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The Beginning of The World

A Gashowu Yokut Legend

The prairie falcon and the raven made the earth at a time when everything was water. The beaver, the otter, the mud-hen, the mallard duck, and a duck called potikh dived and tried to reach bottom, but could not do so. Then k'uik'ui, a small duck, dived, reached the bottom, and grasped the sand there. As he rose up, it washed out of his hands, his mouth, and his ears. Only a little was left under his finger-nail.

When he came to the surface, he gave this to the prairie falcon. The prairie falcon had tobacco. This he mixed with the sand. Then he divided it, and gave half to the raven, whom he called his friend. They went far to the north. There they separated.

The prairie falcon sent the raven to go southward on the west. He himself came southward along the east where these mountains are now. As they went they dropped the sand from between the thumb and finger.

As the sand fell into the water it began to boil and the world grew from underneath. Then the raven surpassed the prairie falcon. These large mountains which are now here were then in the west. When the prairie falcon arrived he saw that the raven's mountains were the larger. Then he changed them about. He put one in the place of the other without the raven's knowledge.

So if it had not been for k'uik'ui and the prairie falcon the world would not have been made. But it was the prairie falcon who first wanted the world.

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