During this time, Humans and the trees had FIRE to warm themselves; FIRE frightened the animals. Still, there was no light in the night sky, causing cold and darkness for the animal Cousins. Then when Wind blew scary sounds and bent the trees, the Cousins hid in fear in their dens, nests, or holes.
One day the Animal Cousins met together to complain.
"We see the light go out as the sun falls behind Mother Earth and the trees."
"We must have light.""We cannot see the ground, the trees, or the flowers."
"We must stay in our hideouts!"
Father Snake asked, "Who will be brave and willing to travel and capture light for us?"
The cousins watched each other to wondering who would step forward and venture on such a long trip to bring back the desired light.
Cousin Rabbit hopped forward; this was the long-legged Jack that lived in the prairies. "Don't worry, with my strong feet and legs, I can jump far, I will hop, and I will find the light."
Before Rabbit set off on his journey's his cousin bought him flowers, carrots, and many other vegetables to eat. "Thank you, cousins." The foods, he put in a lightly woven basket that hung from his shoulders on his back. "I will find the light and carry the glow back in my basket." Off Rabbit hopped as cousins stood on the hill and waved.
Soon after, in the distance, the cousins saw Rabbit hopping back. His feet swallowed, and his fur burnt into browns. Approaching his watching cousins, Rabbit said, "I have failed. The longer I hopped, the farther the light moved away from me. No matter how high I jumped, I could not catch the ball of light, which sank behind the trees and into the ocean, steaming red and yellow light. I'm so sorry." The cousins patted Rabbit and gave him hugs, "We understand and appreciate your efforts."
On hearing this, Cousin Fox shoved his way to the center circle. Father Snake gestures him to speak. "My dear cousins, there is nothing to fear, the great Fox is here. With my strong legs and my find sense of sight, I'll find the light, and I'll bring it back tonight."
He took the basket from Rabbit and placed it on his back. The cousins cheered as Cousin Fox trotted after the light.
A day and night later, Cousin Fox limped back into the circle of cousins. His head lowered, his feet swelled, and his fur ruffled. "I ran as fast as I could, and as I ran further and further, I did come close to the light, which blasted into the air into a blazing rounded ball. As it sank into the ocean, the FIRE burned and steamed as a thick cloud. I not could see or run fast enough to catch the light before it fell under Mother Earth." His cousins patted him and gave Cousin Fox hugs, "You did the best you could."
Cousin Eagle approached the center of the circle and stood tall. The cousins watched the mighty bird spread his wings, and he spoke. "I will bring my cousins light. My wings are strong, and I have enough power. I will catch the light while it is in the sky before it falls into the ocean." He took the basket from Cousin Fox and put it on his back.
Not too long after, Cousin Eagle, with his wings drooping and his feathers ruffled, said, "I flew over mountains, rivers, and prairies to the ocean. I did find the light before it fell into the waters of at the edge of Mother Earth. Hot flashes of the FIRE flung into the sky as Wind blew, the flames burnt my feathers. I was too weak to capture the light as it sank. I'm a disappointment to all my cousins. Please forgive me." The cousins gathered around Cousin Eagle, patting and hugging him. "You did your best, and we are very appreciative."
Silence hung around the cousins as the sun's light moved behind the trees, ready to sink into Mother Earth. The cousins complained about the darkness, the cold, and not seeing each other or the trees. The biggest fear was Wind's howl in the dark.
Grandma Spider heard Cousins Rabbit, Fox, and Eagle describe the light. She crawled through all the complaints to the center of the circle. The cousins did not notice her until she said in her small voice in her soft way, "I will bring the light to my cousins."
Everyone stopped to see who spoken. The cousins snickered and chuckled at Grandma Spider.
"You can't even lift the basket."
"You have eight legs that are tiny and thin."
"How far can you travel?"
"You are much too old."
Grandma Spider said to her cousins, "All you say is true. I'm tiny. My legs are thin, so I have eight. I'm old, so I carry no big basket. However, I will bring the light back. I am wise due to my age."
Grandma Spider did not carry the basket. She walked as far as Cousin Rabbit hopped, as Cousin Fox ran, and as Cousin Eagle flew crossing deserts, prairies, and forests.
Grandma Spider walked around lakes, hopped across rivers, climbed the highest mountains, and skipped among the highest clouds. As she traveled, Grandma Spider spun a thread behind her so she could find her way home. Through many days Grandma Spider walked; she rested during the dark, cold nights. She did not eat.
Along a riverbank, she found clay. She molded a bowl, in which she would carry the light back to her cousins.
Finally, Grandma Spider saw the evening glow between the light and the darkness at the edge of Mother Earth. The glow turned orange, and then it became a red-pink. As she crept closer to see what happened, the glow turned red-yellow. Many Sky People danced around the light as it sank into the ocean.
The Sky People vast and towering sang in loud voices while they danced in thumping steps. Grandma Spider called to them. "May I have a piece of the FIRE?" Her words lost in their song and movements.
As Grandma Spider approached the FIRE, she observed that flashes reached through the sky. Grandma Spider moved to every edge of a flame. In two legs, she held the bowl, with two legs she wrapped her silk, which was firm and sticky circling two others. Waiting for a flash to dart into the sky, quickly with her last two legs, she threw the silk around the flame to bound a flicker, which broke off. She put the bound twinkle into her clay bowl. Then Grandma Spider grasped the end of her silk thread to follow back to her cousins.
The light in the silk bag became hotter. Grandma Spider took the lustrous silk and threw it into the sky. The yellow-orange silk hung spreading light; Grandma Spider said, "This is the Moon." The sparkles of silk flowing around the Moon resembled small diamonds. Grandma Spider said, "These are Stars." A tiny spark remained in the clay bowl, she carried this spark home.
Grandma Spider enjoyed her walk back through the many places she traveled. She was pleased with her success for her cousins.
Her cousins could not believe Ole Grandma Spider returned.
"You were gone for days and nights."
"A bright round glow hangs the dark sky."
"Sparkles are everywhere."
Grandma spider smiled respectfully. "Around a ball of FIRE in the sky danced tall Sky People. As they sank into the ocean, I took a flame of light that reached into the night and wrapped it in my silk. As I traveled home, that piece of light became hot, so hot, I threw it into the night sky. The large orange glow is the Moon. The sparkles that glimmered around the Moon are Stars."
The animal cousins gazed into the night pleased with the light. "Thank you, Grandma Spider. We do appreciate and have gratitude for your strength and wisdom."
She offered her cousin, "There is a small piece of light in the clay bowl, you may have and share it." The animal cousins did not want the light, which frightened them. The story of Beaver's offering to all the trees and how FIRE eat they knew too well.
Only the Monkeys took the offering of the light and carried it back to their jungles in the tiny clay bowl. They knew the story of Hummingbird and how the Ecuadorians took the Pine's offering of FIRE and keep it in a pit, a hearth.
Since that day, during the nights, the cousins sit under the sky. They watch the Moon travel through the darkness exploding with stars to the edge of night and into the light of day. They tell how tiny Ole Grandma Spider crossed Mother Earth and bound a flash of FIRE with her silk string for their night light.
YOU ARE READING
Fire, the HungerFantasy
Earth was created. Animals and humans lived in harmony, no fear among them. Day fill of warm and light, and life was lived. Night brought cold and dark, and human and animals hid in fear. From folktales and legends around the world, stories that tel...