Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Song fo the Stars-Part III

Part III

The next night the children begged for the tale of Brothers Raven and Crow. Star Singer grinned and cawed realistically at the upturned faces,

“All of you know that we are not First Man. What happened to the First Men?” She waited with dancing eyes, then the children shouted raggedly.

“Great Spirit burned them up!!!”

“Yes dears, that’s right.” Star Singer took a deep breath before beginning the Tale of Raven and Crow.

“In the time before us there was First Man, the first people Great Spirit and Star Woman made. They watched their First Children with love and pride, but there was something wrong with First Man. It seemed that they were Trickster’s puppets, and gladly followed his yips and yowls.

Earth Mother grew sorrowful as First Men did not respect Her and treat Her with love. She sent Brother Rainbow Raven to Great Spirit begging his help. When Great Spirit saw First Men digging in the flesh of Earth Mother and spoiling the sweet Tears of the Mother.

It was with great sorrow and shame that Great Spirit chose to purify Earth Mother and begin again. He called Brothers Rainbow Raven and Many Coloured Crow to His Star Lodge and spoke with them.

“I must purify the Earth Mother, and make sure that none of First Men remain to injure Earth Mother. I must burn everything and start anew. I need Ravens and Crows to carry fire to all places and watch to make sure that nothing lives through the fire.

As sad as Brothers Rainbow Raven and Many Coloured Crow were, they agreed with Great Spirit, and said yes to his request.

Who knows why Raven is called Rainbow and Crow is named Many Coloured?”

“Because when Great Spirit made them, they had feathers in all colours!!” The children responded enthusiastically.

“Yes, they were beautiful to behold, with all colours shining in their feathers. Rainbow Raven was a bit more handsome than Many Coloured Crow, as his feathers glistened and changes colour in the sun.

At the time that Great Spirit decreed, a great flock of ravens and crows flew up to Great Spirit’s Star Lodge. He gave each bird a burning brand to start the fires with.

“What did the ravens and crows do then?”

“They flew back to Mother Earth!!” Some of the smallest children were dozing in their blankets, and soon their mothers would retrieve them, and then settle them into their furs in the tipi. As they had always done, the women brought each sleeping child up to Star Singer for a kiss before taking them to bed.

“They did, and as Great Spirit asked, they set fire to everything. Over and over the birds dipped low enough to set fire to grasses, lodges, and trees.

The other animals fled before the flames, mad with their fear of fire. First Man tried to fight the fire, go against Great Spirit’s wishes, but the fire was too great and every living thing on the world died in the flames.

When the Ravens and Crows returned to Great Spirit, he looked at them with sorrow. All of their pretty feathers had been burned black by the fire. No matter what they did to clean themselves the black remained stubbornly there.

Rainbow Raven has a ghost of his rainbow feathers, you can see them gleam with secret colours in the sun.”

Star Singer sipped from her bowl of cooled wild cherry bark tea. Then she began to sing, soft and low at first.

“Before The People
First Man
Walked upon
Mother Earth.
Great Spirit
Bade them love
Earth Mother.
Treat Her with
Kindness
And respect
At all times
In all ways.

First Man was
Rebellious
He refused
To do what
Great Spirit
Asked of them.
He dug metals
From the flesh
Of Earth Mother.
She cried out to
Great Spirit
‘Stop this hurt!’

Great Spirit
Looked down to
Earth Mother.
He saw the scars
In her flesh.
He smelled
Filth in the
Sweet air.
He saw the
Good water
Defiled,
Too despoiled
For any to drink.

He called to’
Rainbow Raven
And his cousin
Many Coloured Crow.
Help me undo
The hurt done to
Earth Mother.
Purify Her
And begin life
Over again.
Raven and Crow
Honour Great Spirit.

They carried fire
Over the world
Diving to start
Cleansing flames.
Over and over
They swooped
Low to ground.
Touch the
Brand to grass,
Light the trees.
Burned away
All First Men.

Raven and Crow
Returned to
Great Spirit
In Star Lodge.
When he saw
Their feathers,
He wept for
Lost beauty.
No longer did
They shine all
Colours under
The warm Sun.

Now they were
Shining Black.
They sacrificed
Their beauty to
Obey Great Spirit.
They tried to
Wash the smoke
And ash from
Their feathers.
Still they were
Shining Black
As storm clouds.

Great Spirit
Bade them stay
Become His
Messengers.
Raven and Crow
Were honoured.
They remained
Awaiting His call.
Great Spirit
Looked down
And saw lonely
Mother Earth.

Star Woman
Came at His call.
Together they made
The world anew,
All of the things
In the Seas,
Every growing
Tree and flower.
The Animals
Great and small.
And Second Man
Came to be also.

The People
Looked at their
World and they
Knew wonder
And gratitude
To Great Spirit.
“We thank you.”
Tell us, please
How to serve
You, Star Woman
And Mother Earth
The best we can.”

Great Spirit,
Star Woman and
Mother Earth
Knew great joy.
“Know us as
Mother and
Father to you,
Obey our wishes
Love and respect
Mother Earth.
Obey My Laws
Follow Star Woman.”

The People still follow Great Spirit’s Way, honouring Earth Mother, praying to Great Spirit, honouring Star Woman; they remember to thank Earth Mother for their food. They honour the spirits of the food they gather, the trees they use to build canoes, lodges, and the Sacred Sweat Lodge. They respect their Mother, and all the living things on Her.

To this day, Brothers Raven and Crow are honoured for their obedience to Great Spirit and carry his messages to The People. Mother Earth rewards us with Her abundance and variety. From her we get the plants we use, the animals we hunt, the waters for us to drink.

Great Spirit’s heart is full of love and pride of The People, and he brings them many blessings, and a life that is good, and happy. Every time you sing a thank you for leaves, berries, rice, or the meat in the stew, you are thanking Great Spirit and honouring Earth Mother.”

The fire was down to simmering coals, and all but the eldest of the children were asleep. Star Singer looked at all the faces, flushed with sleep and happy.

“Great Spirit, thank You for bringing The People together, and the children to my tipi, I will never be old, or be unhappy with the life You have given me.”

2 Comments:

At 3:21 AM, Blogger faucon of Sakin'el said...

This will become a book, of course --

I know those who would use it.

 
At 4:04 AM, Blogger Gwen M. Myers said...

I knew that it would become a book as sooon as the first words welled up from my subconscious. Between this, and the idea I have for my Alphabet...

Just what I need!!! Another two books clamouring for my mind and spirit. Truly, the timing is excellent, I need the distraction sooo badly at this time.

Besides... I really like Star Singer!!

 

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