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
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
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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