I pass along this story:

"The Crack in the World"

by Woktela

Our grandfathers tell the story of the opening of the crack in the world. It is the job of our medicine man to open the crack in the world so that we can obtain understandings of our healing. Through the portal of these cracks, we have seen through time and space. We have seen great understanding, and understood more that we know. Through the crack, we have seen the great beasts that walk the earth no more. We have seen the great, firey visitors strike the earth, like the one that made the great crater in Arizona. We have visited the strange life forms on other worlds and we have known the stars. We have learned much at the feet of our Grandfathers through the crack in the world. This is how it began.

One day, Mole announced that while solitarily tunneling through Grandmother Earth, he had discovered cracks in the world. All the creatures gathered around to hear Mole's stories of what he had seen through the cracks in the world. The animals found Mole's stories to be quite incredible and strange. Many animals tired of Mole's fanciful tales, and called them balderdash. "He has eaten the fungal flesh, and it has warped his vision of reality," said Squirrel.

"He has lost touch with the true reality," said Chipmunk.

"Let us have no more to do with Mole's mental flatulance," said Flying Squirrel. So, many animals left Mole telling his tales, and went back about their business.

Some animals continued to listen, spellbound. A few asked Mole to teach them to find the cracks in the world so that they, too, might see these things for themselves. Mole taught them, and they told their tales. The majority of the animals, however, shunned them as being crazed, or meddling in matters that were best left alone.

One day, Squirrel was distraught. His teeth were wearing out faster than they could grow. Without his teeth, he could not eat. He went to Beaver and asked his advice, but Beaver had no idea what he should do. Squirrel went from animal to animal, but no one could advise him. Then he asked Groundhog, who suggested that he was sure that Mole could help.

Squirrel went to Mole and told him of his plight. Mole said, "This is certainly beyond all experience. I will go through the crack in the world and find the answer."

Mole asked Squirrel to sit in his dark hole with him, and soon Squirrel soon began to hear a rattle. It sounded as if Mole were bouncing all about. After some time, Mole spoke to Squirrel. Mole said, "You must find bones and gnaw them."

Squirrel said, "That sounds as if it would only wear away my teeth faster."

Mole only replied that it was the advice the Grandfathers gave him.

Squirrel went off and found some bones, and gnawed them with the nubs of his teeth. After a few weeks, his teeth began to grow in faster, and were soon again their proper length. Old Squirrel soon grew fat again. All the animals asked him, "How is it that you solved your problem?" He told them of Mole's healing medicine gotten through the crack in the world.

Mole was the first Shaman, you see. He taught other animals his skills. They taught men, and it has been passed from one generation to another down to us here. We have but to look to see the cracks. We have only to strive to open them and meet the harmony to make our needed medicine.

This is enough now. (click here to go back to Between the Worlds)

Woktela (Yuchi) aka David K. Hackett, writes under the name of Woktela. This story is from a collection of both traditional and modern tales recounted on the GEnie Computer Network (Cat 13, Top 14 & 3), Native American Spirituality BullEtin Board.