Saynday was coming along, but he had a hard time
doing it. All his world was dark, and he kept
falling over things. At last he began to get angry
because the darkness made him clumsy, and just
when he was really losing his temper he bumped
into his friends, Fox, Deer, and Magpie. Magpie
flew straight up in the air, and then came down
but Fox and Deer were hurt when Saynday bumped
them, and didn't try to move.
"Look where you 're going, can 't you?"
'It seems to me you could get along better than
that,'' said Deer.
Well try it yourselves and see how you make out,''
Saynday snapped, and he sat down on the ground
by a prairie dog hole. His friends were tired
of slipping and banging around, so they sat down
there with him.
''What we really need in this world is some light,''
Deer said, 'I can't tell if I'm eating grass or
weeds until I taste them. Sometimes the weeds
taste nasty and make me sick.''
"Well, at least you can find something to
eat," snapped Fox. "How would you like
it if you had to run after your food and catch
it in the dark. The other day something I thought
was a rabbit turned out to be a bear, and nearly
"What about you?" Saynday asked Magpie.
''Well,'' answered Magpie, ''I can fly up in the
air. When I get very high, I can see a little
rim of light over in the east.''
''There is light, then,'' said Saynday. ''What
we have to do is figure out a way to get it, so
we can find our way around and be sure of what
we are eating.''
''Well, you figure it out,'' remarked Deer. ''You're
the one who's supposed to be smart."
The little prairie dog, by whose hole they were
sitting, burrowed deeper in the earth. She was
afraid that if Fox could see her lie would eat
her instead of a rabbit.
''Now, then,'' said Saynday, ''if the light is
so far away that Magpie can see only a little
rim of it in the east, it will be too hard for
one person to get it alone. We '11 have to line
ourselves up like a relay race. Fox, you can run
hard and far. Go to the east, and get into the
sun people's village. When you get to know them
and they trust you, grab the sun and run. Deer
can carry it next, and then Magpie. I'll put myself
last, because you're all better runners than I
So Fox started on his journey to the east. At
first he still stumbled around in blackness, but
finally, ahead of him, he began to see the little
rim of light on the edge of the world that Magpie
had talked about.
The light grew and grew, ahead of Fox, and sometimes
he had to stop and put his paws over his eyes,
for fear it might blind him. When he did that
he rested, too, to get ready for the big race.
At last Fox came to the sun people's camp, and
he saw that they were playing a game. The men
were lined up on two sides, and each side had
four spears. First the leader on one side would
roll the sun along the ground then the opposite
leader would. While the sun was rolling like a
big ball, the men took turns with the spears trying
to hit it. It was like the spear-and-hoop game
the Kiowas still play.
Fox watched very quietly. One side was ahead,
and when the losing side took their turns with
the spears, Fox said, under his breath, so only
their leader could hear him: ''Good luck to the
losers.'' That time the losing side scored more
points than the other, and again Fox wished them
luck, and a third time when the score was even.
When his side won, the leader came over to Fox,
and asked, ''Who are you, who wish us well and
make us win?''
''Oh I come from over there,'' said Fox pointing
to the west with his puckered lips. "I'm
one of old Uncle Saynday 's boys."
"Never heard of him " said the sun camp
man. "What are you doing here?'' "Just
going along," said Fox, "trying to see
the world." But he had to shut his eyes then,
because the sun was so bright. (And you remember,
a fox always sees well at night, and the sun is
reflected in his eyes in the darkness.) "Why
don't you stay here a while?" asked the man.
"You seem to be pretty lucky. We can teach
you to play our game if you promise to play on
our side." ''All right,'' said Fox. ''I'd
like to learn the game.''
Fox stayed in the sun camp for four mouths, and
though he never did get used to the brightness,
he did learn to play the spear game. When he got
really good at it, and the game was going fast,
Fox stabbed his spear into the sun, put it over
his shoulder, and ran. He ran as hard and fast
as he could, with the sun people right behind
Just as Fox was about to drop from running, he
met Deer. Deer grabbed the sun from Fox and ran
as fast as lie could, with the light
growing and glowing all around him. The sun people
weren't used to the darkness they were running
into, and they began to slow down, but Deer didn't.
He just tore along, and as he began to lose his
breath, Magpie dived down out of the sky and grabbed
the sun away from him. Now the other side of the
world was getting darker and darker, and Saynday
's side was becoming bright.
When Magpie dropped down to the earth and gave
the sun to Saynday, they had all the light there
was in the world, but the sun was so hot it had
burned black streaks on Magpie's feathers, which
had been all white before. Now the sun became
a problem. Nobody knew what to do with it, and
there was so much light all the time nobody could
sleep except Fox, who was used to it. ''Maybe
we'd better put it iii the tipi,'' Saynday decided,
''that way, it might not be so bright.'' But the
tipi didn't seem to darken the sun enough. "Put
it on top of the tipi, so we don't have to look
right at it,'' suggested Fox. But that was no
good, because the sun set fire to the tipi and
burned it right to the ground.
''Oh, throw it away,'' said Magpie. 'it's just
getting to be a nuisance.''
''All right,'' Saynday agreed, "Now stay
there and travel around the world,'' Saynday ordered
the sun. 'Spend part of your time with the people
on the other side, and part of it here with us.''
And he pushed the sun to the west to start it
going around the world.
And that's the way it was, and that's the way
it is, to this good day.