How Day And Night Came To Be, a Jicarilla Tinneh Apache tale

In the world before this one, it was dark. The people used torches to see their way around, but they longed for more light. The animals and birds of the day also wanted more light. However, the night animals and birds thought that even the light from the torches was too bright. They wanted it always to remain dark.

The two sides argued about this for a long time. Finally, they decided that they would play kayonti, the stone-guessing game, to decide.

The creatures of the night hid the stone well, but Magpie, who was playing on the side of the people and other day creatures, had very sharp eyes. He could see which hollow stick had the stone and he told the people which stick to choose. So the people won the first game. As soon as they won, the Morning Star came out in the

sky. Black Bear, who was on the side of the night creatures, ran off to hide in a dark place.

Again, the night creatures hid the stone in one of the hollow sticks. This time Quail was the one who helped the people. He saw where the stone was and told them which stick to choose. This time when they won the first light before dawn showed itself in the sky. Now Brown Bear, who was on the side of the night creatures, ran off to hide.

A third time the night creatures hid the stick. Once again, Magpie and Quail helped the people to choose right. Now the eastern sky began to grow bright and Mountain Lion ran off to hide.

A fourth time the stone was hidden and, just as before, Magpie and Quail used their sharp eyes. “It is there!” they said and the people chose right once more. The sun came up and Owl flew away to hide.

That is where the game ended. The day creatures and the night creatures never came back again together to finish that game. Because it was only half over, the sun goes down every day and night comes back. But every mornmg, the sun rises once more and it remams in the sky. So half the time it is day and half the time it is night. It has been that way ever since.

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