What's new on our site today!
There was, in olden days, something the matter with the earth. It has changed. We think so. We think the Great Mystery made it and made men also.
He made them at a place called Mountains. It was eastward. When he had made the earth and these mountains, he covered the earth over with
something. He did it with his hands.
Under this, he put men. All the different tribes were there. One of the young men climbed up and found his way to the surface. It was very beautiful.
Then a deer ran past, with an arrow in its side. He followed it to where it fell and died. He looked back to see its tracks, and he soon saw other tracks.
They were the footprints of the person who shot the deer. He soon came up. It was the Maker of Men. Thus he taught the Indians what they must
do when they came out of the earth. The Creator showed the Indian how to skin the deer, and prepare it for food, and how to use the skin for dress.
When everything was ready, he said, "Make a fire."
The Indian said, "I do not know how."
Therefore the Creator made the fire. Then he said, "Put the meat on the fire. Roast it."
The Indian did this, but he did not turn the stick. Therefore it was burned on one side and not roasted on the other. So the Creator showed him how
to turn the stick.
Then the Great Mystery called all the Indians up out of the earth. They came out by tribes. To each tribe he gave a chief. Then he made a head chief over all the
tribes, who should teach them what they should do.
The Great Mystery also made Good and Evil. They were brothers. One made pleasant things grow. The other spent all his time spoiling his brother's work. He made stony places,
and rocks, and made bad fruits to grow. He made great trouble among men. He annoyed them very much. Good had to go back and do his work over again. It kept him very busy.
Then Good decided to destroy Evil.
Therefore Good proposed to run a race with Evil. When they met, Good said "Tell me first--what do you most fear?"
"Bucks' horns," said Evil. "What do you most fear?"
"Indian grass braided," said Good.
Then Evil at once went to his grandmother, who braided Indian grass. He got a great deal of it. He put the grass in the trail and put it in the limbs of the trees along the
trail where Good was to run. Good also filled the path, where his brother Evil was to run, with bucks' horns.
They said "Who shall run first?" They argued about it. At last Good said, "Well, I will, because I proposed the race." So he started off and Evil followed him.
When Good became tired, he pulled down a strand of braided grass and chewed it. Thus he ran rapidly. But Evil became tired. Yet Good would ot stop until
he reached the end of the trail.
The next day Evil started on his trail. Everywhere he was stopped by the branches of bucks' horns. They greatly annoyed him. He said to Good, "Let me stop."
Good said, "No, you must go on." At last, towards evening, Evil fell in the trail. At once Good took bucks' horns and killed him.
Then Good returned to his grandmother. She was very angry. She loved Evil. That night Good was awakened by a sound. The spirit of Evil was talking with
his grandmother. Then when Evil knew Good was awake, he said, "Let me into the wigwam." But Good always said, "No."
At last Evil said, "I go to the northwest land. You will never see me more. Those who followe me will never come back. Death will keep them."
--from Katherine Judson's 1914 collection Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes.
More stories to read:
American Indian creation mythology
Myths about the first people
Learn more about:
The Wyandot language
Back to our American Indian legend site
Buy some Native American books
Ojibwa bead work
Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?
Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2020 Contacts and FAQ page