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First Creator and Lone Man (Version 2)

A Mandan Legend

In the beginning, the surface of the Earth was covered with water and everything was dark. The First Creator and Lone Man were walking upon the surface of the water when they saw something move - a little duck.

They sent the duck diving right down to the bottom of the ocean, and it brought back some sand. First Creator and Lone Man used this sand to make the Earth.

First Creator took the South and made the hill country, full of valleys and mountains and flowing streams. Lone Man took the North and made the plains, flat land with lakes and ponds. First Creator filled his land with game: Buffalo, Deer, and Antelope. Lone Man had made Cattle and Sheep.

First Creator was not very impressed with the land Lone Man had made. "There's nowhere to hide!" he said. But Lone Man just shrugged his shoulders. "Well, it's done now," he replied. "It's too late to change it."

Men and women peopled the land. When hard times came, Lone Man saw the people's suffering and wanted to share it. So he entered into some corn that a young girl was eating and she gave birth to him as a human being.

Lone Man was born as a man and lived with the girl's tribe. He was pure and good, and always the peacemaker in every quarrel. He never married, but the children loved him and followed him everywhere.

He taught the people many important things. But eventually it was time for him to leave them. So he instructed the tribe to set up a cedar trunk as a totem pole in the center of the village, to paint it red, and to burn incense to it. "This cedar is my body," he said," which I leave with you to protect you from all harm." And then he departed.

As for First Creator, he turned into a Coyote.

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