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The Legend of The Three Sisters

This week, we planted a combination of vegetables know as the Three Sisters with students from our partner schools. They enjoyed this story about the ways that plants can help each other

In a time before clocks and watches and trains and boats, and farms even, there lived ancient Spirit Children who could tell time from the setting of the sun and the colors in the sky. The Spirit Children were not like us for they could switch into different beings in the blink of an eye: One moment a human with two legs and two arms, the next moment a fox, swift and sly.

They lived to create life on earth such as plants and animals so that the world could be a beautiful place. They roamed freely and in peace with the eyes of Mother Sun and Father Moon watching over them from the skies with love in their hearts.

Among the Spirit Children there lived Three Sisters, no more alike in looks than in personalities. Sister Bean was tall and frail with green hair and graceful limbs. She was always dancing and twisting and twirling.

Sister Corn was taller still and much sturdier with yellow hair and a gaze that could reach across distant lands. Although stern and wise, she always had a smile for her Sisters.

Sister Squash was short and plump with a greenish tint to her skin and deeper yellow hair than Sister Corn. She loved to laugh and could spread her joy like the rains spread water over many miles. It was rare to see one sister without the other two, for they loved each other very much. Unlike the other Spirit Children of the Earth, they felt connected to their Human Cousins (Native Americans as we like to call them.)

Human Cousins amazed the Three Sisters, for they kept to one form and ate what seemed like anything that stood in their path. This angered many of The Spirit Children, for they had worked hard to put animals and plants on the Earth. Above all Mother Sun and Father Moon were angriest with Human Cousins.

“What is this?” Mother Sun once said to Father Moon. “Our children make the world beautiful with their creations of plants and animals only for them to be snatched away by Human Cousins!” “Indeed” Roared Father Moon. “I would not mind if Human Cousins ate only some of the animals and plants, but they eat so quickly that soon there will be none left! What shall we do?”

“Banish them I say. Let us send them away so they can do no more harm!” Said Mother Sun.

“Nay!” Replied Father Moon. “Let us punish them. We shall make it so they cannot eat the animals or pull the plants out of the ground. That will show them!”

Mother Sun liked Father Moons plan and together they told their Spirit Children to make it so. “Children, every new thing that you now create must be impossible to remove. Cousin Humans are destroying what you have worked so hard to create so let us make it so they can no longer hunt our animals and pull up our plants.”

And with that said, Spirit Children made it so plants and animals could not die. Soon there were too many animals roaming the Earth and too many plants on the ground. Spirit Children could not create anymore because there was already too much there. Cousin Humans were hungry for they could not eat what was right before their eyes.

Sister Corn with her wise ways saw that this was a problem and said to her Sisters, “Something must be done. Spirit people are unhappy because they can’t create and Human Cousins are hungry!” “I know!” Said Sister Bean, “I can no longer dance and twirl, for there are too many animals and plants in my way!”

“I know, I know!” Said Sister Squash, “ Everyone is so sad and so hungry that I can not make them laugh or even smile!” “Indeed” Said Sister Corn. And with that the Three Sisters decided to speak with Mother Sun and Father Moon.

One evening when Mother Sun began to set and Father Moon began his watch of the night sky, the Three Sisters called out to them. “Mother Sun and Father Moon, there are simply too many plants and animals on this earth. Spirit Children are unhappy because they cannot create and Human Cousins are very hungry. We must put a stop to this!” “Do you think we don’t know?” Asked Mother Sun in a sad voice. “But if we allow humans to eat the plants and animals again, they will go back to their old ways and everything beautiful will be gone.” “We only meant to punish Human Cousins for a short time, but now we don’t know what to do.” Said Father Moon. “What a mess we have made.” “We have an idea!” All Three Sisters said at the same time. “ If Human Cousins have three different types of food that they like better than the rest, they won’t eat as much of the other food that is on Earth” said Sister Squash.

“Yes,” said Sister Bean. “As Spirit Children, we can take on any form and will become three different foods for Human Cousins. When they eat one plant, we can become a new one, so that they never run out.” “Don’t be silly” Said Father Moon. You cannot be food forever. You will get tired of standing in one place, Sister Bean, you are not very strong.”

Sister Corn spoke up then. “I will stand tall and provide delicious food off my stalks. Sister Bean can wrap around me for balance while making her own food. I am strong and will be able to hold her up when she is tired.

“But still, you will grow hot from my rays shining down on you and will want to move your feet to cool down. This will not work” Said Mother Sun.

“I will lay at their feet and provide shade,” said Sister Squash. “This way they will never get too hot!”

“Well, I’m still not sure,” said Father Moon. “You will get hungry and will want to quit, I just don’t think this will work.” “That’s ok,” said Sister Bean, “I won’t be so tired because I will be resting on Sister Corn. I can focus on making extra food in the soil so all of us can eat!”

Mother Sun and Father Moon both smiled for they liked the idea. The next morning they spoke to Spirit Children and told them to make their plants and animals so that they could be eaten once again. The Three Sisters went down to a place where Human Cousins could see them and turned into food so that Human Cousins could eat them. Human Cousins tried Sister Corn, Sister Bean and Sister Squash and thought, “This food is better than all the rest!” Sometimes we might want to eat an animal or two, but with Corn, Beans and Squash for most of the time these three will do!”

And with that, Human Cousins mainly stuck to their corn, beans and squash so that there could still be beautiful animals on the earth. Spirit Children were happy because there was still room to create new animals and plants and the Three Sisters were never tired, hot or hungry because they had each other and they had made everyone happy! The End.

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