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Mar 19, 2006

Native American Legends

Butterflies

A Papago Legend

One day the Creator was resting, sitting, watching some children at play in a village. The children laughed and sang, yet as he watched them, the Creator's heart was sad. He was thinking: "These children will grow old. Their skin will become wrinkled. Their hair will turn gray. Their teeth will fall out. The young hunter's arm will fail. These lovely young girls will grow ugly and fat. The playful puppies will become blind, mangy dogs. And those wonderful flowers - yellow and blue, red and purple - will fade. The leaves from the trees will fall and dry up. Already they are turning yellow." Thus the Creator grew sadder and sadder. It was in the fall, and the thought of the coming winter, with its cold and lack of game and green things, made his heart heavy.

Yet it was still warm, and the sun was shining. The Creator watched the play of sunlight and shadow on the ground, the yellow leaves being carried here and there by the wind. He saw the blueness of the sky, the whiteness of some cornmeal ground by the women. Suddenly he smiled. "All those colors, they ought to be preserved. I'll make something to gladden my heart, something for these children to look at and enjoy."

The Creator took out his bag and started gathering things: a spot of sunlight, a handful of blue from the sky, the whiteness of the cornmeal, the shadow of playing children, the blackness of a beautiful girl's hair, the yellow of the falling leaves, the green of the pine needles, the red, purple, and orange of the flowers around him. All these he put into his bag. As an afterthought, he put the songs of the birds in, too.

Then he walked over to the grassy spot where the children were playing. "Children, little children, this is for you," and he gave them his bag. "Open it; there's something nice inside," he told them. The children opened the bag, and at once hundreds and hundreds of colored butterflies flew out, dancing around the children's heads, settling on their hair, fluttering up again to sip from this or that flower. And the children, enchanted, said that they had never seen anything so beautiful.

The butterflies began to sing, and the children listened smiling. But then a songbird came flying, settling on the Creator's shoulder, scolding him, saying: "It's not right to give our songs to these new, pretty things. You told us when you made us that every bird would have his own song. And now you've passed them all around. Isn't it enough that you gave your new playthings the colors of the rainbow?" "You're right," said the Creator. "I made one song for each bird, and I shouldn't have taken what belongs to you."

So the Creator took the songs away from the butterflies, and that's why they are silent. "They're beautiful even so!" he said.


Osiyo, this is a great legend of Kamama...(butterfly in my language) hope you enjoy as much as I do dohiya
 

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Posted: Sunday March 19, 2006, 11:18 am
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Paula P. (112)
Sunday March 19, 2006, 11:50 am
Thank you for the beautiful story.

Michelle Marie Williams (8)
Sunday March 19, 2006, 11:54 am
I have never heard this legend as i read i thought how wonderfull,I'm 38 years old and a mix of german irish and native american but yet i dont know any legends of any of my ansisters, not even a white one that is beautifull,

Samara Gooch (14)
Sunday March 19, 2006, 1:11 pm
Regardless of it's origination it's a beautiful story ;o)

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 21, 2006, 4:29 am
That is truly lovely. Thank you for sharing it!

Fred B. (26)
Tuesday March 21, 2006, 10:19 am
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

Kym S. (118)
Wednesday March 22, 2006, 6:06 am
Thanks for posting this! I hope that it's ok that I copied it, I love to tell them(Native American stories) to my son, he's only 2, but loves to hear them.

Anna Donegan (23)
Thursday March 23, 2006, 2:51 pm
Thank you for the Legend...I have read many of the Native American Ledgends, all of them beautiful...all of them with a lesson to be learned...but only to those whose hearts are open to the teaching.There are like minded and Spirited people out in the world..I am one..I have spent my life trying to nurture the planet and look after my animal Brothers and Sisters...it is my duty and my destiny and I am Happy with both...maybe the circle will yet be mended...maybe Black Elks dream will be fullfilled..they say, the tribe isn't finished untill the hearts of the women are on the ground....well, that hasn't happened yet..so there is still hope and faith!I believe in the Great Spirit....there is a power and a magic out there yet and one MAN cannot destroy.

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 23, 2006, 4:16 pm
Thoughts for All Time
"How can you buy or sell the sky,
the warmth of the land?
The idea is strange to us.
If we do not own the freshness
of the air and the sparkle of the water,
how can you buy them?"

Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe,
Excerpt from a speech in Washington, 1854
Bette M.

Jan Becker (2)
Thursday March 23, 2006, 8:55 pm
Just a curious question. I am wondering if in the Kamama folklore tales, the Creator is generally described as an embodied human?

Thank you for the mariposa tale:)

Ray McIntyre (5)
Friday March 24, 2006, 11:47 am
Lovely, Lovely!

Rev Janet Phelps-Thomas (0)
Friday March 24, 2006, 2:51 pm
I'm grateful to you for sharing such a beautiful legend.
We ARE all related. Choose to live in Beauty, with sparkling water and under crystal clear skies. Be grateful and take care of OUR Mother Earth. In order for ALL species to survive, the World needs Us and We need the World. Live in Peace and Harmony. Stand together in Love for EVERY being, from the smallest to the largest, animate or inanimate, We are ALL significant. We are ONE! Show kindness and
be compassionate. Bless you for caring! ;~)

Margaret H. (9)
Monday March 27, 2006, 2:13 am
Nice, many thanks for posting this

Diania Baker (72)
Monday March 27, 2006, 6:06 am
Thank you for this story. Butterflies are one of the most beautiful creatures on our world.

Aimee Peralta (11)
Tuesday March 28, 2006, 5:48 pm
Beutiful. Thank you.

Ruth p. (6)
Wednesday March 29, 2006, 2:09 pm
how beautiful!
thanks for sharing,
ruthc

Ryvre S. (170)
Friday March 31, 2006, 11:22 pm
How beautiful this is and what a joy to have it here. Thank you my friend and big hugs too.

Michelle M. (255)
Sunday April 2, 2006, 1:28 pm
This is the most beautiful telling of this story that I've seen. I love it!

Cheryl Meyer (0)
Sunday April 30, 2006, 7:03 pm
Thank you for sharing such a very delightful story. I enjoyed it very much. I am 55 years of age and Native American, Swedish and German Dutch. The Native American in me pulls at me and my heart. Again, thank you for such a lovely legend.

Cheryl Meyer (0)
Sunday April 30, 2006, 7:07 pm
Thank you for sharing such a very delightful story. I enjoyed it very much. I am 55 years of age and Native American, Swedish and German Dutch. The Native American in me pulls at me and my heart. Again, thank you for such a lovely legend.

Joanne D. Ferguson (563)
Tuesday July 4, 2006, 5:15 am
Such a wonderful, inspiring story, just beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. HUGS~~Joanne

Lesaann F. (76)
Monday July 31, 2006, 9:12 am
GOTTA SAY I REALLY ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL STORY & IT IS ONE THAT I WILL TELL CHILDREN TO.
THANK YOU! :-)

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 5, 2006, 9:46 pm
This is a beautiful story and has given me some insight to being nicknamed "butterfly" by a friend who is Papago Indian when I was in high school. She never explained her reason for calling me that and I have always wondered if reading my yearbook and her signature. I graduated in the 70's and have not seen her since, but this is a beautiful reminder, to me, of a beautiful friend and friendship. Thank you.

Linda X Martinez (8)
Tuesday October 10, 2006, 10:59 pm
Great story! Many thanks for sharing and making my day. Big Hugs,

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