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Native American Stories : The Earthdiver

Earth Diver

The Earth diver

In the beginning, Prairie Falcon and Crow were sitting on a log which projected above the waters that covered the world. They asked Duck what number he dreamed of, and Duck replied, “Two.” Prairie Falcon assigned him the number three and told him to dive into the water and bring up some sand from the bottom. Duck dived to get the sand, but before he reached the bottom, the three days he had been allowed expired. He awoke from his dream, died, and floated to the surface. Prairie Falcon brought him back to life however, and asked him what the trouble was. Duck said that he had come out of his dream, died, and then floated to the top.
Prairie Falcon now asked Coot what number he had dreamed of. Coot replied, “Four.” Then Prairie Falcon assigned him the number two and ordered him to dive for sand. Before Coot reached the bottom, two days elapsed, and he came out of his dream. He too died, and his body floated to the surface of the waters. Prairie Falcon saw the corpse, recovered it, and brought Coot back to life. He asked Coot what had been the trouble, and Coot replied that he had passed out of his dream.
Then Prairie Falcon asked Grebe what number he had dreamed of. Grebe replied hat he had dreamed of five. Prairie Falcon assigned him the number four, and told him that was the number of days he had to bring sand from the bottom of the waters. Grebe was successful. he dived all the way to the bottom of the waters and secured some sand in each hand. As he was returning to the surface, he passed out of his dream, died and floated to the surface. Prairie Falcon brought him back to life and asked if he had secured any sand. Grebe said that he had, so Prairie Falcon wanted to know what he had done with it. Grebe explained that it had all slipped from his grasp when he died. Prairie Falcon and Crow both laughed at him and said that they didn’t believe him. Then they looked at his hands and found sand under the fingernails. They took that sand and threw it in every direction. This is the way in which they made the world.

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