a Blackfoot story
The Sun wished to see some land, and he told the beaver to dive down to the bottom of the water and to try to bring up a little mud so that he can make something marvelous out of it. The beaver dived and was under water for a long time, but he could not reach the bottom. Then other two animals tried, but the water was too deep for them too. In the end a turtle was sent into the ocean. It stayed there for so long that everyone thought it must be drowned. Finally it came up and while they were looking to his paws they found a little mud in them.
The Sun had dried this mud and formed the land out of it. He traveled on it, making things and fixing up the earth the way he liked it most. First, he marked out places where he wished the rivers to run. Then he made the mountains and the fields, the timber, the rocks and the small trees and all the bushes.
It was the Sun who caused grass to grow on the plains, so that the animals might have something to feed on.
He made all kinds of animals that travel on the ground. He let them move and observed them. When he had the feeling that they were not going on easily in some places he moved them elsewhere till each one found a suitable place on the land.
At last, one day, The Sun decided that he would make a woman and a child, and he modeled some clay in human shape, and after he had made these shapes and put them on the ground, he said to the clay, “You shall be people.” After 4 days he came back and said “Stand up and walk,” and so they did.
As they were standing there looking at the water as it flowed by, the woman asked The Sun, “How is it going to be? Shall we eternally live or will there be an end to us?”
The Sun said, “I have not thought of it, but we can decide it together. I will tell you how. I will throw a buffalo chip into the water, and, if it floats, the people die for four days and then live again. But, if it sinks, they will die forever.”
So he threw the chip into the water and it floated.
“No,” said the Woman, “we will not decide in that way. I will throw in this rock. If it floats, the people will die for four days. If it sinks, the people will die forever.”
Then she threw the rock out into the water, and it sank to the bottom.
“There,” said she, “it is better for the people to die forever; for, if they did not die forever, they would never feel sorry for each other, and there would be no sympathy in the world.”
“Well,” said the Sun, “let it be that way.”
Not after long time the woman’s child died, and she cried a great deal for it. She said to The Sun, “Let us change this. The law that you first made, let that be the law.”
He said, “Not so; what is made law must be law. We will undo nothing that we have done. The child is dead, but it cannot be changed. People will have to die.”
He felt peaty for the woman so the Sun created the man to help her. At the very beginning they were living separately from one another. The man was shy and afraid, but the Sun said to him to not fear and take the woman as his wife. He had done as he asked. Then the Sun gave the bow and the arrow to the man and showed him how to hunt.