American Indian: The Boy who Snared the Sun (cont.)

This story is part of the American Indian Fairy Tales unit. Story source: American Indian Fairy Tales by W.T. Larned, with illustrations by John Rae (1921).

The Boy who Snared the Sun (cont.)
[for audio, see previous page]

"Winter was coming, and to keep himself from freezing the boy had nothing better than a light garment woven by his sister from the wild grasses. How could he get a warm coat? As he asked himself that question, a flock of snow birds flew down, near by, and began pecking at the fallen logs, to get the worms. 'Ha!' said he. 'Their feathers would make me a fine coat.' Bending his bow, he let an arrow fly; but he had not yet learned how to shoot straight. It went wide of the mark. He shot a second, and a third; then the birds took fright and flew away.

"Each day he tried again—shooting at a tree when there was nothing better to aim at. At last he killed a snow bird, then another and another. When he had shot ten birds, he had enough. 'See, sister,' he said, 'I shall not freeze. Now you can make me a coat from the skins of these little birds.'

"So his sister sewed the skins together and made him the coat, the first warm winter coat he had ever had. It was fine to look at, and the feathers kept out the cold. Eh-yah! he was proud of it! With his bow and arrows, he strutted up and down, like a little turkey cock. 'Is it true?' he asked, 'that you and I are the only persons living on earth? Perhaps if I look around, I may find someone else. It will do no harm to try.'

"His sister feared he would come to some harm, but he had made up his mind to see the world for himself, and off he went. But his legs were short, he was not used to walking far, and he soon grew tired. When he came to a bare place, on the edge of a hill, where the sun had melted the snow, he lay down, and was soon fast asleep.

"As he slept, the sun played him a trick. It was a mild winter's day. The bird skins of which the coat was made were still fresh and tender, and under the full glare of the sun they began to shrivel and shrink. 'Eh-yah! What's wrong?' he muttered in his sleep, feeling the coat become tighter and tighter. Then he woke, stretched out his arms, and saw what had happened.

"The sun was nearly sinking now. The boy stood up and faced it, and shook his small fist. 'See what you have done!' he cried, with a stamp of his foot. 'You have spoiled my new birdskin coat. Never mind! You think yourself beyond my reach, up there, but I'll be revenged on you. Just wait and see!'"

"But how could he reach the sun?" asked Morning Glory, her eyes growing rounder and rounder.

"That is what his sister asked, when he told her about it," said Iagoo. "And what do you think he did? First, he did nothing at all but stretch himself out on the ground, where he lay for ten days without eating or moving. Then he turned over on the other side, and lay there for ten days more. At last he rose to his feet. 'I have made up my mind,' he said. 'Sister, I have a plan to catch the sun in a noose. Find me some kind of a cord from which I can make a snare.' "She got some tough grass, and twisted it into a rope. 'That will not do,' he said. 'You must find something stronger.' He no longer talked like a little boy, but like one who was to be obeyed. Then his sister thought of her hair. She cut enough from her head to make a cord, and when she had plaited it he was much pleased, and said it would do. He took it from her, and drew it between his lips, and as he did this it turned into a kind of metal, and grew much stronger and longer, till he had so much that he wound it around his body.

"In the middle of the night he made his way to the hill, and there he fixed a noose at the place where the sun would rise. He had to wait a long time in the cold and darkness. But at last a faint light came into the sky. As the sun rose it was caught fast in the noose, and there it stayed."

(700 words)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments for Google accounts; you can also contact me at