The Origin of Bats

In the first times when all things were new, women soon decided they were best at keeping a house and village in order. They knew how to put things in their proper place. ("Proper Place" is a very high Muskogee ideal!) Men were just too careless, too cluttered and too impatient to attend to domestic details. They just weren't concerned about how things should be or even how to find things. Thus it was agreed, men would hunt, fish and break open the big fields. Women would do the final planting and keep the house and village. They understood order. They knew how to do those things best.

One day a young man who could do nothing too terribly well because he was always messy and cluttered, decided to go off hunting by himself. As usual, this particular young man never made good decisions; went off without any shoes we call moccasins. After a little while, the sandy trail turned into a rocky path and his feet were hurting. His wife, mother and sister had all said, "take shoes, take shoes with you!" And of course, these women could all make very beautiful moccasins.

That man, being the kind of man that he was, full of carelessness and clutter, was hurting all over from those sore feet. Finally, he caught a small animal and took off its skin. He thought, "well, I've seen my mother, my sister and my wife make moccasins. How hard can it be? I think I'll make some moccasins." That night, he sat down by the light of his campfire and began to sew together untanned leather pieces and wrap them around his feet. Oh, they were clumsy looking things. As he worked, he threw little pieces of trimmed-off leather over his shoulder into the darkness. The moccasins wouldn't fit and he'd trim off another piece and sew them up again. Over and over, he'd throw away pieces of trimmed leather. He was very messy--very messy indeed!. He just cast away those leather scraps carelessly--cluttering the woods around him.

All of a sudden, something began swirling around his head and swooshing by very fast as he kept cutting off more leather. (They sure weren't moskitoes as they hadn't been created yet--but that's another story.) He never could get those moccasins to fit. When he was finished, he only had two little pieces of leather wedged between his painful toes--AELAH!. They weren't helping his rock sore feet at all. ZOOM! He looked up saw little things flying all around him; they were new Beings to him--they were bats. Those little pieces of leather had become Bats.

 Creator, the Maker of All Things, thought this man and all men should be taught a lesson about carelessness and clutter. Thus, One Above turned all the man's little leather scraps into Bats. Because Bats were created in darkness and first flew at night, they have made their homes in dark places ever-since. That's how we got our Bats--how Bats came to be. This is the story as told by our Creek Elders.

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