Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes

Page: 5

Then he sent Hare down to earth to restore order. He said, “See, Grandmother, I have done the work my father directed me to do. The lives of my uncles and aunts, the two-legged walkers, will be endless like mine.”

His grandmother said, “Grandson, how could you make the lives of your uncles and aunts endless like yours? How could you do something in a way Earth-maker had not intended it to be? Earth-maker could not make them thus.”

Hare thought, “My grandmother must be related to some of the evil spirits I have killed. She does not like what I have done, for she is saying that I killed the evil spirits.”

Now grandmother heard him think. “No, Grandson, [3] I am not thinking of that. I am saying that our father made death so there should not be a lack of food on earth. He made death to prevent overcrowding. He also made a spirit world in which they should live after death.”

Hare did not like what she said. “Grandmother surely does not like it,” he thought. “She must be related to the evil spirits.”

“No, Grandson, it is not so. But to quiet you, your uncle and aunts will live to be very old.” Then she spoke again, “Now, Grandson, stand up. The two-legged walkers shall follow me always. I shall follow you always. Therefore try to do what I tell you. Remember you are a man. Do not look back after you have started.”

Then they started to go around the earth.

“Do not look back,” she said.

“I wonder why she says that,” thought Hare. Then he turned his head the least little bit to the left, and looked back to the place from which they had started. Instantly everything caved in.

“Oh, my! Oh, my!” exclaimed grandmother. “Grandson, a man you are; but I thought you were a great man, so I greatly encouraged you. Now even if I wished to, I could not prevent death.”

This she meant, so they say.

[4] Then they went around the earth, to the edge of the fire which encircles the earth. That way they went, so they say.




THERE was a Creator of All Things. This Great Mystery understood all things. He had no eyes, yet he could see. He had no ears, yet he could hear. He had a body, but it could not be seen.

When the earth was first made, the Creator of All Things placed it under the water. The fish were first created. But when the Creator wanted to make men, there was no dry land. Therefore Crawfish was sent down to bring up a little earth. He brought up mud in his claws. Immediately it spread out and the earth appeared above the waters. Then the Great Mystery made men. He made the Chitimachas. It was at Natchez that he first made them.