Native American Tales

Why Mole Lives Underground

Why Mole Lives UndergroundWhy Mole Lives Underground

Cherokee

A man loved a woman who did not love him at all. This man wanted her more than anything in the world, but the woman wouldn’t give him the time of day.

Mole came along and asked him what was the matter, so the man told him everything. Mole said he could help. He burrowed through the ground and came up near the woman. He took out her heart and brought it back to the man. The man could not see it, but the Mole told him the swallow it, which he did.

When the woman awoke, all she could thing of was the man. She went to him and they were married.

The magicians found out who had made this magic happen and were jealous. They threatened to kill Mole, so he burrowed underground and stayed there.

Observations

This seems like a strange way to win someone’s affection.

Yes, Moles do live underground, they’re adapted and evolved to do so, but this is still a neat story as to why moles might live underground.

Themes

This whole thing is figurative. You can’t actually take out someone’s heart and swallow it to get them to like you. We tend to say things like, “My heart belongs to you.” When we say “heart” in that sense, we don’t mean our physical hearts. We didn’t take out hearts out of our chest and hand it to someone else, for safe-keeping, nor did we tattoo someone’s name on our hearts–“Property of X.” It means we spend a lot of time feeling and thinking about a person. Our thoughts are preoccupied with them and our feelings are preoccupied with them.

The thing problem is that you cannot make someone feel one way or the other about you. There is no force involved in any of this. That’s why we have all these stories and rumors about love potions that would make a person care for you. It’s all a myth. It’s not realistic, but the stories saying otherwise are definitely fun to read.

Overall

Moles doing magic–why not?

Weigh In

If you could force someone to love you, would you?

Do you think Mole deserved to be run underground?

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