Genesis 1

Water went they say.  Land was not they say.  Water only then, mountains were not, they say.  Stones were not they say.  Trees were not they say.  Grass was not they say.  Fish were not they say.  Deer were not then they say.  Elk were not they say.  Grizzlies were not they say.  Panthers were not they say. Wolves were not they say.  Bears were not they say.  People were washed away they say.  Grizzlies were washed away they say.  Panthers were washed away they say.  Deer were washed away they say.  Coyotes were not then they say.  Ravens were not they say.  Owls were not they say.  Buzzards were not they say.  Chicken-hawks were not they say.  Robins were not they say.  Grouse were not they say.  Quails were not they say.  Bluejays were not they say. Ducks were not they say.  Yellow-hammers were not they say.  Condors were not they say.  Herons were not they say.  Screech-owls were not they say. Woodcocks were not they say.  Woodpeckers were not they say.  Then meadowlarks were not they say.  Then Sparrow-hawks were not they say. Then woodpeckers were not they say.  Then seagulls were not they say.  Then pelicans were not they say.  Orioles were not they say.  Then mockingbirds were not they say.  Wrens were not they say.  Russet-back thrushes, blackbirds were not they say.  Then crows were not they say.  Then hummingbirds were not they say.  Then curlews were not they say.  Then mockingbirds were not they say.  Swallows were not they say.  Sandpipers were not they say. Then foxes were not they say. Then wildcats were not they say.  Then otters were not they say. Then minks were not they say. Then elks were not they say. Then jack-rabbits, grey squirrels were not they say. Then ground squirrels were not they say. Then red squirrels were not they say. Then chipmunks were not they say. Then woodrats were not they say. Then kangaroo-rats were not they say. Then long-eared mice were not they say. Then sapsuckers were not they say. Then pigeons were not they say. Then warblers were not they say. Then geese were not they say. Then cranes were not they say. Then weasels were not they say. Then wind was not they say. Then snow was not they say. Then frost was not they say. Then rain was not they say. Then it didn’t thunder. Then trees were not when it didn’t thunder they say. It didn’t lighten they say. Then clouds were not they say. Fog was not they say. It didn’t appear they say. Stars were not they say.  It was very dark.

– translated from Cahto [Kato] Indian in Technicians of the Sacred,  edited with commentary by Jerome Rothenberg

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