The earth is a great island floating in a sea of water, and
suspended at each end of the four cardinal points by a 
cord hanging down from the sky vault, which is of solid rock. 

When the world grows old and worn out, the people will die 
and the cords will break and let the earth sink down into the 
ocean, and all will be water again. All were afraid of this.

When all was water, the animals were above in Galun lati,
beyond the arch; but it was very much crowded, and they 
wanted more room. They wondered what was below the 
water, and at lest Dayuni si, (Beaver's Grand child), the 
little water-beetle, offered to go and see if it could learn. 
It darted in every direction over the surface of the water, 
but could find no firm place to rest. Then it dived to the 
bottom and came up with some soft mud, which began 
to grow and spread on every side until it became the 
island which we call the earth. It was afterward fastened 
to the sky with four cords, but no one remembers who
did this.

At first the earth was flat and very soft and wet. The animals
were anxious to get down, and sent out different birds to see 
if it was yet dry, but they found no place to light and came 
back again to Galunlati. At last it seemed to be time, and 
they sent out the Buzzard and told him to go and make ready 
for them. This was the Great Buzzard, the father of all buzzards 
we see now. He flew all over the earth, low down near the 
ground, and it was still soft. When he reached the Cherokee 
country, he was very tired, and his wings began to flap and
strike the ground, and wherever they struck the earth there was 
a valley, and where they turned up again there was a mountain. 
When the animals above saw this, they were afraid that the 
whole world would be mountains, so they called him back, 
but the Cherokee Country remains full of mountains to this day.

When the earth was dry and the animals came down, it was 
still dark, so they got the sun and set it in a track to go everyday 
across the island from east to west, just overhead. It was too hot 
this way, and Tsiska gili, the Red Crawfish, had his shell scorched 
a bright red, so that his meat was spoiled; and the Cherokee do 
not eat it. The conjurers put the sun another hand-breath higher in 
the air, but it was still too hot. They raised it another time, and 
another, until it was seven hand-breaths high and just under the 
sky arch. Then it was right, and they left it so. 

This is why the conjurers call the highest place Gulkwa gine Di 
galun latiyun, "The Seventh Height," because it is seven hand-breaths 
above the earth. Every day the sun goes along under this arch, and 
returns at night on the upper side to the starting place.

There is another world under this, and it is like ours in everything 
- animals, plants, and people-save that the seasons are different. 
The streams that come down the mountains are the trails by which 
we reach this underworld, and the springs at their heads are the
doorways by which we enter it, but to do this one must fast and go to
water and have one of the underground people for a guide. This can 
be done but only carefully with another experienced person who 
knows how to call you back (one you can trust).  

We know that the seasons in the underworld are different from 
ours, because the water in the springs is always warmer in 
winter and cooler in summer than the outer air.

When the animals and plants were first made-we do not know 
by whom- they were told to watch and keep awake when they 
pray to their medicine. They tried to do this, and nearly all 
were awake through the first night, but the next night several 
dropped off to sleep, and the third night others  were asleep, 
and then others, until on the seventh night, of all the animals 
only the owl, the panther, and one or two more were still 
awake. To these were given the power to see and to go about
in the dark, and to prey of the birds and animals which must 
sleep at night. Of the trees only the cedar, the pine, the spruce, 
the holly, and the laurel were awake to the end, and to them it 
was given to always green and to be greatest for medicine, 
but to the others it was said:"Because you have not endured to 
the end you shall lose your hair every winter."

Men came after the animals and plants. At first there were
only a brother and sister until he struck her with a fish and 
told her to multiply, and so it was. In seven days a child was 
born to her and thereafter every seven days another, and 
they increased very fast until there was danger that the world 
could not keep them. Then it was made that a woman should 
have only one child in a year, and it has been so ever since. 
And so it is good.