HOW FERRET GOT BLACK FEET

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This story joins the woven path of First Nations oral history not long after the tale of the Sky Woman. http://www.naturesperfectplantfood.com/2012/05/23/sister-strawberry/ In order to save the Sky Woman, Muskrat swims to the bottom of the great waters and brings mud to soften her landing on Turtles’ back.  Only Muskrat had the perseverance and strength to accomplish this task but it cost him his life.  In honor of his sacrifice the Great Spirit gave him the Big Dipper.  It was declared that no creature should touch the earth that Muskrats vital deed had provided.  All creatures adhered to this edict and watched in wonder as the small mound from Muskrat grew and grew.  They began to question why although long gone from the world, Muskrats work lived and grew.  Trees started roots and flourished, in their time of rest they dropped their leaves on to the mound and protected it under the winter snow.  The curiosity of one creature finally overwhelmed him and Ferret secretly started to investigate.  Ferret was proud of his beautiful golden coat and thought himself above reproach.  He soon saw that this was not just a pile of fallen leaves, indeed some strange transformation had occurred.  Under a blanket of leaves soil had formed.  He wanted to know who had interfered with Muskrats mound and began to dig in a hidden corner of the garden.  Once the edict had been broken, a question was asked to all by the Great Spirit, “Who has done this?”  Everyone denied involvement, and rightly so as only Ferret knew of his own transgression.  The question was posed three times and each time all proclaimed their innocence.  Ferret’s guilty conscience was getting the better of him and upon the fourth query, he fessed up.  This was a difficult admission from proud Ferret and he still had no answer to his question about the soil builders.  He had made a mistake and admitted his guilt, for that he was not punished severely, he had to give up his golden coat and was forever marked with a black face and black feet.  In sympathy to the curiosity of Ferret, the Great Spirit commanded the mysterious soil builders to show themselves.  A stillness filled the air and two small worms poked up from the soil under the leaves, as they began to weave and dance they deposited new soil on the surface and returned back to the earth.  Thus everyone learned the lesson of how the most meek of creatures can build the world.

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