How Day and Night Were Divided

After the world was made, some of the animals wanted the day to last all the time. Others preferred that it be night all the time. They quarrelled about this and could come to no agreement. After a while they decided to hold a meeting, and they asked Nokosi the Bear to preside.

Nokosi proposed that they vote to have night all the time, but Chew-thlock-chew the Ground Squirrel said: "I see that Wotko the Raccoon has rings on his tail divided equally, first a dark colour then a light colour. I think day and night ought to be divided like the rings on Wotko's tail."

The animals were surprised at the wisdom of Chew-thlock-chew. They voted for his plan and divided day and night like the dark and light rings on Wotko the Raccoon's tail, succeeding each other in regular order.

But Nokosi the Bear was so angry at Chew-thlock-chew for rejecting his advice that he thrust out a paw and scratched the Squirrel's back with his sharp claws. This is what caused the thirteen stripes on the backs of all his descendants, the Ground Squirrels.

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature
Compiled by: Glenn Welker

This site has been accessed 10,000,000 times since February 8, 1996.