How Wolverine Devoured the Sun

Wolverine was the fiercest animal in the forest. Even great Grizzly Bear ran away when Wolverine was angry. Wolverine was also the hungriest animal in the forest. He ate everything he could find that wouldn’t bite him back, and even most of the ones that would. All the animals of the forest told their young to stay away from Wolverine, lest he gobble them up for breakfast.

After a while, everyone learned to stay far away, and he found it harder and harder to find food to eat. One day, there was an enormous rumbling in his stomach, and he knew that if he did not eat soon his stomach might just try to eat him! So he left his den to go out and see whether some animal or another might be close enough for at least a snack.

Yet the snow covered the land so thickly that not even the tiny field mice with their enormous families could be found. And because all the animals had hidden away while it snowed, there were no tracks to be found anywhere.

Wolverine looked all around him. There was only snow, that melted in his stomach and did no good. And there were trees and rocks, but even his formidable stomach would reject them. Finally he looked up, and saw the Sun in the sky.

And he thought to himself, “All life comes from the Sun. She feeds the plants, who feed the animals, who feed me. So if I eat the Sun, then I’ll never be hungry again!”

Sunburst, Lupa, 2011

Just then, the Sun was approaching the top of the highest mountain peak. So Wolverine ran as fast as he could, climbing the mountain with his sharp claws gouging gashes in the rocks, and shredding the boulders into rock slides. He destroyed the mountainside homes of the pikas, who to this day will still complain loudly and shrilly about it to anyone who comes near.

Right when the Sun was crossing over the tip of the mountain, Wolverine reached the summit. With a running leap, he opened his jaws just as wide as they would go—and he swallowed the Sun! The world was thrown into complete darkness, since the Moon was still slumbering on the other side of the world, and the Stars were too surprised to shine.

Down in the forest, the startled animals panicked, shoving their way through the cold and snow to see if their neighbors, too, had experienced this sudden nightfall. Some were lost in snowdrifts; others tripped over rocks or fell off cliffs or stumbled into rivers. The trees and other plants shook and wailed as their only source of food had disappeared. “We are lost!” they exclaimed.

Meanwhile, Wolverine attempted to pick his way down the mountain with a very round, very full, and very uncomfortable stomach. He was so busy trying to not roll down the mountain that he didn’t even stop to consider whether he was even hungry any more. And he certainly didn’t notice that he had, in his haste, swallowed the Sun quite alive.

For her part, the Sun had shaken off the indignity and inconvenience of having been eaten whole, and she began to look for a way out. First she looked up Wolverine’s throat, but she only saw his sharp teeth, and having avoided them once she did not wish to try her luck again. She then looked toward his tail, but she only saw his long, long tangle of intestines, and she did not wish to find herself lost in that maze. She even tapped at his ribs, but found the bones to make all too effective a cage.

Wolverine totem headdress, Lupa, 2011

So finally she decided she would stay right where she was and look for any possible way out. She began to roll around, testing every surface she touched for any sign of an opening. As the Sun pressed up against Wolverine’s insides, she burned him terribly. Wolverine, even so strong and stoic as he was, could not help but cry, and the pain was so great that he began to shed tears of blood that flowed down his body.

Finally, the Sun found a weak spot at the back of his belly. And she pushed, and she pushed, and Wolverine clawed the ground trying to keep her in, and his howls of fury and pain were so great that all the other creatures ran far away.

And then with a great tearing and rending, the Sun burst through Wolverine’s back. She scorched his fur as she escaped, and left an impression of her beams radiating out from the hole she created. She flew back up into the sky and brought the day to the land again.

As she looked down upon Wolverine, who lay dead upon the ground, she took pity on him. And lifting him up into the sky, she breathed life back into him, and knit together his torn form. And Wolverine stood up, as healthy—and hungry—as ever. But as he looked back to see whether the hole still remained in his back, he saw a ring of pale sunbeams on his fur.

“These are to remind you of the consequences of your gluttony,” the Sun said. “You were only so very hungry, my fearsome child, but you are a creature of the earth, not the sky, and there are many things for you to eat where you came from.” And so she placed him back down right by his den.

And from that day forward, no matter how hungry Wolverine was, and no matter how far he had to travel to find food even in the middle of Winter, he had only to look at the Sun’s touch upon his back to remind him of the folly of his past.

Wolverine Fur, Lupa, 2011

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4 thoughts on “How Wolverine Devoured the Sun

  1. Storytelling has been a part of my practice for a few months now, and it is fantastic to see you picking up this thread of creativity and weaving it into your shamanic practice.

    This tale is wonderful. It’s new, yet it taps into something we all know of. Beautiful.

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