Walks-the-Sky and Walking-Early from a Native American folktale
1 A chief ruled the sky. His two sons, Walks-the-Sky and Walking-Early, helped him. Life was very peaceful for the people of the Earth. However, the sky had no light, so everyone had to live in darkness. Walks-the-Sky looked down at the dark world. He thought about how beautiful it would be if it had light. The people of Earth would be so happy. He decided to do something about it. He made a mask of cedar wood and placed it over his face. Then, he lit the mask on fire and walked across the sky to the west.
2 As he walked, flames shot from his mask and illuminated the Earth. He started running, and the flames grew brighter. He looked down and saw the people of the Earth celebrating the light. He knew that he had given them a great gift. After running across the entire sky, Walks-the-Sky fell asleep. As he snored, sparks flew out of his mouth and turned into stars.
3 The older brother, Walking-Early, wanted to offer something to the people too. He rubbed charcoal and fat on his face. With his face glowing, he began walking west. Walking-Early shed light over the world too, except this light was softer. The people were happy to have a little bit of light with them while the younger brother slept. The world was never again dark. All the people of the Earth praised the chief’s children for bringing the Sun, moon, and stars to the world.
Amaterasu and Susanoo a Japanese folktale
1 Susanoo and Amaterasu were brother and sister. They rarely agreed on anything. Susanoo was the god of the summer storm. He was always furious and didn’t watch where he was going.
2 Amaterasu was the goddess of the Sun, and she brought peace and calm to everything she touched. They could never be together too long because they always got on each other’s nerves. Still, they had a very close bond and always came back together.
3 One day, Susanoo was waiting in the rice fields to see Amaterasu. But he became impatient, as was his way. He flailed and fumed, and soon Amaterasu’s beautiful rice fields were destroyed. When she came and saw what he had done, Amaterasu ran away and hid herself in a cave. The Earth became cold and dark. People started getting sick and depressed. All of the plants started to die. The rest of the gods and goddesses saw that this could not go on. They began to play instruments and dance funny dances. Everyone laughed and played faster and louder, until Amaterasu poked out her head.
4 "What’s going on?" she said, and the strongest of the gods pulled her out and sealed the cave behind her. They told her she was the most important of them and could not disappear again like that. To this day, she sits the highest in the sky.