The Twin Heros

Turning, then, to the place where she had laid the two male infants, the grandmother asked: Which of you two destroyed my child? One of the two answered, saying: Truly, I believe, it was he. This one, who answered, was a marvelously strange person as to his form. His flesh was nothing but flint. Along the top of his head there was a sharp comb of flint. And it had been on this account, in fact, that he had come out by way of the armpit. But the flesh of the other was in all respects like that of any human-being. He responded, saying: It was, in fact, he himself who killed her. The other replied: Not at all, not at all. And again he declared: It was the other who killed her. And in this manner the two debated.

But the one who was, in fact, guilty of killing her held firm to his denial and finally won his point. Whereupon, the grandmother took up the body of the one whose flesh was actually that of a veritable human-being and with all her might flung him far out into the bushes. And the other, whose flesh was flint, was taken up by her and cherished. And it was wonderful how much she loved him.

But then, in turn, she again laid her hands on the fleshly body of her own girl-child, who now, truly, was no longer alive. She cut off her head and said: You are now dead; nevertheless, you shall continue to have a function to perform. And she took up the fleshly body and hung it on a tree that stood hard by her lodge, and said: You shall continue to give light to this here present earth. And the severed head she hung in another place and said: You, too, shall continue to serve a function. Less power shall you have, and yet will give light. In this mannerthen she completed her preparations for supplying herself with light; having now, assuredly, made fast for herself the sun and likewise the moon. She laid on them the duty of furnishing her with light. And indeed it was the head of her girl-child who was dead that she had used to make the moon, whereas the body she had made into the sun. They were to remain fixed in place and not to move from this place to that. Furthermore, she restricted them to herself and to her favored grandson, saying: We two, and we two alone, shall be ever illuminated by this light. No one else shall use it, only we two, ourselves. And when she had now, indeed, accomplished all of this task, she was surprised by a moving of the grasses about the area into which she had cast the other of her grandsons. He was alive. He had not died. She had thought when she had cast him far away that he would of course die. Nevertheless, he had not died. He walked about there among the bushes. After a while, however, he had come toward his grandmother’s lodge. And she now ordered him away saying: Get you off far yonder. I have no desire to look upon you. For it was you assuredly who killed my girl-child. Get you, thereof, far off, away yonder. And so, he then turned away. However, he remained moving about in a place not far from that in which her lodge stood. Furthermore, that male-child was in good health and his growth was rapid.