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The Origin Of Fire

A Yaudanchi Yokut Legend

The people in the foothills had no fire. Only to the west in the plains was there a man who had fire, and he had it all.

Now when he slept, the antelope, selected for its swiftness, was sent to steal his fire. It took it and fled. It was again in sight of the place from which it had started, when a rain came, which put out the fire.

Then others tried to bring it. The last was the jackrabbit. After he had stolen the fire, he bid in a thick brush, shek'ei. There he burrowed. Then he crouched over the fire, holding it in his hands under his belly. From this the palms of his hands are black. When he stole the fire it was not extinguished; and so he obtained it for the people.

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