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Indigenous Stories

Why The Chipmunk Has A Black Stripe

Categories : Unknown , Unknown Stories

In the beginning, the birds had no feathers at all, and when winter came, they were very cold. So they held council with the gods and asked for something to cover themselves with. The gods replied that feather coats were already made and waiting for them. The feather coats, however, were far away and only one bird could go and bring them back for the others.

Immediately, Buzzard offered to go because he wanted first choice of all the coats. After beginning his journey, Buzzard traveled for such a long time that he ate up all the food he brought along. He became so hungry that he ate everything he could find, which he still does to this very day.

After a very long time, Buzzard reached the place where the new feather coats were stored. He picked out the most beautiful one and tried it on, but it didn't fit. So he tried on another coat, then another, always the finest and brightest, but nothing fit. After a very long time, only one coat was left, and he tried it on.

It was black and not long enough to reach his neck, and there was nothing to go on his head at all. But it fit otherwise, so Buzzard decided to wear it and to get something for his head and neck when he saw the gods again.

So he gathered up the all the smaller coats of feathers and started back, flying high in the air.

The coats were so heavy that some kept falling off the pile, and Buzzard would have to stop and circle around and around, hunting for the coats which had dropped. When he found them, he had to circle down, pick them up, then circle around and around to get back up high enough to continue home. This is why buzzards fly in circles high in the air.

When Buzzard arrived back at the council grounds, everyone was gone, so he started out again, flying in circles for a long, long time. As he flew, he called to all the birds, giving each one a new feather coat, the same coats they wear now. But when Buzzard searched for the gods, he never found them, so he couldn't get any more feathers for himself. Since that time, Buzzard has learned to get along as best he can without any feathers on his head and neck. And ever since then he has had to wear the same shabby black coat.Even to this day, Buzzard's head and neck are naked, and he is not a handsome bird. But he can fly higher and further than most birds and has learned to be satisfied with his short black feather coat. This is the way everybody should be in life, to accept the best one can have!

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