Tale of Evening-Star And Orphan-Star

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A poor orphan boy lived with a large family of people who were not kind to him and mistreated him. He could not go to play or hunt with the other boys, but had to do all of the hard work. Whenever the camp broke up the family always tried to steal away and leave the boy behind, but sooner or later he found their new camp and went to them because he had no other place to go. One time several families went in boats to an island in a large lake to hunt eggs, and the orphan boy went with them. After they had filled their boats with eggs they secretly made ready to go back to the mainland. In the night, while the orphan boy was asleep, they stole away in their boats, leaving him to starve on the lonely island.

The boy wandered about the island, eating only the scraps that he could find around the dead camp fires, until he was almost starved. As he did not have a bow and arrows, he could not hunt, but he sat by the water’s edge and tried to catch fish as they swam past him. One day as he sat on the lonely shore he saw a large animal with horns coming to him through the water. He sat very still and watched the animal, for he was too frightened to run away. The monster came straight to him, then raised his head out of the water and said: “Boy, I have come to save you. I saw the people desert you and I have taken pity upon you and come to rescue you. Get upon my back and hold to my horns and I will carry you to the mainland.” The boy was no longer afraid, but climbed upon the animal’s back. “Keep your eyes on the blue sky, and if you see a star tell me at once,” the animal said to him. They had not gone far when the boy cried, “There in the west is a big star.” The monster looked up and saw the star, then turned around at once and swam back to the island as fast as he could. The next day he came and took the boy again, telling him, as before, to call out the moment that he saw a star appear in the sky. They had gone a little farther than they had the day before when the boy cried out, “There in the west is a star.” The animal turned around and went to the shore. The next day and the next four days he started with the boy, and each time he succeeded in getting a little farther before the boy saw the star. The sixth time they were within a few feet of the opposite shore when the boy saw the star. He wanted to reach the shore so badly that he thought he would keep still and not tell the monster that he saw the star, for he knew that he would take him back to the island at once if he did. He said nothing, and so the monster swam on until they were almost in shallow water, when the boy saw a great black cloud roll in front of the star. He became frightened and jumped off of the animal’s back and swam to the shore. Just as he jumped something struck the animal with an awful crash and he rolled over dead. When the boy came upon the shore a handsome young man came up to him and said: “You have done me a great favor. For a long time I have tried to kill this monster, because he makes the water of the lake dangerous, but until now I could never get the chance. In return for what you have done, I will take you with me to the sky, if you care to go.” The boy said that he wanted to go, as he was alone and friendless upon the earth. The man, who was Evening-Star, took him with him to the sky, and there he may be seen as Orphan-Star who stands near Evening-Star.



MLA Source Citation:

Dorsey, George A. Traditions of the Caddo. Washington: Carnegie Institution. 1905. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 20 November 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tale-of-evening-star-and-orphan-star.htm - Last updated on Aug 10th, 2013


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