God had a Dog
A Kato Legend
Nagaicho, the creator, set out to create the world, and he took along a dog. He placed four big pillars at the corners of the earth to hold up the sky. He created man from the dirt, and then he created woman.
The sun became hot, the moon was cold, and trees grew everywhere. Waves danced on the surface of the ocean and all the creatures of the seas swam in it and were happy.
Then Nagaicho saw that the creatures of the earth needed water. He dragged his feet deep into the Earth and created rivers. He poked his fingers into the Earth and created flowing springs.
And the elk and the deer came to drink at the rivers and springs.
"Drink", Nagaicho said to the dog. And the dog drank from the sweet water, and Nagaicho himself lay down and drank.
"It is good. They will all drink it," said Nagaicho.
Then Nagaicho piled rocks around the edge of the water and made lakes and ponds.
"Drink the good water" he said to the dog. "Drink, my dog."
And the dog drank, and Nagaicho lay down and plunged his face in the water and drank.
"It is good," he said. "Bears and people will drink here," he said.
The Nagaicho put salamanders and turtles and little eels in the creeks.
He put grizzlies and deer in the mountains and panthers and jack rabbits.
So Nagaicho walked along, creating the creatures.
"Walk behind me, my dog," said Nagaicho. "Let us look at all that is made."
The trees were tall; the streams were full of fish. The little valleys had grown wide and full of flowering brush.
"Walk fast, my dog," he said. "The land is good."
Acorns and chestnuts hung on the trees. Berries crowded the bushes. There were many birds and snakes. The grass had grown. Grasshoppers were leaping about. There was clover.
"We made it good, my dog," said Nagaicho. And so they started back, Nagaicho and his dog.
The mountains were high; the land was flat; the creeks were full of trout. The good water raced over the rocks.
They walked along. "We are nearly home, my dog," said Nagaicho. "I will drink water. You too drink," he said to the dog.
The face of the earth was covered with growing things. The creatures were multiplying upon it.
And Nagaicho went back into the North with his dog.
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