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240 | 35. Sun Sets the World Afire (first version)1 long ago the sun was a man. his house was just this side [northwest] of San Francisco Mountain. His house, a little mountain [inyanuwa’ha, sun’s house] was burned so that now it is a round red hole.2 The sun was not a good man. He said he would like to have men come from other countries. He called to them to come and play games: the hiding game, the hoop-and-pole, the cup-and-pin game, and run footraces. His own relatives who lived there played with those who came, and always won from them. Then they killed the strangers, butchered, and ate them. This is what they always did. Sun was chief of his relatives. Pine Squirrel3 was also a smart man. “Let us see who is the best. Let us play for people as stakes,” they both said. Sun said, “If I win your relatives, I will cut their bellies open,” and Pine Squirrel said he would do the same. Pine Squirrel’s name was Amagwiθita. They began to boast to each other. Sun said, “I have a good young runner, the antelope. What have you?” Squirrel said, “I have a young doe.” “Well, start that one first; we will see who can win. If my antelope beats your doe, I will kill you.” So these two started first to the north, then far around to the west, halfway around the earth, before they turned back. At first the antelope ran ahead, until they started to turn back, when the doe ran ahead and reached home before the antelope. So Sun said, “Your doe has beaten my great runner, the antelope, so you can kill me now.” Squirrel carried a long knife in his hand, but when he was about to do it, Sun cried, “Wait, we will try something else.” Sun had many daughters, so he said, “I want your relatives to have my daughter. See if you can find out how my daughter’s privates feel.” The squirrel people said, “All right, we are going to do it.” Squirrel sun sets the world afire (first version) | 241 warned them, “Don’t heed him, my relatives. I think this is very hard to do. I am the chief and I will try first. I will test her with some object, and if it is all soft like my hand then you can have your way.” So he got a very hard bone as big around as his neck, and fastened it secretly in place of his penis. He thrust it in a little way. The vagina was toothed and began to chew it until there was only a stump left. By this time the teeth were all broken off. Then Squirrel said, “Now I have fixed it good. Go ahead and have your will.” Sun said, “You beat me twice. You are pretty smart, so you have won. I do not know any more tests.” Then Squirrel spoke to his own relatives. Mountain Lion, Wolf, and other animals were his relatives. “Everybody should pounce on Sun, cut him open, break back his ribs, and cut his heart out.4 Everybody should take a bit, but do not drop any blood on the ground. If you do not do as I say something will happen to frighten you,” said Squirrel. So Squirrel’s relatives sprang upon Sun, cut him open and broke back his ribs, but they became frightened and left him without cutting out his heart. Sun was not killed. After a while he got up and said, ‘Where is my fire drill?” He found it hanging under the roof of his house. He took it down and rubbed it between his cheek and hand. So he set fire to his house and let the flames spread to the trees and grass, until it spread all over the world. “I do not want anybody to be left alive,” he thought. Squirrel knew what Sun was thinking, so he became frightened and ran away, with his relatives following. The squirrel chief said, “Soon we will no longer be alive. We did not cut his breast [heart] off. We will all be burnt up. I wanted you to cut the heart off and devour it. I knew what had best be done. I told you, but you did not do it. Now you will be killed. You had better go do it. Walk back...


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MARC Record
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