T H E F I R E F L Y.
(I first heard this story in 1998 or 99 at an Elder's Conference in
Peterborough, Ontario. What touched my heart was the concept.
I remember very few of the details, I decided to write the story
trying to stay true to the intent as I remember it. I'll tell it with
great respect and in honour of the original tellers. June 14, 2001)
A long, long time ago, when all that was on the Earth World
and in the Sky World lived in a good way, and life was clear and
unmuddled, there was a bright Star. This Star, along with his
Brothers, Sisters and Grandmother Moon, helped give light to the
2 leggeds, the four leggeds, the crawlers, the swimmers and the
flyers who relied on their gifts when Grandfather Sun rested.
Now this Star was curious. As he gazed down upon the earth
and saw all that lay there, he desperately wanted a closer look.
It seemed so exciting, so lively, so much fun. Much, much more fun
than doing his job and being just like the others. He felt different;
felt there must be more. So one evening he plucked up the courage
to talk to the Creator.
'Creator, please, I'd like to go down to the Earth World.' 'Absolutely not', replied the Creator, 'your job is here, you are a Star, and Stars do not go down to the Earth World.' But Star was not to take no for an answer, so he asked again. 'Please, please Creator, let me go down to the Earth World, I won't be missed here, there are so many other Stars.' 'No' said the Creator. 'You are a Star, your role is clear, you may not go down to the Earth World.'
Star decided to let time pass before asking again. When the right
moment came, Star went to the Creator and said 'please
reconsider, and allow me to descend to the Earth World,
I'm unhappy here simply being a Star'. The Creator could see
how much Star wanted this, and could see how determined Star was,
and so The Creator relented and said: 'Alright, you may go down to
the earth, BUT there is a condition - if you make this choice, know
that you may never, and I really mean never, come back to Sky
World as a Star - do you understand that and are you prepared
never to return here?' 'Oh yes, yes, I'm sure, and thank you!'
So it was that Star descended from the Sky World to the Earth World.
What an exciting place it was, so much to do, so much to see.
Occasionally he would look up to the Sky World and twinkle a
hello to his Brothers and Sisters and Grandmother Moon. Star
travelled all over the earth, but the more time passed, the more
restless he became. He began to miss his Brothers and Sisters
and Grandmother Moon. No one else really understood who he was,
everyone seemed to understand what they were to do, and they
busily did it. He didn't really have anything to do; he just drifted
from one place to another. He felt displaced. There were good
times and bad times, but more and more Star became unhappy.
He began to only come out at night and dance with the reflections
of his kin on the lake surface. How he longed to go home.
It was on such a night that Wolf came to the water's edge for a drink.
Star was distracted as he reminisced and in the wink of an eye, Wolf
had swallowed Star, and Star found himself in a deep dark belly -
It seemed very deep and very dark and very quiet. Wolf found a
cave to rest in. For the first time Star felt exceedingly frightened.
Because although he was used to very dark and very quiet, as this
was how it used to be, this was different. Star was alone. Now more
than ever he wanted to return to the Sky World.
So he called to the Creator - 'please, please let me go home -
this is not working, I've made a terrible mistake'. There was no
reply. Star tried again, 'please, please let me go back to where
I came from' he pleaded. The Creator heard (actually the Creator
had heard the first time!) and replied kindly, 'you remember Star the
condition of your coming to the Earth World - no, you may not return
to the Sky World. However, you will be useful here.' At that moment
Wolf coughed and Star was blown to the cave's edge. The Creator
said 'Star, you will become a firefly, lighting the way on this Earth
World, you'll be a reminder to the two leggeds of the possibilities of
the extraordinary, and of the beauty and the wonder all round them
even when Grandfather Sun is resting. And you are to protect the
medicine plants the two leggeds need for their healing'.
so it was that the first firefly came to be.