The Bear whole stole the Sun is a popular legend amongst the Sahtu people of northern Canada. This version was originally told by Elder Norman Andrew in the North Slavey tongue, and has been translated and recorded by Mable Martin and Sister Celeste Goulet.
The Black Bear was playing tricks on the other animals. One day, he was very daring and stole the sun. It became very dark and cold on the earth. Bear was very worried, and decided to hide before the other animals figured out what he had done.
The other animals wondered what had happened to the sun, but no one noticed that Bear was missing. The leader of the animals asked each of them to go and dream, to see if they could see where the sun had gone.
The next day, the animals gathered together to reveal their dreams. One by one, each animal told the leader that they had tried, but could not see the sun in their dreams. This worried everyone very much.
Little Squirrel was the only one who didn't say anything. So, the leader asked, "Squirrel, did you see the sun in your dream?" Squirrel looked up nervously and admitted that he didn't try. "You are all so big and powerful, and I am so small. How could I possibly see the sun, if none of you could?" The Leader insisted that Squirrel go away and try to dream.
Squirrel found himself a nice, cozy spot by the fire. He went to sleep for a very long. long time. He slept for so long with his back to the fire, that his back became scorched. That is why all Squirrels today have brown backs.
When Squirrel woke up, he jumped up and down and could hardly wait to share his news. "It's the Bear! The Bear! He's taken the Sun to the other side of the Earth!"
In the animals' world, the Earth was flat, and there was a solid wall where the Earth met the Sky. The animal would have to reach the wall to get the Bear and the Sun. So they all set out to find the other side of the World and the Wall.
To be Continued.