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Native American Legends

Why the Chipmunk has a black stripe

An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown

Once upon a time the porcupine was appointed to be the leader of all the animals. Soon after his appointment he called them all together and presented the question, "Shall we have night all the time and darkness, or daylight with its sunshine?"

This was a very important question, and a violent discussion took place, with some wishing for daylight and the sun to rule, and others for continual night.

The chipmunk wished for night and day, weeks and months, and night to be separate from the days, so he began singing, "The light will come; we must have the light," which he continued to repeat.

Meanwhile the bear began singing, "Night is best; we must have darkness."

While the chipmunk was singing, the day began to dawn. When the others saw that the chipmunk had won, they were very angry and their leader the bear went after the chipmunk.

The chipmunk managed to escape uninjured, but the huge paw of the bear grazed his back as he entered his hole in a hollow tree, leaving a black streak that chipmunks wear to this day.

But night and day have, ever since, continued to alternate.

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