Adam Teller
Located in the Navajo Nation - This Is The "Gem of the Southwest"
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Spider Rock, Home of Spider Woman and Weaving

Little White Beetle and the Holy Ones

The Leaders of today were molded from hard work and honest mistakes, and hard learned lessons. This story is about the stars and planets, and the role one small creature played in shaping and molding the universe as we know them today.

Our leaders were not born with great wisdom; wisdom comes slowly with age and size. Just as a child speaks with childish words, so his thoughts reflect his growth, and so it was with all young creatures of Mother Earth. White Beetle, too, was very young and foolish in the beginning.

In the first world, the black world. Folding Darkness also known as Black Body and Holy Spirit Wind God, decided with the holy ones. They will create the heavens and make the stars from the crystals (Fire Quartz), now used as offerings to the holy ones.

Folding Darkness God arranged the stars in straight rows from East to West. The stars had been placed so well that night was like day without sunlight; starlight was brighter than the full moon. This job of taking care of the stars and the universe became cumbersome and Folding Darkness God was not fulfilling other obligations in the heavens, thus Folding Darkness God began to search for a star keeper to do this job in his absence. White Beetle had the perfect qualities to do the job, and was picked to be Chief Starkeeper and Companion of the Morning and Evening stars. White Beetle had a bright white, round shape back, that was as bright as the full moon.

Little White Beetle would begin his job every evening as soon as the sun retired with Changing Woman (Mother Earth) to her home in the west. He would pick the stars according to importance of order in the universe. Cleaning very carefully, and shined each star before placing it in it's proper location in the evening sky, beginning from the east and working toward the west. By the time he had reached the western sky, the heavens would be filled with a bright array of starlight. In this way there was never a moment of darkness upon the land, for without light Earth dwellers are doomed to a limited experience.

Before dawn each day, he began to pick out the stars from the night sky, starting from the east. Tenderly and affectionately he placed the stars in the basket, tucking them away for the night to come. He was always orderly and methodical, so as not to misplace any star or planet.

By the time Father Sun rose over the eastern hills, White Beetle would finish his job with perfection.

As the years went by and the cycles of night and day were decided by his brothers by playing the Shoe game. White Beetle began to tend to his basket less carefully, confident he was more favored than his older brothers upon the earth. One day his brother Coyote came to White Beetle's hogan and began bragging and talking about his efforts to create the cycles of night and day. White Beetle also began to brag about the sparkling sky, as if he had created it, saying "If it wasn't for my work, man would lose the enchantment of the night sky, and the night creatures would mourn their fate."

The holy ones saw what was coming, but they always left their children to work out their own problems, seldom interfering unless called upon for assistance.

Coyote prayed and cried out to the holy ones for assistance. He asked them for discipline and punishment for White Beetle, saying "White Beetle places himself above his brothers and looks down upon us, as if on a pedestal up high. He thinks he is better than all his brothers in the universe."

The holy ones did not listen to Coyote, because they did not trust the "Trickster." So Coyote promised the holy ones that he would teach White Beetle a hard lesson, by planning to slow him down and hindering his progress, this would displease the gods and cause disharmony among the holy ones. One day Coyote came to visit White Beetle's hogan again and began bragging in order to confuse the star keeper. That evening White Beetle also began talking and bragging about his wonderful creation, and entirely forgot to watch the sun dip beneath the western horizon. When he realize what was happening, he flung open the hogan door and snatched up his basket as he ran toward the eastern sky, managing to place a few important stars along the way. These are now known as Man with feet apart (Scorpio), Revolving Female (Ursa Minor and Cassiopeia), Revolving Male (Ursa Major), Slender First One (Orion), Rabbit Tracks (near Canis Major), and Pinching or Doubtful stars (lower branch of Hyades).

Coyote began asking to assist White Beetle in this job he was doing and told him he would need his help tonight, because he was behind on his job and offered help. Looking around first White Beetle reluctantly agreed to have Coyote place two stars in the night sky. He place into Coyote's hands two twin stars and said "These two twin stars are special to the holy ones, please place the Female star (Child born of water) on the right side and the Male star (Monster Slayer) on the left side within their rightful places", so Coyote began to climb the ladder into the sky, to place the stars in order.

At the top of the ladder the wind spirits blew upon Coyote's ladder and he juggled and switched the two stars.

Coyote looked back White Beetle and thought he wouldn't know the difference between the two stars and just threw them up into the night sky, now known as Twin Stars (Gemini). To this day children who are born twins will compete with each other in every way possible to receive the most attention from parents and the holy ones.

As White Beetle began to place Dil'ye'he (the Seven Sisters), Coyote came over underneath his ladder and realized that the job was going to be finished, so he shook the ladder hard causing White Beetle to tumble off backwards with his basket of stars. As he tumbled he flung his basket of stars from north to south, spilling his basket of stars and planets across the night sky. These stars formed the Path of Spirits also known as the Milky Way. All the other stars scattered randomly across the sky. No longer was the sky as bright as day, even to this day the moon will only shine it's full brilliance on the 28th day for 5 days and the will be cloaked in darkness cover for most of the month.

The holy ones were dissatisfied and upset and journey from the universe to White Beetle's hogan and told him that he had a special job in creation, a job suited to your natural talents of order and arrangements. Each of his brothers were created with special abilities to complement one another and within their hearts a challenge was placed with a seed to reflect the holy ones. With this you will discover yourself and see the holy ones reflected in all of creation. You will see them in the night time and in daylight, in the clouds, the rocks, the flowers, the trees and even the eagles that soar across the canyon sky.

The Holy ones instructed that from this day on exists a paradox within the universe and the order is out of balance, thus White Beetle was told "From this day on, your beautiful shiny white back shall be as dark as the night sky, you've created for the Holy ones and the night dwellers. And from this day on you shall be known as the Little Black Stink Bug".

Little Black Stink Bug has a foul smell now to teach you as a human not to smell with the stink of self-pride and godlike illusions of power.

The Holy ones instructed the Little Black Stink Bug to teach of the Four Races of mankind. To look and learn the virtues of hard work by observing the efforts of the small bee, red and black ant. To learn of the "Beauty Way" teachings from the beautiful trees, rocks, animals, flowers, and water. All are reflections of the Holy ones and through this reflection, you will learn of your purpose and identity in life. Learn of creativity through Spider Woman and you shall prosper your family. Last you shall teach of music by listening to the wind spirits and the beautiful song birds of Father Sky.

This is your purpose now Little Black Stink Bug, so go and teach the mammals of Mother Earth to respect each other and live in harmony by helping one another to understand "The Beauty Way of the Dineh".

May God Bless You with the Sacred Corn Pollen and always "Walk in Beauty".

Story by Adam Teller and Grandma May Thompson

Four Corners Storytelling Festival - Farmington, New Mexico (website)



Adam Teller
P.O. Box 459
Chinle, AZ 86503

(928) 674-5231
(928) 429-1187


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