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Native American Legends

The Twelve Stars

A Seneca Legend

Twelve children were playing together on the grass near their fathers' cabins. They thought they would play a new game, and they invented one. They joined hands in a circle and danced, not swinging around, but standing in one place. As they danced they sang: "We are dancing. We are dancing."

Their parents were watching them and listening to their song, when all at once they noticed that their feet did not touch the ground. The parents were frightened and ran out to stop the dancing, but the children were already above their heads in the air and going higher and higher, always singing: "We are dancing. We are dancing."

They went up and up until they disappeared, still holding hands, and they were next seen as twelve stars in the heavens just above their fathers' cabins. One got a little out of the circle and therefore appears a little at one side of the others.

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