sat there wondering what
to do, the heat scorched all his feathers black. The frightened Raven flew
home without the fire, and his feathers have been black ever since. 

Then the council sent Screech Owl. He flew to the island. But while he was
looking down into the hollow tree, a blast of hot air came up and nearly
burned out his eyes. He flew home and to this day, Screech Owl's eyes are
red. 

Then Hooting Owl and Horned Owl were sent to the island together. But
the smoke nearly blinded them, and the ashes carried up by the wind made
white rings about their eyes. They had to come home, and were never able
to get rid of the white rings. 

Then Little Snake swam across to the island, crawled through the grass to
the tree, and entered it through a small hole at the bottom. But the smoke
and the heat were too much for him, too. He escaped alive, but his body
had been scorched black. And it was so twisted that he doubled on his
track as if always trying to escape from a small space. 

Big Snake, the climber, offered to go for fire, but he fell
into the burning stump and became as black as Little
Snake. He has been the great blacksnake ever since. 


 

At last Water Spider said that she would go. Water Spider has black
downy hair and red stripes on her body. She could run on top of water
and she could dive to the bottom. She would have no trouble in getting to
the island. 

"But you are so little, how will you carry enough fire?" the council asked. 

"I'll manage all right," answered Water Spider. "I can
spin a web." so she spun a thread from her body and wove
it into a little bowl and fastened the little bowl on her back.
Then she crossed over to the island and through the grass.
She put one little coal of fire into her bowl and brought it
across to the people. 

Every since, we have had fire. And the Water Spider still has her little bowl on her back.



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Page created by;Cherokee Wolf
May 14. 1999