Myths and Tales from the San Carlos Apache
The Winning of Daylight (First Version)
It was dark everywhere for Owl wanted darkness and did not wish that there should be daylight. Bear also wanted darkness; these two were agreed about it. The people were considered what should be. “Why should it always be night? We shall never be able to see anything,” they said. “We will make a dance, against those who are stingy of darkness.” All the people who lived on the earth agreed to do this. They came where those were who wanted darkness. Bringing some wood, they said, “Let us have a good time, dancing.” The others agreed to this and a fire was built in an open plain where they danced. Those who would not give up the daylight were sitting there. Coyote said, “Come let us have a good time dancing.” They began to dance. Coyote said, “Let daylight come quickly.” Owl sang, “Let there not be daylight.” Coyote danced around singing his song. Owl got sleepy and went to sleep. Bear, too, went to sleep. The people who objected to daylight went to sleep. Then Coyote won the daylight. The people who lived on the earth said, “Thanks, my cousin.” Owl said he would live under the rocks in the deep canyons and flew into one. Bear said he would go to a large and distant mountain and live in a hollow Douglas spruce where it is dark.
Coyote won the daylight and now we have it. The people were happy.