Muscogee Creek Origin Of Corn/ Grandmother And The Orphan Boy

An old woman who lived alone found a drop of blood in a puddle of rainwater. She laid the drop of blood aside carefuly and covered it. Sometime later she removed the cover and found a baby under it. The woman took care of the orphan boy. He called her his grandmother. She made a bow and arrows for him when he was about four feet tall, and he began hunting. She warrned him not to go to a big mountian in the distance.

The first time the boy came back from hunting, he said to his grandmother, "What is the thing with a blue head?" "It is a turkey. We can eat it. Kill it." The next time the boy came home he said, "What is the thing with a white tail?" "It is a deer. Go and kill it." In this way he learned the names of animals that were good to hunt for food. Whenever the boy came back from hunting, his grandmother had prepared a delicious dinner of dumplings or another corn dish. The Boy wondered where she got the corn. One day, instead of going hunting, he slipped back to the cabin and peeped through a crack. He saw his grandmother place a pot on the floor, stand with her feet on either side of it, and scratch her thighs. When she did this, corn poured from her body into the pot. "So that is how she gets the corn," the boy said to himself.

The next time the boy came back from hunting, he could not eat the hominy his grandmother put before him. "What is the matter?" she said. "Are you sick" The boy shook his head and turned his back. "Ah, " his grandmother said, "you must have spied on me. You know how I get the corn. If you do not want to eat the food I prepare , you must go beyond the mountian I forbade you to pass over. But before you leave, go and hunt birds for me." The boy killed some birds and brought them to his grandmother. "Bring another kind," she said. So he went off again and killed other birds. "Bring yet another kind," she said. The boy tryed again. Finally he brought back jaybirds. " These are the ones," his grandmother said. "Now bring me some rattlesnakes."

After he had done this , his grandmother brought the birds and snakes back to life. She made the youth a headdress of bluejays and rattle snakes. Then she made him a flute. When he played it all the birds sang and the snakes shook their rattles. "Now,' said the grandmother, "all is ready for you to go to the mountian. But before you leave, you must do one more thing. Lock me up in this cabin and set fire to it. After you have been gone for some time, and have a wife, come back to this place where you grew up." The youth set fire to the cabin as his grandmother had directed and started down the path that led to the mountian.

When he had crossed over the mountian he found some people playing ball, among them Rabbit. They all stopped to look at the youth and admire his headdress of bluejays and rattlesnakes. When the Rabbit saw how much the people admired the youth, he was jealous and wanted to be like him. So the Rabbit persuaded the youth to let him travel along with him. Before they had gone far, they came to a pond. "There are many turtles here," Rabbit said. "Lets go down into the water and get a lot of them." The youth agreed. They took off their clothes and put them under a tree. Rabbit said, "When I shout. 'All ready,' we will dive in." The boy dived in, and Rabbit ran back to the tree, took the youth's headdress and flute, and went off with them. The youth traveled on alone. He found some people who liked him even without his headdress and flute.

He was staying with these people when word came that Rabbit had been caught for stealing his possessions. The youth went to reclaim his headdress and flute. The bluejays and the snakes, who had been silent while they were with Rabbit, began singing and rattling with joy when they saw the youth again. He put on his headdress, took his flute, and returned to the people who had taken him in. He found a young woman among these people, and he married her. He said to his wife, "Lets go down to the creek. I want to swim. By crossing the creek four times I can kill all the fish there." His wife agreed, and he went swimming and killed all the fish. He told his wife to call her people togeather. They all came and had a great meal of fish.

When Rabbit heard what the youth had done, he wanted to imitate him. Rabbit said to his wife, Lets go down to the creek. I want to swim. When I cross four times the fish will come to the surface."Well go and do it," his wife said. So the Rabbit swam across the creek four times. When he dove he struck a minnow and stunned it. When he came out of the water, he saw the minnow floating as if it had been poisoned. Rabbit told his wife to call her peole to come to get fish. She did so, but when they came they found only one minnow at the edge of the water. They returned home very angry with Rabbit.

Sometime later, the youth remembered what his grandmother had told him. He said to his wife. "Let us go over the mountian to the place where I grew up." So they went. They found the spot covered with corn plants. This is how the Indians got corn. The grandmother was corn.