In the beginning there was no earth to live on, but up above in the Sky World, there was a woman, Sky Woman, who dreamed dreams. One night she fell through a hole in the sky and fell downward toward the great emptiness. There was nothing below her but a heaving ocean of water. The beaver, the otter, the muskrat and the turtle saw her fall, and fearing that she would drown, sent a flock of ducks to catch her. The ducks flew underneath Sky Woman, caught her on their backs and set her safely down on the turtle’s shell.
After she had rested she told the animals what must be done. She said that she needed soil which could be obtained from the bottom of the sea that covered the world. The strong beaver was the first to go down toward the bottom. He was gone for a very long time, until finally his drowned body floated to the surface. The otter considered himself to be a much better swimmer than the beaver and he was the second to make the attempt. He was down for an even longer time, and when his body surfaced he too was dead. Finally, the muskrat attempted the dive. He was underwater even longer than the otter, but his body eventually floated to the surface. Sky Woman discovered a tiny piece of soil in the crevice of the muskrat’s paw, and she sprinkled this on the edge of the turtle’s shell.
As Sky Woman slept, the world grew from the edge of the turtle’s shell and extended as far as one could see in every direction. By the time she awoke there were willows growing along the edge of the world, and they were the first trees to grow upon the earth. The birds and the animals rushed about building countries and continents, until, in the end, they had made the whole earth, while all the time Sky Woman was riding safely on turtle’s back. And the turtle holds the Earth up to this very day!
Pegi Eyers is the author of "Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community," an award-winning book that explores strategies for intercultural competency, healing our relationships with Turtle Island First Nations, decolonization, recovering an ecocentric worldview, rewilding, creating a sustainable future and reclaiming peaceful co-existence in Earth Community.
Stone Circle Press