Wise Spider Finds Fire

 

 

 

Cherokee

 

 

 

In the beginning, fire was set in a hollow in the ground on an island.  It was a challenge to all living creatures.  Someone had to go and get the fire.  A meeting of animals was held.  They had come together to find someone to bring fire.

 

The possum was the first to volunteer.  Possum was a courageous creature and came forth to offer to go.  He went but tried to carry the fire with his tail.  His tail became so scorched and burned that he could not carry out his mission and to this day Possum has a hairless tail.

 

Buzzard volunteered.  But he too, failed, burning his neck and head.  All manner of bird and fowl followed.  Eagle flew over the island but was burned to a dark color for his efforts.  Raven tried but was burned so badly, that he too, turned black.  Raven was followed by Crow and Turkey.  They too, were burned.

 

Some of the four legged creatures thought that they would try.  Bear was burned black.  Skunk, who was a bit more agile, was only partially burned in stripes.  And one of the large family of fox tried his luck only to be burned black.

 

The last creature to attempt to get the fire was Spider.  Everybody laughed when she offered.  She was so small and light.  She had no way of getting across the water and nothing in which to carry the fire.  How could Spider bring fire?

 

Spider listened to the laughter of the birds and animals.  She had made a decision.  She would carry the fire.  Spider got a small clay bowl and  tied it behind her with her spider web.  Then she walked upon the surface of the water just as she does today.

 

When Spider arrived on the island where the fire was, she had a problem.  How was she to get the fire without getting burned?  Fortunately, she was a resourceful being.  Spider took some rags, threw these into the fire and pulled the fire toward her in the bowl.

 

With the fire in the bowl and the bowl attached by gossamer webs to Spider, she returned back to the land of the birds and animals.  Spider brought fire to us all.  And that is how fire was obtained.