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How The Sun Was Stolen [archive]

This article has been archived from the Chehalis Tribal Newsletter for educational purposes. The legend is only available in .PDF format which is hard for some of our users to read, so we have reproduced it here in plain text. The original version can still be accessed here (you will have to scroll down a few pages to get to it.) Contents are the property of the Chehalis Tribe. Please visit our Article Archive Index for further information. If you are the author of this article and would like to make changes to it, or if you are the author of another article you would like us to add to our archives, please contact us.

How The Sun Was Stolen

Once upon a time, there lived a chief who kept the sun in a box. When his daughter went to gather berries, she carried the box along and opened it a little so that she was able to see. When she had filled her basket, she carried the box home to her father.

The people in other countries were very poor. They held a council in which they deliberated how they might obtain the sun. Finally they decided to send Kali-qoo to the chief to steal the sun.

When he reached the country, he assumed the shape of an old slave. The people found him and took him home to their chief. Blue Jay lived in the house of the latter. He said “Oh, that used to be my father’s slave. He lost him one day. His grandfather had been my father’s slave.” The people believed him and gave him to Blue Jay.

When the chief’s daughter went picking berries; they took him along to paddle the canoe. He was a very good oarsman, and Blue Jay said, “That is Tsi sti saatq, he was a very good oarsman.” And they believed him. When they were traveling along, the slave began to say “Tses, tses, tses.” The Blue Jay said to his brother Robin, “He always spoke so when he carried me about when I was a little boy.” But the Robin did not remember. And Blue Jay said, “Oh, you are good for nothing,. You are older than I am and you do not remember him.”

Finally they arrived at the berry patch and the girl opened the box a little. As soon as the sun appeared, the slave jumped up, seized the box and opened it. And it became daylight. He ran away and they were unable to catch him. The people almost killed Blue Jay because his lies had been the cause of their losing the sun.

Kali-qoo took the sun home to his chief, who gave it to the people saying, “Henceforth, we will all enjoy the sun and not one man alone shall have it.”

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 Chehalis Tribe homepage
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