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How Wit'-tab-bah the Robin got his Red Breast

Fragment of a Tale of the Northern Mewuk
As told in the mountains near Mokelumne River

Personage

Wit'-tab-bah who became the Robin (Planesticus migratorius propinquus)

How Wit'-tab-bah the Robin got his Red Breast

A long time ago the world was dark and cold and the people had no fire. Wit'-tab-bah the Robin learned where the fire was and went on a far journey to get it. After he had traveled a great distance he came to the place and stole it and carried it back to the people. Every night on the way he lay with his breast over it to keep it from getting cold; this turned his breast red. Finally he reached home with it and gave it to the people. Then he made the Sun out of it, but before doing this he put some into the oo'-noo tree (the buckeye) so the people could get it when they needed it. From that day to this all the people have known that when they want fire they can get it by rubbing an oo'-noo stick against a piece of dry wood; this makes the flame come out.


Next: How Ah-ha'-le Stole the Sun For the Valley People

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Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

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