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The Strawberry Story – A Cherokee story

When the world was young, there lived the First Man and the First Woman. First Man and First Woman had an argument. First Man said to First Woman, "Why are you so lazy? I told you to have my meal ready hours ago.".

First Woman said, "Excuse me?! I am not your maid and if you would have gathered fire wood, YOU could be cooking now.". First Man yelled, "That is women’s work!". Then First Woman got really angry. This made First Man even more angry. The fight got worse and worse. Finally First Woman said: “I'm out of here; I don't need you!” and she left.

With big steps she walked out the door to the path at the edge of the forest. First Man paced the floor. "Good! He exclaimed, "I am glad she is gone."

But when he had calmed down and she did not come back, he walked to the edge of the clearing,  he called her name, but she did not come. He decide to follow her steps and started walking. But he was so far behind, he did not catch up. First Woman was still walking with a vast step; angry and straight as an arrow.

The Sun had witnessed all of this and felt sorry for both of them. It placed a patch of beautiful flowers on the side of the road First Woman was walking on. Colours were bursting in the Sun along her path. But she did not see them. In her anger, she kept walking fast; angry and straight as an arrow.

The Sun collected all the birds in the trees along her path; they sang their most beautiful songs. But she did not hear them. Her step stayed angry and straight as an arrow.

Then the Sun placed the white flowers and the red berries right in the middle of the path of First Woman. She stepped on them and the juices starting rising through her toes. A sweet smell filled her nose. “Where is that fine smell coming from?” She leaned over and picked one of the berries., put it in her mouth and tasted it. It was so sweet! It filled her whole mouth and her whole being. It pushed away all the anger in her body. She started to eat more, and more, and more, and more…

As she reached for one particularly big berry, she noticed behind her, by looking through her legs, First Man! He appeared from behind a tree. She ran towards him and all the bits and pieces of anger that were still inside her, were left behind within the berries. They held each other, exchanged loving words and forgave each other and lived very happily ever after...  

And that is why the Cherokee say: “Strawberries are here in our world to remind us that – whatever may happen in life – love is what truly keeps us connected.”.

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