March 13, 2002

Little Brother Snares the Sun


Source: Winnebago legend

In the old days people were not the chiefs and did not hunt animals. Animals  were the chiefs and hunted people.
The animals killed all the people except one girl and her little brother.

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They hid in a cave.   The boy learned to kill snowbirds  with a bow and arrow and made a robe from the feathers. They made soup from  the bodies of the birds and that was the first time people ate meat.

The  bright sun ruined the robe one day and the little brother swore revenge. His  sister helped him fashion a snare.

The boy traveled to the hole in the ground  where the Sun rises every morning. As the Sun rose he snared it and tied it  up so that there was no light or warmth that day.

The animals were afraid and  amazed by the boy. They sent the biggest and most fearsome animal to try and  free the sun. This was the dormouse which in those days was as big as a  mountain.

The mouse chewed through the snare freeing the sun but meanwhile  the intense heat shrunk him down to his present size.

Since that time the  people have been the chiefs and the hunters.

Winnebago / Hochunk Legends
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