The Stars And The Pine
Category: CHEROKEE TALES
Source: Indian Legends Retold
Once there were seven little boys who spent most of their time down at
the town house, playing a game with wheel-shaped stones and a curved
stick like a hockey-stick. Their mothers thought they played too much,
and one day, when they were boiling the corn for dinner, they put some
round stones in the pot and served these to the little boys instead of
This made the boys angry, and instead of staying at home they went
right back to the town house and began to dance. Round and round they
went, faster and faster, until their feet came quite off the ground,
and they were dancing on air. When their mothers came to look for
them, they were already out of reach.
The mothers screamed, and one caught up a game stick and contrived to
pull her son down, but the other six went straight up into the sky;
and there they are now, as the six bright stars named Pleiades, which
the Cherokees call "The Boys."
As for the seventh little boy, he struck the ground with such force
that he sank in and was seen no more. His wretched mother watered the
spot every day with her tears, and after a long time there sprang up a
slender shoot of green which grew into a pine tree. This was the very
first pine. Perhaps you did not know that the Pine has a heart of
flame and is a brother to the Stars.
One contrived to pull her son down, but the other six went up
into the sky.
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