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Grandmother Spider steals the Sun

A Cherokee Legend

Now, when Earth was brand new, there was much confusion, for there was darkness everywhere. All of Earth's Peoples kept bumping into each other, and were often hurt. They all cried out for light, that they might see.

Fox said that he knew of some people on the other side of the world who had plenty light. He said that it was nice and warm, but those people were too greedy to share it with anyone else. Possum said that he would steal Sun. "I have a beautiful, bushy tail," he said. "I can hide the Sun in all of that fur. Let me try."

So Possum went to the other side of the world and found the Sun. It was hanging up in a Tree and lighting up everything. Possum took a piece of the Sun and hid it in the fur of his tail. But Sun was so hot that it burned all of Possum's tail hairs off. To this day, Possum has a bare tail. The people discovered Possum and took the piece of the Sun back.

Buzzard said, "I will take the Sun myself. I will put it on my head, so that I can see where I am going with it." So he tried to take the Sun too. He flew to the other side of the world, and dived down to snare the Sun in his claws. But it was so hot that it burned all of Buzzard's feathers off of his head. To this day, Buzzard's head is bald and ugly. The people discovered Buzzard, and took the Sun back.

Then Grandmother Spider said, "Let me try." First, she made a very thick clay pot, big enough to put the Sun in. Then, she spun a web which reached all the way to the other side of the world. She was so small and quiet that these people did not notice her at all. When she was ready, she quickly snatched up the Sun in her big clay pot, and hurried back home along her web. Now her side of the world had light, and warmth. Everyone rejoiced at Grandmother Spider's gift.

Spider Woman brought the Sun to the Principal People, the Cherokee, but also the gift of fire. She also taught them to make pottery.

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