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Native American Legends

The theft from the Sun

A Blackfoot Legend

Once Old Man was traveling around, when he came to the Sun's lodge, and the Sun asked him to stay awhile. Old Man was very glad to do so.

One day the meat was all done, and the Sun said, "Kyi! Old Man, what say you we go and kill some deer?"

"You speak well," replied Old Man. "I like deer meat."

The Sun took down a bag and pulled out a beautiful pair of leggings. They were embroidered with porcupine quills and bright feathers. "These," said the Sun, "are my hunting leggings. They are great medicine. All I have to do is put them on and walk around a patch of brush, when the leggings set it on fire and drive the deer out so I can shoot them."

"Hai-yah!" exclaimed Old Man. "How wonderful!" He made up his mind he would have those leggings, even if he had to steal them.

They went out to hunt, and the first patch of brush they came to, the Sun set on fire with his hunting leggings. A lot of white-tail deer ran out, and they each shot one. That night, when they went to bed, the Sun pulled off his leggings and placed them to one side.

Old Man saw where he put them, and in the middle of the night, when everyone else was asleep, he stole them and went off. He traveled a long time, until he had gone far and was very tired and then, making a pillow of the leggings, lay down and slept.

In the morning, he heard someone talking. The Sun was saying, "Old Man, why are my leggings under your head? He looked around, and saw he was in the Sun's lodge, and thought he must have wandered around and got lost, and returned there. Again the Sun spoke, and said, "What are you doing with my leggings?"

"Oh," replied Old Man, "I couldn't find anything for a pillow, so I just put these under my head."

Night came again, and again Old Man stole the leggings and ran off. This time he did not walk at all, he just kept running until pretty near morning, and then lay down and slept.

You see what a fool he was. He did not know that the whole world is the Sun's lodge. He did not know that, no matter how far he ran, he could not get out of Sun's sight.

When morning came, he found himself still in the Sun's lodge. But this time the Sun said: "Old Man, since you like my leggings so much, I will give them to you. Keep them." Then Old Man was very glad and went away.

One day his food was all gone, so he put on the medicine leggings and set fire to a piece of brush. He was just going to kill one deer that was running out when he saw that the fire was getting close to him. He ran away as fast as he could but the fire gained on him and began to burn his legs. His leggings were all on fire.

He came to a river and jumped in, and pulled off the leggings as soon as he could. They were burned to pieces.

Perhaps the Sun did this to him because he tried to steal his leggings.

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