Tales of the North American Indians
Determination Of Night And Day
Once upon a time the porcupine was appointed to be the leader of all the animals. Soon after his appointment he called them and presented the question, “Shall we have night and darkness, or daylight with its sunshine?”
[Page 40] This was a very important question, and a violent discussion arose, some wishing for daylight and the sun to rule, and others for continual night.
The chipmunk wished for night and day, weeks and months, and night to be separate from the day, so he began singing, “The light will come; we must have light,” which he continued to repeat. Meanwhile the bear began singing, “Night is best; we must have darkness.”
While the chipmunk was singing, the day began to dawn. Then the other party saw that the chipmunk was prevailing, and were very angry; and their leader, the bear, pursued the chipmunk, who managed to escape uninjured, the huge paw of the bear simply grazing his back as he entered his hole in a hollow tree, leaving its black imprint, which the chipmunk has ever since retained. But night and day have ever continued to alternate.