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Why the Sun Follows the Moon
The Legend of the Rock House
A Maidu Indian Tale - As Told By Cat

Long ago there was no light and all the people and all the animals lived in darkness. There was no light because Mother Moon and Father Sun lived inside a rock house from which no light escaped.

One day while Coyote was sitting around being bored, an idea for a wonderful prank came to him. "Wouldn't it be fun to dump fleas into the rock house and all over Father Sun and Mother Moon?" thought Coyote with a smile. Chuckling to himself, he began to gather fleas and put them in bags. When he had collected enough fleas, he picked up the bags and started off to Rock House. On his way he met Rabbit. Unable to contain himself, Coyote began to brag about his bags of fleas. Rabbit laughed and said that he didn't believe him, and this started an argument. Coyote was holding a bag of fleas when Rabbit tried to take it away from him and this started a tug of war. "I got it!" cried Rabbit as he snatched the bag from Coyote. But when rabbit yanked the bag it opened up and showered them both with fleas. To this day, Rabbit and Coyote are always covered with fleas. Now Rabbit and Coyote were sitting there scratching when Rabbit said, "Where are you taking all these fleas?" So Coyote told him of his plan to take the fleas to Rock House. Rabbit agreed that it was a good prank and offered to help. Together they carried the bags of fleas up to the peak of Rock House. "How will we get the fleas inside?" asked Rabbit. They sat and thought about it.

While they were sitting there, Coyote noticed Gopher digging a hole down the path. After a short discussion they acceded to let Gopher in on the trick. "It's a good trick" agreed Gopher "I can dig a hole through the ground to rock house and you can dump the fleas in!" So Gopher began to dig very quietly so Father Sun and Mother Moon would not be alarmed. When Gopher backed out of the hole Coyote and Rabbit dumped the bags of fleas down the opening. Then they plugged up the hole and ran off laughing.

Inside the Rock House it was no laughing matter! Mother Moon and Father Sun were soon covered with fleas. Finally, Mother Moon could stand it no longer, she flew up and out of Rock House followed by Father Sun. Around and around the earth flew trying to get rid of the fleas!

This is why the sun always follows the moon!

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Why the Sun Follows the Moon - The Legend of the Rock House
A Maidu Indian Tale retold by Cat


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