50. The Creation Story
When the world first began there was no land, but only the sea and the sky, and between them was a kite. One day the bird which had nowhere to land grew tired of flying about, so she stirred up the sea until it threw its waters against the sky. The sky, in order to restrain the sea, showered upon it many islands until it could no longer rise, but ran back and forth. Then the sky ordered the kite to land on one of the islands to build her nest, and to leave the sea and the sky in peace.
Now at this time the land breeze and the sea breeze were married, and they had a child which was a bamboo. One day when this bamboo was floating about on the water, it struck the feet of the kite which was on the beach. The bird, angry that anything should strike it, pecked at the bamboo, and out of one section came a man and from the other a woman.
Then the earthquake called on all the birds and fish to see what should be done with these two, and it was decided that they should marry. Many children were born to the couple, and from them came all the different races of people.
After a while the parents grew very tired of having so many idle and useless children around, and they wished to be rid of them, but they knew of no place to send them to. Time went on and the children became so numerous that the parents enjoyed no peace. One day, in desperation, the father seized a stick and began beating them on all sides.
This so frightened the children that they fled in different directions, seeking hidden rooms in the house—some concealed themselves in the walls, some ran outside, while others hid in the fireplace, and several fled to the sea.
Now it happened that those who went into the hidden rooms of the house later became the chiefs of the Islands; and those who concealed themselves in the walls became slaves. Those who ran outside were free men; and those who hid in the fireplace became negroes; while those who fled to the sea were gone many years, and when their children came back they were the white people.