The Uktena And The Ulvsuti

Long ago, when the Sun became angry at the people on Earth and sent a sickness to destroy them, the Little Men changed a man into a monster snake, which they called Uktena, the Keen-Eyed. They sent him to kill the Sun. He failed to do the work, and the Rattlesnake stopped the Sun instead, which made the Uktena so jealous and angry that the people were afraid of him and had him taken up to Galvlati to stay with the other things. He left others behind him, though, nearly as large and dangerous as himself. They hide now in deep pools in the river and about lonely passes in the high mountains - the place which the Cherokee call "Where the Uktena Stays."
 
Those who know say that the Uktena is a great snake, as large around as a tree trunk, with horns on its head, and a bright, blazing crest like a diamond upon its forehead, and scaled glittering like sparks of fire. It has rings or spots of color along its whole length and cannot be wounded except shooting in the seventh spot from its head - for under this spot are its heart and life.
 
The blazing diamond is called Ulvsuti, Transparent. He who can win it may become the greatest wonder worker of the tribe, but it is worth a man's life to attempt it. Whoever is seen by the Uktena is so dazed by the bright light taht he runs toward the snake instead of trying to escape. Even to see the Uktena asleep is death, not to the hunter himself, to his family.
 
Of all the daring warriors who have starteed out in search of the Ulvsuti, only Aganunitsi ever came back successfully. The East Cherokee still keep the one which he brought. It is like a large, transparent crystal, nearly the shape of a cartridge bullet, with a blood-red streak running through the center from top to bottom.
 
The owner keeps it wrapped in a whole deer skin, inside an earthen jar hidden away in a secret cave in the mountains. Every seven days, he feeds it with the blood of small game, rubbing the blood all over the crystal as soon as the animal has been killed. Twice a year, it must have the blood of a deer or some other large animal. Should he forget to feed it at the proper time, it would come out of its cave at night in the shape of fire and fly through the air to slake its thirst with the life blood of the conjurer or someone of his people. He may save himself from this danger by telling it, when he puts it away, thathe will not need it for a long time. It will then go quietly to sleep and feel no hunger until it is again brought out to be consulted, at which time, it must be fed again with blood before it is used.
 
No white man must ever see it, and no person but the owner will venture near it for fear of sudden death. Even the conjurer who keeps it is afraid of it, and changes its hiding place every once in a while, so that it can not learn the way out. When he dies, it will be buried with him. Otherwise, it will come out of its cave, like a blazing star, to search for his grave, night after night for seven years. If unable to find him, it will go back to sleep forever where he has placed it.
 
Whoever owns the Ulvsuti is sure of success in hunting, love, rain-making, and every other business. However, its great use is in life prophecy. When it is consulted for this purpose, the future is seen mirrored in the clear crystal as a tree is reflected in the quiet stream below. The conjurer knows whether the sick man will recover, whether the warrior will return from battle, or whether the youth will live to be old.
 
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Actually, this is not technically a myth, but is more close to a descriptive passage explaining the use of Uktena's Eye. Most of what has survived in the above description is correct. However, there are a few errors. Mainly, if one is going to use the crystal to look into the future, one must feed it human blood at each full moon. It still gets deer blood twice a year - during the months of December and January. On the full moon during the month of April, the conjurer takes the crystal, places it on the back of his left hand, stands on top of the temple mound, and recites a prayer. This awakens the crystal and the conjurer can ask it questions concerning the future. The answers will be shown him as a reflection in the crystal.