The Ancient World (HUM 124 - UNC Asheville)/Texts/"How The World Was Made" Full Text By Kathi Smith Littlejohn

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This is another legend about mud.

We like legends about mud.

A long time ago,

there were only two people and the animals.

And they all lived together

on a tiny little rock in the middle of the water.

One was a grandfather,

and one was his grandson, a little baby.

And as babies do,

he started to grow.

Can you still wear the shoes that you wore when you were in




What happened?

You grew, that's right.

What about, does anybody wear diapers in here?


Because why?

That's just for babies and you got too big, didn't you?

Well, that's what started happening with this baby. He started growing,

and he started learning to crawl,

and then he started learning to walk, and then he began to play.

And when he was about your age,

there was no more room on the rock.

He said,

“Grandfather, I really wish I had some more room to play.

I can’t do anything, I bump into you, I bump into the animals,

they bump into me, and I’m still growing.”

The grandfather thought,

“You know that is—that's going to be a real problem

because, what's going to happen when he’s sixteen?”

So all the animals started talking about,

“This is a real problem. What are we going to do?”

So the animals decided that they would dive down into the water

and try to find some more land.

One tried,

and went all the way down as far as he could and came back and said,

“I ran out of air. I just can’t go any further.”

Nobody else wanted to try.

Finally Mr. Turtle said,

“I can.

I can stay on the bottom of water for a long time without air.

Maybe I can find some more land.”

So he went down into the water,

and they all watched him go out of sight,

and he was gone for seven days.

Finally, on the seventh day,

they saw some bubbles coming up out of the water,

and they all ran to look and see if he was coming back.

And slowly they began to see him come into sight,

and they were very sad

because he was dead.

The water had killed him.

He’d run out of air and he died.

But then they saw

that on the bottom of all four of his feet

there was some mud.

And they carefully got all the mud off,

and they laid it out on the rock to dry,

and they watched it carefully.

And when it was dry enough,

Grandfather threw it out into the water,

and it became land,

just as we have land today,

except it was very soft and very muddy.

And the buzzard flew off of the rock with his great wings,

and said,

“With the air from my wings,

I’ll make a fan and dry it

so we can walk on this new land.”

But each time when his wings went down,

it would make a big valley,

and each time the wings would go up,

it would make a big mountain.

And pretty soon the animals said,

“If we don’t stop him

there’s not gonna be any land flat enough to walk on.”

So they called him back,

and today,

when you look all around us,

what do we have here?


where his wings went up and made the mountains,

and valleys

when they went down.

But if they hadn’t stopped him,

the whole world would look just like Cherokee.

And that’s how the world was made.[1]

  1. This text was given to me by my Humanities class