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Grandmother Spider Steals
In the beginning there was only blackness,
and nobody could see anything.
People kept bumping into each other
and groping blindly.
They said: "What this world
needs is light."
Fox said he knew some people on the
other side of the world who had plenty of light, but they were
too greedy to share it with others.
Possum said he would be glad to steal
a little of it. "I have a bushy tail," he said. "I
can hide the light inside all that fur."
Then he set out for the other side
of the world.
There he found the sun hanging in
a tree and lighting everything up.
He sneaked over to the sun, picked
out a tiny piece of light, and stuffed it into his tail.
But the light was hot and burned
all the fur off.
The people discovered his theft and
took back the light, and ever since, Possum's tail has been
"Let me try," said Buzzard.
"I know better than to hide a piece of stolen light in
my tail. I'll put it on my head."
He flew to the other side of the
world and, diving straight into the sun, seized it with his
claws. He put it on his head, but it burned his head feathers
The people grabbed the sun away from
him, and ever since that time Buzzard's head has remained bald.
Grandmother Spider said, "Let
First she made a thick walled pot
out of clay.
Next she spun a web reaching all
the way to the other side of the world.
She was so small that none of the
people there noticed her coming.
Quickly Grandmother Spider snatched
up the sun, put it in the bowl of clay, and scrambled back home
along one of the strands of her web.
Now her side of the world had light,
and everyone rejoiced.
Spider Woman brought not only the
sun to the Cherokee, but fire with it.
She taught the Cherokee people the
art of pottery making.
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