Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/207

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the earth below a mountain named Cerra Naztarny.[1] The only light was a kind of daybreak, which lasted only for a few hours. They had two flute-players among them; one of them chanced to touch the top of the cave; it sounded hollow, and they bored a hole to the outer air. The moth-worm first crept out, the racoon followed; his legs stuck in the mud outside, and that is the reason why the racoon has black legs even to the present day. Then men and animals followed. The earth was very small at first, and "there was no heaven." There was still very little light, and the old men determined to make sun, moon, and stars. VVhen the sun and moon appeared, they were given to the two flute-players, who have carried them about ever since. The people were beginning to embroider the stars on the sky in a beautiful pattern, representing bears and other creatures, when the prairie wolf, an inartistic character, exclaimed, "Why are you taking so much trouble in making all this embroidery; just stick the stars about anywhere," and he tossed the heap all over the heavens. Thus there are only a few constellations, those named after animals, remains of the original embroidery. The Spaniards and firearms came from heaven in this wise. There was an inveterate Navajoe gambler, who had "cleared out" the whole nation. The old men, in revenge, fastened him to a bow-string and shot him up into the air. After a short absence he returned, bringing with him firearms and Spaniards.

This, it will be observed, is a most atheistic my-

  1. Schoolcraft, iv. 89.