Seminole Creation Story

When the Creator, the Grandfather of all things, created the earth, there were many things he wanted to
put there. Birds, animals, reptiles, insects, and many different living things. The Creator did have certain
favorite animals. He liked the Panther, Coo-wah-chobee - crawls on four legs, close to the ground. The
Panther would sit beside the Creator and He would pet the Panther, over and over, across its long, soft,
furry back.

The Creator made sure that certain animals and plants possessed unique healing powers. When the Creator touches certain things longer than normal, His powers automatically go into what He touches. He told Panther, "When it's complete, I would like for you to be the first to walk on the earth. You are majestic and beautiful. You have patience and strength. There is something special about you. You are the perfect one to walk the earth first."

Creator went to work making all sorts of animals and birds. Animals on all fours, animals with hooves,
animals with paws, birds with claws, insects, reptiles - why, there was nothing the Creator left out. When
the earth was ready, Creator put all the animals in a large shell. He set it along the backbone of the earth -
the real high mountains. "When the timing is right," He told the animals, "the shell will open and you will
all crawl out. Someone or something will crack the shell and you must all take your respective places on
the face the earth." The Creator then sealed up the shell and left, hoping the Panther would be first to
come out.

Time went along, and nothing happened. Alongside the shell stood a great tree. As time passed, the tree
grew so large that its roots started encircling the shell. Eventually a root cracked the shell. The Panther
was patient, which the Creator liked. But, at this particular time, Panther was too patient. The Wind
started circling around the crack in the shell, round and round the inside, so vigorously that the crack was
made larger.

The Wind, however, remembered that the Creator wished for the Panther to be on earth first. "We will
fulfill the Creator's wishes," said the Wind, reaching down to help the Panther take its place on earth.

The Wind was everywhere. The Wind was the air we breathe. After Wind helped the Panther out first, the
Panther thanked Wind for the honor. Next to crawl out was the Bird. The Bird had picked and picked
around the hole, and, when the time was right, stepped outside the shell. Bird took flight immediately.
After that, other animals emerged in different sequences. Bear, Deer, Snake, Frog, Otter. There were
thousands of others, so many that no one besides the Creator could even begin to count them all. All went
out to seek their proper places on earth.

Meanwhile a thing must happen on its own merits., as Bird was flying around looking for a place to live on
earth, the Creator was watching. He watched each animal and did not intervene, but left the animals on
their own. The Creator often allows things to happen along their own sequences. Sometimes

When the Creator saw that all was done, He decided to name the animals and put them into Clans. For
being such a good companion, the Creator rewarded the Panther with special qualities: "Your Clan will have
the knowledge for making laws and for making the medicine which heals," Creator told Panther. "You, the
Panther, will be in possession of all knowledge of different things. The Panther will have the power to heal
different ailments and to enhance mental powers."

Creator believed the actions of the Wind were very honorable and noble, so He told the Wind: "You will
serve all living things so they may breathe. Without the wind - or air - all will die."

The Bird, for being able to take flight, will be ruler of the earth, said the Creator: "The Bird will make sure
that all things are put in their proper places on earth."

So this is how the beginning was made. Some call it the Creation. Though there were many, many animals
put on this earth by the Creator, all came to know their proper places on Earth.

Dr. Betty Mae Jumper and Chief Jim Billie