Legend Of The Flood In Sacramento Valley
Source: Myths And Legends Of California And The Old Southwest
Maidu (near Sacramento Valley, Cal.)
Long, long ago the Indians living in Sacramento Valley were happy.
Suddenly there came the swift sound of rushing waters, and the valley
became like Big Waters, which no man can measure. The Indians fled, but
many slept beneath the waves. Also the frogs and the salmon pursued them
and they ate many Indians. Only two who fled into the foothills escaped.
To these two, Great Man gave many children, and many tribes arose. But
one great chief ruled all the nation. The chief went out upon a wide
knoll overlooking Big Waters, and he knew that the plains of his people
were beneath the waves. Nine sleeps he lay on the knoll, thinking
thoughts of these great waters. Nine sleeps he lay without food, and his
mind was thinking always of one thing: How did this deep water cover the
plains of the world?
At the end of nine sleeps he was changed. He was not like himself. No
arrow could wound him. He was like Great Man for no Indian could slay
him. Then he spoke to Great Man and commanded him to banish the waters
from the plains of his ancestors. Great Man tore a hole in the mountain
side, so that the waters on the plains flowed into Big Waters. Thus the
Sacramento River was formed.
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