I chose a Creek folk tale today for Picture book of the Day and wanted to explore both the story, its influences, and make connections to learn more about the Muscogee (Creek) people. I hope you enjoy this exploration!
The Muscogee (Creek) people are descendents of a remarkable culture that, before 1500 AD, spanned all the region known today as the Southeastern United States. Early ancestors of the Muscogee constructed magnificent earthen pyramids along the rivers of this region as part of their elaborate ceremonial complexes. The historic Muscogee later built expansive towns within these same broad river valleys in the present states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
from Muscogee Nation
The Otter, The Spotted Frog and The Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story by Ramon Shiloh
When the spotted frog warns everyone of a great flood that threatens to destroy all life on earth, only Listener the otter takes heed. He builds a raft and ties it to the tallest tree and thus is able to survive. While this picture book is a Creek creation myth, it is interesting to note that the Creek people may also have incorporated Bibilical stories into their own oral tradition. Doesn’t this story remind you a little of Noah’s Arc?
There is another interesting twist after the great flood subsides. Listener the otter turns into a human and you find a reference to Greek Mythology’s Metis story regarding his wife! [picture book, ages 4 and up]