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Native American Legends

The Spider's Eye

A Winnebago (Hotcâk) Legend

When Earth-Maker had completed his creation of the world, he looked for a creature that could watch over his creation. First Earthmaker appointed Turtle to oversee things, but his legs were so stubby that he could not see very far at all. So he was recalled. Then Earth-Maker appointed Kaghiga (Crow/Raven) to oversee the world. Kaghiga could see far and wide, but he did more than just watch: he gave orders to everyone, and never was he silent for even a moment. Thus Earthmaker recalled Kaghiga. Then Earthmaker appointed Bear. Bear could stand on his hind legs and see well and could even climb trees so that he could see in every direction. However, Bear had a terrible temper, and soon frightened the whole of creation. So Earthmaker recalled him as well.

Then Earthmaker appointed Spider to watch over the world. Spider was without any passion, so no one feared her. Her voice was so small that only Earthmaker himself could hear her. Because she could climb, Spider was able to see far and wide. In the beginning, Spider had only two eyes like everyone else, but just to make sure that she could see everywhere, Earthmaker gave her six new eyes, one eye for each direction. Ever since, spiders have had eight eyes.

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