The Sky People


" There is a place in the world above where Sun and Eagle, Morning Star and Sky Coyote play , a gambling game. There are two sides and two players on each side, and Moon is referee. They play every night for a year, staying up 'till dawn. In December, when the year is ended, they count up to see which side has won the game. When Sky Coyote's side comes out ahead, it will be a rainy year. This game involves us humans too; for when Sun wins, he gets paid in human lives. Eagle is the Sun's partner in the peon game, for they both are believed to eat people. The place where Eagle lives is surrounded by hills and hills of white bones from people he has eaten. " It seems wise to seek rain with the new year, as the alternative is not nearly as promising, yes ?
Excerpted from December's Child, by Thomas C. Blackburn; published by University of California Press, 1975

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