The Story Of The First Diamonds

: The Book Of Nature Myths

The chief of an Indian tribe had two sons whom he loved very dearly.

This chief was at war with another tribe, and one dark night two of his

enemies crept softly through the trees till they came to where the two

boys lay sound asleep. The warriors caught the younger boy up gently,

and carried him far away from his home and his friends.

When the chief woke, he cried, "Where is my son? My enemies have been

ere and have stolen him."

All the Indians in the tribe started out in search of the boy. They

roamed the forest through and through, but the stolen child could not be


The chief mourned for his son, and when the time of his death drew near,

he said to his wife, "Moneta, my tribe shall have no chief until my boy

is found and taken from our enemies. Let our oldest son go forth in

search of his brother, and until he has brought back the little one, do

you rule my people."

Moneta ruled the people wisely and kindly. When the older son was a man

she said to him, "My son, go forth and search for your brother, whom I

have mourned these many years. Every day I shall watch for you, and

every night I shall build a fire on the mountain top."

"Do not mourn, mother," said the young man. "You will not build the fire

many nights on the mountain top, for I shall soon find my brother and

bring him back to you."

He went forth bravely, but he did not come back. His mother went every

night to the mountain top, and when she was so old that she could no

longer walk, the young men of the tribe bore her up the mountain side in

their strong arms, so that with her own trembling hand she could light

the fire.

One night there was a great storm. Even the brave warriors were afraid,

but Moneta had no fear, for out of the storm a gentle voice had come to

her that said, "Moneta, your sons are coming home to you."

"Once more I must build the fire on the mountain top," she cried. The

young men trembled with fear, but they bore her to the top of the


"Leave me here alone," she said. "I hear a voice. It is the voice of my

son, and he is calling, 'Mother, mother.' Come to me, come, my boys."

Coming slowly up the mountain in the storm was the older son. The

younger had died on the road home, and he lay dead in the arms of his


In the morning the men of the tribe went to the mountain top in search

of Moneta and her sons. They were nowhere to be seen, but where the

tears of the lonely mother had fallen, there was a brightness that had

never been seen before. The tears were shining in the sunlight as if

each one of them was itself a little sun. Indeed, they were no longer

tears, but diamonds.

The dearest thing in all the world is the tear of mother-love, and that

is why the tears were made into diamonds, the stones that are brightest

and clearest of all the stones on the earth.