The sun lived on the other side of the sky,but her daughter lived in the middle of the sky. every day, as the sun was climbing across the sky to the west, she used to stop at her daughter's house for dinner.
now, the sun hated the people on earth because they could never look at her without screwing up their faces. but the moon loved them because they always smiled pleasantly when they say him in the sky at night.this mde the sun jealous. So she sent down such hot rays that a great fever came upon people and they died by the hundreds. before that nobody had ever died, you see.
when only a few people were left, they asked for help from the little people who lived in caves and at the bottoms of streams.the little people made medicine and changed one of the men into a rattlesnake. they told him to hide near the house of the sun's daughter and when the sun came out, bite her and kill her. The rattlesnake waited, as the little people told him, but when the door opened, it was the sun's daughter who came out. The rattlesnake sprang up and bit her and she died. When the sun found her daughter dead, she went back into the house and grieved, and people did not die of the fever anymore, but now the world was dark all the time because the sun would not come out of the house.
the people went back to the little people for help. the little people told them if they wanted the sun to come out again, they must bring back her daughter from the ghost country in usunhi'yi<>, the dark land to the west. they chose seven men to go and gave hem sourwood rods and a box. They must find the sun's daughter, strike her with the rods, imprison her in the box, and bring her back to her mother. the little people warned them they must be very sure not to open the box, even a crack, until they were home again.
the seven men did as they were told. When they got to Tsusgina'i,the ghost country,they found all the ghosts at a dance. the young woman was in the outside circle, and as she swung around to where the seven men were standing, they struck her with their rods and she fell down. they put her in the box and closed the lid. Then they started for home.
in a little while, the girl woke up and begged to be let out of the box. The men didn't answer.Soon she called again and said she was hungry.Still they didn't answer. After awhile, she called for a drink and pleaded so that it was hard to listen to her, but the men said nothing and continued on their journey.
When they men were near home, the sun's daughter called again and begged them to raise the lid just a little because she was smothering. They were afraid she was really dying, so they lifted the lid only enough to give her air. But as they did so there was a fluttering sound inside and something flew past them into the thicket and they heard a redbird cry, "Kwish! kwish! kwish!" So we know the redbird is the daughter of the sun, and if the men had kept the box closed as the little people told them to do,they would have brought her home safely and they could have brought back their friends from the ghost country. But now no one can ever be brought back.
when the men returned without the Sun's daughter, she grieved and cried until her tears made a flood and people were afraid they would all drown. The people had to send their handsomest young men and women to amuse the sun so that she would stop crying and smile again. But people still die and no one can ever return from the ghost country.