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Black & White Moons
A Winnebago Tale - As Told By Cat

Long ago in the beginning, the good spirits and the evil spirits held a council to decide how the world should be divided between them. The first issue they decided would be the question of how many moons there would be from one winter to the next one. The first creature to come forward with a suggestion was Turkey. He strutted forward drumming and fanned his tail feathers. "I say there should be as many moons as there are spots on my tail feathers!" he declared.

The council discussed this but in the end voted it down, saying there were far too many spots on Turkeys tail. Then Partridge came strutting forward. He also suggested that there should be the same number of moons as there were spots on his tail. After counting the number of spots on the tail of Partridge, the council decided that this was still too long a time.
Then Chipmonk scampered in, throwing his tail over his head in the manner of chipmonks everywhere. "I say let the year have as many moons as there are black and white stripes on my back!" squeaked Chipmonk.

The council discussed this and found it to be a good plan. They decided that the six black stripes would represent the summer moons and the six white stripes would represent the winter moons. And so it was settled.

But everyone knows that evil spirits are greedy. When they saw bright white moon lighting up the sky, they decided that they had not been given enough darkness. So the evil spirits began to eat away at the moon until nothing remained but darkness. But the great Earthmaker who had created the moon refused to see his creation destroyed, leaving the world dark for the evil spirits. So he devised a plan, and began to re-create the moon a little each night. And at the end of fourteen days the moon was again full and covered the earth with light. Then Earthmaker rested. But while he rested the evil spirits once again ate away the moon until darkness once again covered the earth.

So the battle continues, the Earthmaker renewing the moon and the evil spirits eating it away. Cycle after cycle, year after year....

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Black and White Moons
A Winnebago Tale retold by Cat


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