Select the desired text size
Story of the first diamonds.
From The Book of Nature Myths by Florence Holbrook.
Start of Story
The chief of an Indian tribe had two sons whom he loved very dearly.
This chief was at war with another tribe, and one dark night two of his
enemies crept softly through the trees till they came to where the two
boys lay sound asleep. The warriors caught the younger boy up gently,
and carried him far away from his home and his friends.
When the chief woke, he cried, "Where is my son? My enemies have been
here and have stolen him."
All the Indians in the tribe started out in search of the boy. They
roamed the forest through and through, but the stolen child could not be
The chief mourned for his son, and when the time of his death drew near,
he said to his wife, "Moneta, my tribe shall have no chief until my boy
is found and taken from our enemies. Let our oldest son go forth in
search of his brother, and until he has brought back the little one, do
you rule my people."
Moneta ruled the people wisely and kindly. When the older son was a man
she said to him, "My son, go forth and search for your brother, whom I
have mourned these many years. Every day I shall watch for you, and
every night I shall build a fire on the mountain top."
"Do not mourn, mother," said the young man. "You will not build the fire
many nights on the mountain top, for I shall soon find my brother and
bring him back to you."
He went forth bravely, but he did not come back. His mother went every
night to the mountain top, and when she was so old that she could no
longer walk, the young men of the tribe bore her up the mountain side in
their strong arms, so that with her own trembling hand she could light
One night there was a great storm. Even the brave warriors were afraid,
but Moneta had no fear, for out of the storm a gentle voice had come to
her that said, "Moneta, your sons are coming home to you."
"Once more I must build the fire on the mountain top," she cried. The
young men trembled with fear, but they bore her to the top of the
"Leave me here alone," she said. "I hear a voice. It is the voice of my
son, and he is calling, 'Mother, mother.' Come to me, come, my boys."
Coming slowly up the mountain in the storm was the older son. The
younger had died on the road home, and he lay dead in the arms of his
In the morning the men of the tribe went to the mountain top in search
of Moneta and her sons. They were nowhere to be seen, but where the
tears of the lonely mother had fallen, there was a brightness that had
never been seen before. The tears were shining in the sunlight as if
each one of them was itself a little sun. Indeed, they were no longer
tears, but diamonds.
The dearest thing in all the world is the tear of mother-love, and that
is why the tears were made into diamonds, the stones that are brightest
and clearest of all the stones on the earth.