Tale of The Origin Of Day And Night

In the beginning the people all lived in darkness. After a time they became dissatisfied and wanted light. They called a council to discuss how they could get light. Coyote was the first to speak, and he said: “We have had enough darkness; we must now have light. It is right that we should have both and not all darkness.” There was a man at that time who was a prophet, and Coyote said that he appointed the prophet to investigate and see how the people might obtain light. The prophet thought over the question and then reported:

“There are yellow, black, spotted, half-spotted, and white deer upon the earth. These deer are here for some purpose. If you kill the yellow deer, everything shall be yellow all the time. If you kill the white deer, everything shall be white all the time. If you kill the spotted one, everything shall be spotted and very bad. If you kill the black one, everything shall be black as it is now. But if you kill both the black and the white deer, then we shall have day and night. During the day everything will be white, and we can go about and hunt and visit, and during the night we can return to our homes and rest.”

The people accepted the prophet’s words and started out and hunted until they killed the black and white deer, and from that time we have had day and night.

Caddo, Legends,

Dorsey, George A. Traditions of the Caddo. Washington: Carnegie Institution. 1905.

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