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Why There Is Day and Night


There used to be a time when there was no night or day. There was some light so that everyone could see, but it did not change.

In that time, there was a village in which all the women had children but one. She wanted children badly, but all she could do was watch as the other wives had more children. The women teased her and insulted her, telling each other that she must be evil. "You must be a terrible person to have been punished like this," they said to her face as she wept. She herself knew that she was no worse than anyone else.

At last she heard of a medicine man who could make a woman pregnant simply by touching her belly with the palm of his hand. She walked a long way to find him, for he lived in a land beyond seven hills.

When she found him, he invited her into his home and heard her story. "I can help you," he said kindly, "but first you must wait a little while. I am given babies to bring into the world. I also know what kinds of babies they are. Right now, there are only bad babies. There is no reason why you should be cursed with a bad baby. Wait till there is a good one for you."

The woman could not bear to wait any longer. Neither she nor the medicine man knew how long it would be. "Any baby is better than no baby," she pleaded. Seeing her impatience, and seeing that she would not let him rest till he helped her, the medicine man sadly consented. He rubbed the palm of her hand on her belly. Instantly she knew she would have a baby.

Joyfully she rushed home. Soon she delivered a boy. He had a bad temper and was hard to keep from crying, but she had seen worse children, and was so content with him that she did not worry about having more children.

The boy grew as all children do, but he became more and more evil. He began killing small, helpless animals and tormenting other children. As he grew into a young man, he delighted in hurting others and bringing misery to all those around him. There was nothing anyone, including his parents, could do to change him.

Finally the boy decided to kill everyone who was trying to change him. He went to a magician and got from him a magic charm. Among other things, this charm would protect him by causing darkness so he could hide if need be. He began his evil work by killing the magician.

He hurried back to his village and began his attack. An old woman there also had a magic charm. She fought him with it. Her charm would expose enemies by making a great light, He would use his charm to cause darkness; she would use hers to cause bright light. Back and forth they went with their magic, till both of them died.

Because the old woman, the evil youth, and the magician were all dead, no one knew how to use the charms. The charms are still working against each other, causing day and then night.