One day while the Deer Tribe was patrolling their land, they came across a creature they had never seen before. He stood on his hind legs and had long hair growing from his head. He was the First Man, or Lucky Hunter. The deer hid in order to watch his actions. When the First Man was put on Mother Earth, he was instructed on how to live by the Creator. She taught him how to use all the parts of the deer in order to eat, make clothing, and fasten his bow with extracted sinew. She told him to always offer tobacco so the spirit of his deer cousins would remain happy. The Creator also showed him how to build a shelter where he could stay safe and warm. He then was left to go out on his own.
Days, weeks and months passed with the Deer Tribe watching the Lucky Hunter intently. They became confused by the way he carried himself. He walked around aimlessly. Even worse, he shot too many deer with his bow and arrows until their population became very scarce. He also forgot to leave tobacco when hunting. He slept every night out on the cold or muddy earth. He never attempted to build a shelter as the Creator had instructed him to do. His walk was clumsy and awkward and he constantly muttered to himself. He was not leading a balanced life; he truly was a fool. The Deer Tribe, sensing the problem this new being was causing, called upon the Creator to correct this unfortunate situation.
Things remained the same until one afternoon when the Lucky Hunter laid down on his back for an afternoon snooze. As he lay there resting in the warm sun, a giant Selu (corn) stalk grew out of his heart extending high into the sky. The stalk grew higher and higher. As the Lucky Hunter pondered what had happened, he noticed a beautiful woman appearing from the top of the stalk. She was the First Woman or Corn Maiden. The Lucky Hunter reached high into the sky and helped her down from the top of this fine creation. He instantly fell in love, and she told the First Man that they would now go to build their home. Before leaving, the First Woman took two pieces of corn, so that she would always remember where she came from. When she found a place where they would build their home, she planted the corn. They began working on their home. Soon it was completed and they seemed very content. For two years they watched the corn come and go. How they loved to watch the beautiful corn.
Looking out the window one morning, the Corn Maiden and the Lucky Hunter spotted Gana (the Sacred Turkey) nibbling on the selu. They had never known that corn was meant to be eaten. Their diet became complete once the couple started to eat the corn. The Deer Tribe increased in numbers as the First Woman taught the First Man how to live a true life. He began to give thanks and walk in a steady way. You see, the woman is the most important of Creation; she brought balance to the world.
Years went by and life remained peaceful for them. Suddenly, one afternoon as the Lucky Hunter was chopping wood in the yard, Corn Maiden became very angry. She dashed from the house and ran towards the mountains. The First Man, in a state of confusion, chased after her, but to no avail. She ran much faster than him. For every mountain he crossed, she would cross three. Finally realizing that he would never catch her, he fell to his knees and asked the Creator to help him. The Creator promised him that she would try her best.
The Corn Maiden ran and ran. Thorn buses started to appear on her path, but she continued to run without noticing the pain they caused. Other bushes sprung onto the path of many beautiful colors and fragrant smells: Gooseberries, blue- berries, and huckleberries. The First Woman paid them no attention. As she ran she simply crushed them under her feet.
Then bushes filled with heart shaped berries appeared on the path. The smell and sight of these berries caused her to stop. She decided that she would pick some of the berries. As she gathered, the Lucky Hunter continued running until he caught up to her. As she noticed him coming, a smile came over her face. She had tested his love and respect. They gathered berries together. When they started to return home, he took two of the strawberry plants to remind him of what had saved his life. After reaching their home, he planted the two strawberry plants next to the two stalks of Selu. The world continued in balance.
And this is what I was told. ~Cedric Sunray
Submitted by Wolf Walker.
From archives of Blue Panther Keeper of Stories