Long ago, the first human twins were born to a spirit woman.
She relied on the animals to help her care for them. The dog watched over
them, the bear gave his fur to warm them, the doe provided her milk, the
beaver and muskrat bathed them, and the birds sang them lullabies. The
dog was an excellent guardian, but as the babies grew he noticed they
were not walking.
The dog brought his concerns to Nanabush who decided to call on the Great
Spirit. In reply to his call the Great Spirit told him to gather thousands
of tiny stones. Nanabush did as he was told and gathered stones of blue,
red, yellow and green.
He then squatted beside the pile of stones and watched them but nothing
happened. He tossed some of the small stones in the air, and to his astonishment
they turned into winged creatures of many colors and shapes. The beautiful
creatures fluttered here and there before coming to rest on his shoulders.
These were the first butterflies.
The butterflies followed Nanabush back to the twins, who crowed with pleasure
and waved their legs and stretched out their arms to the beautiful creatures.
The butterflies always flew just beyond the grasp of the small outstretched
hands. Soon the twins began to crawl, then to walk, and even to run in
their efforts to catch the butterflies. (Basil H. Johnston)