The Coming Of Men A Long Long While Ago





Our forefathers have told us much of the coming of earth, and of

men, and it was a long, long while ago. Those who lived long before

our day, they did not know how to store their words in little black

marks, as you do; they could only tell stories. And they told of many

things, and therefore we are not without knowledge of these things,

which we have heard told many and many a time, since we were little

children. Old women do not waste their words idly, and we believe

what they say. Old age does not lie.



A long, long time ago, when the earth was to be made, it fell down

from the sky. Earth, hills and stones, all fell down from the sky,

and thus the earth was made.



And then, when the earth was made, came men.



It is said that they came forth out of the earth. Little children

came out of the earth. They came forth from among the willow bushes,

all covered with willow leaves. And there they lay among the little

bushes: lay and kicked, for they could not even crawl. And they got

their food from the earth.



Then there is something about a man and a woman, but what of them? It

is not clearly known. When did they find each other, and when had they

grown up? I do not know. But the woman sewed, and made children's

clothes, and wandered forth. And she found little children, and

dressed them in the clothes, and brought them home.



And in this way men grew to be many.



And being now so many, they desired to have dogs. So a man went out

with a dog leash in his hand, and began to stamp on the ground, crying

"Hok--hok--hok!" Then the dogs came hurrying out from the hummocks,

and shook themselves violently, for their coats were full of sand. Thus

men found dogs.



But then children began to be born, and men grew to be very many on the

earth. They knew nothing of death in those days, a long, long time ago,

and grew to be very old. At last they could not walk, but went blind,

and could not lie down.



Neither did they know the sun, but lived in the dark. No day ever

dawned. Only inside their houses was there ever light, and they burned

water in their lamps, for in those days water would burn.



But these men who did not know how to die, they grew to be too many,

and crowded the earth. And then there came a mighty flood from the

sea. Many were drowned, and men grew fewer. We can still see marks

of that great flood, on the high hill-tops, where mussel shells may

often be found.



And now that men had begun to be fewer, two old women began to

speak thus:



"Better to be without day, if thus we may be without death," said

the one.



"No; let us have both light and death," said the other.



And when the old woman had spoken these words, it was as she had

wished. Light came, and death.



It is said, that when the first man died, others covered up the body

with stones. But the body came back again, not knowing rightly how to

die. It stuck out its head from the bench, and tried to get up. But

an old woman thrust it back, and said:



"We have much to carry, and our sledges are small."



For they were about to set out on a hunting journey. And so the dead

one was forced to go back to the mound of stones.



And now, after men had got light on their earth, they were able

to go on journeys, and to hunt, and no longer needed to eat of the

earth. And with death came also the sun, moon and stars.



For when men die, they go up into the sky and become brightly shining

things there.





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