Native American Legends
Playing a trick on the Moon
A Snoqualmie Legend
Long ago, Snoqualm, or Moon, was chief of the heavens. One day
he said to Spider, "Make a rope of cedar bark and stretch it
from the earth to the sky."
Soon Fox and Blue Jay found the rope and climbed up it. Late at
night they came to the place where it was fastened to the underside
of the sky. Blue Jay picked up a hole in the sky, and the two of
them crawled through.
Blue Jay flew to a tree, and Fox found himself in a lake. There
he changed himself into Beaver. Moon had set a trap in the lake,
and Beaver got caught in the trap. Next morning Moon took Beaver
out of the trap, skinned him, stretched his skin out to dry, and
threw the body into a corner of the smokehouse.
The next night Beaver waited until Moon was asleep and snoring
loudly. Then he got up, took his skin from the place where it was
stretching, and put it back on. While Moon was still snoring, he
examined the house and the sky world.
Outside he found a great forest of fir and pine and cedar trees.
He pulled some of them up by their roots and then, with his spirit
powers, made them small enough to carry under one arm. Under his
other arm he put Moon's tools for making daylight. He took some
fire from below the smoke hole, put ashes and leaves and bark around
it, and carried in one hand. He found the sun hidden in Moon's house
and carried it away in his other hand.
Then Beaver found the hole Blue Jay made, changed himself back
to Fox again, and went down the rope to the earth. There he gave
the fire to the people. He set out the trees. He made the daylight.
He set the sun in its place so it would give light and heat to all.
The people were happy because of the things Fox brought from the
By this time Moon had awakened. When he found the beaver skin gone
and the sun stolen, he was very angry. He knew that one of the earth
people had tricked him. Noticing footprints around the house, he
followed them to the top of the rope Spider had made.
"I'll follow him to the earth world," Moon thought.
But as he started down, the rope broke. Both Moon and rope fell
down in a heap and were transformed into a mountain.
Today the peak is called Mount Si. The face of Snoqualm, Moon,
can still be seen on one of it's rocky walls. The trees which Fox
brought down from the sky and planted have become the great forests
of the Cascade Mountains.
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