Origin of Animals (Caddo)
The Caddos say that people and animals lived together when the world began. After a while there were too many, and not enough food for all. A council was held and the leaders decided that some should become animals. They would live apart from people and be hunted for food. Some, who lived where a big fire burned the grass, rolled around until the ashes turned them black. They rolled around more and turned into bears. The bears were given ten lives. When they were killed the first time, the second life arose from the blood spilled on the ground. When they were killed again, a third life arose, and so on up to the tenth life. With each new life the bears grew more dangerous, until they reached the tenth life when they would fight and even eat the humans. Some others who lived where the long grass grew rolled upon the earth, and they became buffalos, with grass hanging like beards under their necks. They, too, were given ten lives. The deer were made the same way, and after them the rest of the animals.
Adapted from Traditions of the Caddo by George A. Dorsey (1905, Carnegie Institution Publications, No. 41).