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Old Mole's Creation

A Shasta Legend

Long, long ago, before there was any Earth, Old Mole burrowed underneath Somewhere, and threw up the Earth which forms the world. Then Great Man created the people. But the Indians were cold.

Now in the cast gleamed the white Fire Stone. Therefore Coyote journeyed eastward, and brought back the Fire Stone for the Indians. So people had fire.

In the beginning, Sun had nine brothers, all flaming hot like himself. But Coyote killed the nine brothers and so saved the world from burning up.

But Moon also had nine brothers all made of ice, like himself, and the Night People almost froze to death. Therefore Coyote went away out on the eastern edge of the world with his flint-stone knife. He heated stones to keep his hands warm, and as the Moons arose, he killed one after another with his flint-stone knife, until he had slain nine of them.

Thus the people were saved from freezing at night.

When it rains, some Indian, sick in heaven, is weeping. Long, long ago, there was a good young Indian on Earth. When he died the Indians wept so that a flood came upon the Earth, and drowned all people except one couple.

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