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The Story Of The First Butterflies

Source: The Book Of Nature Myths

The Great Spirit thought, "By and by I will make men, but first I will
make a home for them. It shall be very bright and beautiful. There shall
be mountains and prairies and forests, and about it all shall be the
blue waters of the sea."

As the Great Spirit had thought, so he did. He gave the earth a soft
cloak of green. He made the prairies beautiful with flowers. The forests
were bright with birds of many colors, and the sea was the home of
wonderful sea-creatures. "My children will love the prairies, the
forests, and the seas," he thought, "but the mountains look dark and
cold. They are very dear to me, but how shall I make my children go to
them and so learn to love them?"

Long the Great Spirit thought about the mountains. At last, he made many
little shining stones. Some were red, some blue, some green, some
yellow, and some were shining with all the lovely colors of the
beautiful rainbow. "All my children will love what is beautiful," he
thought, "and if I hide the bright stones in the seams of the rocks of
the mountains, men will come to find them, and they will learn to love
my mountains."

When the stones were made and the Great Spirit looked upon their beauty,
he said, "I will not hide you all away in the seams of the rocks. Some
of you shall be out in the sunshine, so that the little children who
cannot go to the mountains shall see your colors." Then the southwind
came by, and as he went, he sang softly of forests flecked with light
and shadow, of birds and their nests in the leafy trees. He sang of long
summer days and the music of waters beating upon the shore. He sang of
the moonlight and the starlight. All the wonders of the night, all the
beauty of the morning, were in his song.

"Dear southwind," said the Great Spirit "here are some beautiful things
for you to bear away with, you to your summer home. You will love them,
and all the little children will love them." At these words of the Great
Spirit, all the stones before him stirred with life and lifted
themselves on many-colored wings. They fluttered away in the sunshine,
and the southwind sang to them as they went.

So it was that the first butterflies came from a beautiful thought of
the Great Spirit, and in their wings were all the colors of the shining
stones that he did not wish to hide away.

Next: The Story Of The First Woodpecker

Previous: The Bird Of Flame

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