Early one morning, as the Sun rose from his bed beyond the Rocky Mountain, his handsome son Morning Star addressed him boldly.
'Father, I am tired from my lonely vigil in the sky. I wish to take a wife to keep me company.'
'Have you chosen a bride?' asked the Sun.
'I have looked down upon the tepees of the Blackfeet tribe tribe and seen there a beautiful Indian maid called Soatsaki,' Morning Star replied. 'I love her dearly and would ask her to be my wife.'
His father shook his head. 'You cannot wed an earthly maid, my son,' he said. 'She would bring unhappiness to you and to herself. Her rightful home is on the earth. Her rightful home is on the earth. Should she dwell in our kingdom in the skies she would sorely miss her people.'
Morning Star was very sad. He could not put thoughts of the enchanting Indian girl from his mind. From his lofty home he gazed down each dawn upon her as she slept within her father's tepee. His longing grew and soon touched the heart of his mother, the pale Moon. She begged the Sun to change his mind.
At last the Sun reluctantly gave permission.
'But hear me well,' he said to Morning Star. 'Once she dwells within our realm she must never again look upon the Blackfeet tepees, lest her heart be filled with longing to return.'
Morning Star was overjoyed. He painted his bronze body, stuck a red eagle's feather in his black hair, and put on his scarlet cloak and shinning black moccasins. Dressed thus, he appeared before the maid he loved so dearly. Though she was startled to see the handsome stranger, she was quickly taken by his noble bearing and fell in love with him. Gladly she agreed to be his wife.
'Dear Soatsaki,' said the handsome brave, 'to marry me you must give up your earthly life. My tepee is in the skies. You must bid farewell to the people of your tribe forever.'
So in love was Soatsaki that she readily consented to what he said. After parting with her family, she flew up to her new home in the heavens with her husband, Morning Star.
'The young brave and his squaw were very happy and, in the space of several moons, a son was born. They called him Little Star.
One day, as Soatsaki sat in the Moon's tepee nursing her infant son, she asked the Moon why it was that the big iron pot in the center of the home always boiled without a fire.
'That is because it has magic source of heat beneath it,' said the Moon. 'But heed my words, daughter of the earth, you must never move the pot. If you do, great misfortune will befall you.'
Saotsaki thanked her mother-in-law for her warning and gave her word she would not touch the pot.
Yet at midday, when plane moon was sleeping soundly, the lovely Indian maid could not still her curiosity. She approached the empty pot and tried to pull it to one side. She approached the empty pot and tried to pull it to one side. She tugged and pushed until finally, with one great heave, she sifted it aside.
Imagine her surprise when she discovered what was below: she could see right through the whole beneath the pot! As she knelt down to take a better look, she saw her former home below upon the silent plains. She could see the green edge of the prairie with its shooting threads of gold, scarlet and blue, the blossoming wolf willow and dog rose. Her heart beat wildly as she recognized the tepee clusters of her own Blackfeet tribe. And she was filled with an uncontrollable longing to see her kinsfolk once again.
When her husband Morning Star returned, he noticed at once the downcast look upon his wife's lovely face and asked her for the reason.
'If only I could see my people once again,' she said, 'I should be very happy. Though I am content here with you, my husband, and our infant son, I long to pay just one visit
to my native land.'
Morning Star was hurt at these words, for he knew that his wife had broken her promise,
When his father, the Sun, heard the new, he flew into a rage.
'You are unworthy of a place in our heavens,' he shouted at her. 'Go then back to earth from whence you came. And take your papoose with you. No more will you see you husband, Morning Star. That shall be a punishment for your disobedience.'
Soatsaki and Little Star were wrapped up tightly in a caribou skin and lowered on leather thong through the hole beneath the iron pot. But before they reached the earth, Little Star began to cry and forced his head out of the caribou skin. As he did so, the leather throng slid through his face leaving a deep cut, two fingers' length across.
In the course of time, his face wound healed, though it left an ugly scar down one side of his face. So disfigured was he that the other braves of the tribe gave him the name of Poia, meaning Scarface. Eventhough he was daring and skilful in hunting and battle, bringing much gloey to his tribe, the braves and the maiden shunned him. Even the little children taunted him as he passed by, calling, 'There goes Scarface, the ugly one!'
Meanwhile, his poor mother, Soatsaki, pined away for her lost husband and finally died of a broken heart, leaving her son all by himself. He grew up with no family or friends for company. He walked alone.
The lonely years passed by and when he came to manhood, Poia fell in love with the daughter of a neighbouring chief. She much admired his skill with bow and arrow and she deeply respected his strength in combat with other braves. However, she could not gaze upon his scarred, disfigured face without a shudder of disgust. So she refused him.
It was rare indeed for an Indian maid to refuse a brave's proposal. And Poia was greatly hurt and much ashamed. He could not show his face before the tribe without their scorn.
'I must find a way of reaching my grandfather, the Sun,' thought Scarface in his misery. 'Perhaps he will take pity on me and remove this blemish from my face.'
So he set out on a journey westwards towards the lofty snow-capped mountains. For many moons he walked, climbing the jagged peaks, crossing the swift rolling rivers, leaping over the moving ice floes, until finally he reached the end of the world where the mighty water meet the sky.
He sat down exhausted on the rocky shore and looked up at the Sun.
'O Mighty Sun,' he cried, 'Father of my father, grandfather of Little Star. Hear me now, I pray thee. Show me a way up the heavens, that I may come to seek your aid. My soul is troubled. I would rather go to the land of the spirits than live on earth, bearing forever the name of Scarface.'
For three days and nights, Scarface waited, never eating, never drinking. On the fourth day, just as dawn was breaking, he opened his eyes to see a path of light stretching before him. It led from where he sat right across the water to the sky.
Great was his joy when he stepped upon the firm broad stairway and mounted it with fast-beating hearts into the heavens.
But then, just as he reached the home where he was born, he saw some way off seven giant eagles attacking his dear father Morning Star. In another moment they would surely have pecked out his eyes. Swiftly taking arrows from his quiver, he fitted them into his bow, one after the other, and shot all seven eagles. Morning Star was overjoyed to see his long-lost son an rushed to join him.
'You have passed the trial of courage, my son,' he said. 'Now I can take you to your grandfather the Sun.'
Mighty Sun did indeed take pity on his grandson and removed the ugly scar.
'From this time forth,' he said, 'no one will call you Poia. And since you have borne your ugliness so bravely, I shall reward you with this magic flute. It will charm the heart of all who hear its music. Return to Earth, my grandson, and wed the maiden whom you love, Then should you so desire, you may return with her to your birthplace in the skies.'
So Little Star, for such he had become again, went back to the plains and stood before the great tepee of the neighboring chief. As soon as he played the flute, the chief's lovely daughter emerged enchanted, and fell deeply in love with the how handsome brave.
They were soon married and after the wedding celebrating they went hand in hand to the sky abode of the Sun, the Moon and the Morning Star. And there they remain to this to this very day. If you look up at the evening sky, you, you can sometimes see the tepees of their many children in what some folk call the Milky Way.