|In the Stars
Author: Mao The Peacock PM
Before man had the telescope, he used the stars to live by.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 734 - Published: 12-09-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2750416
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Years ago, there was no such thing as a telescope, a watch, or a calendar. People observed the stars to tell different seasons apart, read the future, and tell legends. As our technology advances, we sometimes take stars for granted, but in truth they are marvelous being created and destroyed by the will of the universe.
Back when there were no compasses, sailors used Polaris, the North Star, to find their way to distant lands. There is an easy way to spot Polaris, find the Big Dipper in the northern sky. Look at the Big Dipper and find the two stars that form the right-hand side of the dipper's bowl. Draw a mental line between these two stars and extend it upwards from the constellation. Follow this line until you get to a star, and you have found Polaris.
There are many stories about the stars. One of my favorite legends is about the star cluster- the Seven Sisters. It goes something like this-
One day long ago a traveling party of the Kiowa People were crossing the great prairie and camped by a stream. Many of the Bear People lived nearby, and they smelled the Kiowa People. The Bear People were hungry, and some of the bear warriors went out to hunt the Kiowa People.
Seven young girls from the Kiowa camp were out gathering berries, up along the stream, far from the campsite. The Bears came upon them and growled to attack. The girls ran and ran, out across the open prairie, until they came to a large gray rock. They climbed onto the rock, but the bears began to climb the rock also.
The girls began to sing a prayer to the rock, asking it to protect them form the Bear People. No one had ever honored the rock before, and the rock agreed to help them. The rock, who had laid quietly for centuries, began to stand up and reach to the sky. The girls rose higher and higher as the rock stood up. The bear warriors began to sing to the bear gods, and the bears grew taller as the rock rose up.
The bears tried and tried to climb the rock as it grew steeper and higher, but their huge claws only split the rock face into thousands of strips as the rock grew up out of their reach. Pieces of rock were scraped and cut away by the thousands and fell in piles at the foot of the rock. The rock was cut and scarred on all of its sides as the bears fought to climb it.
At last, the bears gave up the hunt, and turned to go back to their own houses. They slowly returned to the original sizes. As the huge bears came back across the prairie, slowly becoming smaller, the Kiowas saw them and broke camp. They fled in fear, and looking back at the towering mountain of rock, they guessed that it must be the lodge of these giant bears. "Tso' Ai'," some People say today, or "Bears' Lodge."
The Kiowa girls were afraid, high up on the rock, and they saw their People break camp and leave them there, thinking the girls had all already been eaten by the bears.
The girls sang again, this time to the stars. The stars were happy to hear their song, and the stars came down and took the seven girls into the sky, the Seven Sisters, and each night they pass over Bears' Lodge and smile in gratitude to the rock spirit.
Due to earlier civilizations' perseverance to study the stars, we have constellations. The constellations are named after Gods and sacred animals from old legends. These constellations are groups of stars that, when traced, connect to form an object. These constellations include- Leo, Scorpio, Pisces, Aquarius, and may more! They all have different seasons when they can be seen from the Earth.
Stars are amazing things. They help us tell time, navigate, and tell stories from a different time. Sometimes I wonder why Man ever invented the telescope. But then and again, I think I can guess why. Space is "the final frontier." It is the last place where we can tell ourselves that anything is possible. When Man built the telescope, he wanted to be closer to that place that is, and will always be, mysterious and exciting- the stars.