Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Native origin of the stars from HEIRLOOM...


For what seemed like hours… and may have been… they danced and danced and told stories. One of the stories had caught Hathorne’s attention, mostly because Chula told it but, also because of his interest in folklore and science. Thankfully, they used English in honor of their guest.

“Grandfather,” began Chula…
“We humbly thank you for our harvest this season… most bountiful as it proved to be… and for keeping us safe in our land…”

Chula looked down from the sky. Interestingly enough, he prayed looking to the heavens. Hathorne had always prayed with eyes closed and head bowed in reverence. Chula was not a bad man, he knew. This must’ve been the way they prayed… simple as that.
Interesting, thought Hathorne.

Standing before the fire and looking all around at the many people in the square, he sprinkled something in the air that sparkled when they touched the flames. “Do you know where the stars come from?”

Children began to stop fidgeting and listened more intently, Hathorne noticed.

“Listen carefully and I will relate the story. Several warriors left their homelands to travel far to the east… they were on a mission to find the sun and return it to the heavens. For the sun had disappeared and did not return for many days and the people were with great fear and longing for the day… living in perpetual night. Predators were feeding without end, killing livestock and people throughout the entire cycle of the stars which now had no end…”

Chula looked sad… the young children listened with great intent to his story. Worry for the people in the story seemed to widen their eyes.

“So, these brave warriors set out to find the sun and return it to its former position of authority… as high upon the kingdom of the sky… ruler of the light!”

The children responded well to his voice, Hathorne noted. Chula was very good at this. Of course, he heard one of Chula’s stories before… only that was before Chula was speaking plainly enough to be understood. Hathorne snorted at the irony. Chula continued…

“… all the way to the Eastern horizon they went. Farther than anyone had ever been before… farther than the seas… farther than the lands beyond the seas… to the very edge of the Earth itself!”

Several quick breaths could be heard then.

“When the warriors found the edge of the Earth, there was a tremendous ridge… as high as many trees could reach, end to end… it was higher than anyone had ever been before. Yet, it was their task to continue, for the sun was still not present. He still had not reclaimed his domain. So, high upon that ridge they climbed… higher and higher… until they could hardly breathe. At last… they found the top. But, still… the sun could not be found. As they looked around the ridge, however… several animals resembling porcupines were scurrying about. They looked like normal porcupines except that their fur was very special… when they stopped and shook their little bodies, tiny lightening would ripple across the quills and fly out away from their bodies… there were so many quills and so much light that they shined brightly. Several of them would float into the sky as this happened and remain there for some great time while others searched for food on the ground. Does anybody know what these shining animals were?”

All of the children were raising their hands. Some of them held up both and some were saying “Cococampa!”

Chula smiled and was nodding…
“That’s right… they were the stars that we see at night… only from where we live, they are so small, all we see is the light they give off. Well… these warriors invited one of the porcupines to come back with them… being such an interesting find. The porcupine agreed and even helped them to find the sun. Apparently, the sun felt that people didn’t appreciate him anymore since he had not heard his song in so long… and, in fact, the people of this time were quite negligent in giving their thanks to the heavens. They took the heavens and all of its inhabitants for granted, just assuming that they would always be there. Well, the sun had feelings too. He didn’t like being taken for granted and wanted to hear his song. So, the warriors stood in a large circle and began to sing a song of light… a song of the day…

The great orb of light felt pride in hearing his song and came rising toward the ridge, coming faster and faster as the warriors sang! He rose upward until at last, he broke the ridge and light spread out across the lands! People all across the Earth praised the sun and began to sing his song again. They rejoiced! And the sun shone brighter and brighter until the crops were climbing out of the soil to meet his light… and predators fled back into the forests…
The warriors thanked the sun for his return and began the long journey home with their new friend star. And when they arrived back in their own lands, their friends welcomed them in great happiness and delight. Each of their dances found the porcupine star shining brightly for them. The people were happy then.”

Chula looked very happy, then very sad. The children responded in awe with only that simple change in Chula’s face. Hathorne smiled in amazement.

“The porcupine was lonely for his own people. He began to dance more slowly each night until the Mico sat him down to have a talk with him. Mico was wise and knew what troubled the little star. So, he promised that he would assemble his warriors for another trip to the land of the stars and they would guide him home. This made the porcupine so happy that he began to glow more brightly than ever before. The Mico took him from his lodge before it would catch the flames and burn. Together they stood and laughed… Mico and the porcupine star.

The next day, Mico assembled his warriors who were quite happy to return the little star to his home. That night they celebrated for their friend and prepared for the trip. The little porcupine thanked them all and Grandfather for the wonderful experience he had among these people… he promised to always hold a special place in the heavens for them… and after he returned to his home, Grandfather granted him a permanent place among his fellows… so that all of his people would surround him throughout the night and he, alone would remain steady. It was a place where he could be with his own people and always be able to see his newfound friends in the distance… to shine for them throughout the night. So, in the constellation we know as the little bear he remains to this day, watching us still… never leaving his place.”