Tale of The Second Man Who Came Out Of The Earth

In the beginning, when the people first came out of the earth into the world, Moon was the first man to enter the world. The second man was Tonin, and he was even greater than Moon and more powerful. He was only about four feet high and rode a bay horse that was no bigger than a dog. He had the power to turn darkness into light, and to wish for anything and have his wish fulfilled at once. If he wished to go a long distance, no sooner did he wish than he was there, no matter how far, and if he wished to kill any kind of game, all he had to do was to point to it with his forefinger and it lay dead before him. From time to time he disappeared and the people did not know where he went, until one time they saw him going as though on wings up into the blue sky. He was able to tell what would happen in the future, and so one time he sent the errand man to go out and call all the people to come to the meeting place, for he had something that he wanted to say to them. When the people were all assembled, he came and talked to them for half a day. He talked to them about this world in which they were living, and then he told them that in six days he was going away, and that he would be gone six winters and seven summers. He told them that he did not know exactly where he would go, but that he wanted them all to come in six days and see him start on his journey. The people went home and on the sixth day came again, and after they were there a little while Tonin came. He began to sing a song, the song of death, and then he was gradually lifted from the earth and taken into the sky. All the people wept for fear he would not come back, but they remembered his promise to return, and so took courage.

Time passed and the people remembered Tonin and his words for about three summers and three winters; then they began to forget about him and his words. Time passed on and it was time for him to return; then the world began to change. The stars became brighter and larger. Tonin had several brothers, and one of these brothers had remembered what he promised the people, so he knew that it was time for him to return. When the day came this brother gave the sign to his people that Tonin was about to return by beating six times on the drum; but some of the people had so completely forgotten Tonin that they did not even know what the sign meant. Toward evening a large star came up and shone very bright in the east, and all the people came and gathered together to watch it. When Tonin came back to earth he was pleased to see the people all there to meet him, and he told them about the future. He told them that strange people were coming into the land, and that they would frighten away the buffalo, the deer, and the bear. He stayed on earth some time, then called the people together and told them that he was going as he had gone before, but that this time he was not to return. Then he went up into the sky.

Caddo, Legends,

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

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