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While they were living at Temecula, the rattlesnake was there, and because he had no arms or legs the others would make fun of him. The North Star, especially, who was then a person, was the leader in this abuse. He would fling dirt in his face, throw him down, and drag him about by the hair. So the rattlesnake went to the Earth-Mother and complained of this treatment, wishing to avenge himself on Túk-músh-wút, the North Star. So the Earth-Mother gave the rattlesnake two sharp-pointed sticks with which he might defend himself against any who disturbed him. So the next time when the North Star came and began to torment him, the rattlesnake used the sticks (his fangs) and bit off one of his fingers as you may still see in the sky. 1

The Earth-Mother further contrived that, in order to make the bite of the rattlesnake effective, it should be followed by three intensely

p. 55

hot days; and at the present time, when three hot days come in succession, you may know that some man has been bitten by a rattlesnake.


54:1 Starting from the North Star as a centre, there is a vortex of small stars, which in the clear air of the southwest are very plainly seen. They may easily appear as the five fingers of a hand; a line of three or four stars for the thumb, with several curving lines for the fingers, of which the last, a straight line shorter than the rest, and pointing towards Cassiopeia, is the one bitten off by the rattlesnake.

Next: 3. The Story of Ouiot