A Cherokee Legend – How the Milky Way Came To Be (Version 2)

Published on September 6, 2013 by Casey

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Courtesy of National Geographic
A Cherokee Legend
How the Milky Way Came To Be

How the Milky Way Came To Be (Version 2)

Here is the same story as version 1 but told slightly differently.

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A long time ago in the Cherokee country, when the sky was all clear at night except for a few stars, there lived an old man and an old woman who made their living by beating meal and selling it to the other villagers for meat and skins.

Then one year, late in the fall, they noticed that something had been stealing some of their meal at night. They became alarmed because they knew that none of the villagers would steal their meal. They looked around the house and then around the meal pounding place and finally found the track of a giant dog. When they looked at the track they became afraid because they had never seen so big a dog track before. They thought about the size of the track and discussed the theft of the meal all day but did not decide to do anything about it that day.

That night the meal again disappeared, so the next day the old people called a meeting or a family council to see what was to be done about the giant dog. Now one, and then another, rose to speak and tell what he would do with the dog. Always the family disapproved because everyone was afraid of hurting a dog that undoubtedly was from another world.

At last the old one said that he thought everyone should bring noise makers to the house in which he lived. Then that night they could all hide around the meal beaters and wait for the giant dog. When the giant dog came they could rise up and be at the Cherokee country again.

The Family was very happy because they knew that the old one found a way to rid them of the thief.

When the stars were bright and Sister Moon had made her way half across the sky vault, the dog was seen by the family, approaching from the west. He was a great dog in size and his coat shone silver in the moonlight. When he came to the meal pounders he began to eat the meal in great gulps so that the old one was afraid, but he finally gave a shout as a signal and all the family rose and began making noise. They shouted and shook their rattles and pounded their drums until the noise rolled up the mountain like a great thunder.

The dog, hearing all this, became frightened and confused so that he ran around and around within the circle of the shouting people. Then he gave a great leap into the sky, and the meal poured out of his mouth making a white trail across the sky. That is where we can see the Milky Way which the Cherokee call to this day Gil’ LiUtsun’yi, “Where the dog ran”.

Look up and understand.

Source: littlewolfrun

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