Long ago, two Lakota maidens were outside looking up at the stars.
One said: “How pretty the stars are this evening! I wish that big one were a human being and I would marry him.”
The other young woman said: “I wish that little star were a man. I would marry him.”
Suddenly two men appeared, saying: “You have just promised to marry us.” The maidens agreed and went with them to the star world, where the two stars became their husbands.
The star world was beautiful. The young women, who were soon to become mothers, were warned not to dig any wild turnips.
One of the women was fond of turnips and began to dig them anyway. When she pulled out a turnip, a hole opened. She could look down to see the Earth and her village. She was homesick and wanted to go home, so she braided the turnip plants to make a rope. She let herself down through the hole. But the braid didn’t reach to the Earth and she crashed to the ground. When she landed, her baby was born.
A meadowlark raised the baby, named Fallen Star. Fallen Star grew up in days instead of years. He was taller than other men and light shone from him. He traveled around Lakota country, and wherever he went, he was anticipated and treated with respect.
At one tipi camp in the Black Hills, every day a red eagle swooped down and stole a young girl to eat.
All the men from the camp tried to shoot the eagle, with no success. They prayed for Fallen Star to come.
In seven days, after seven girls had been abducted, he arrived. He shot the eagle and placed the seven girls in the sky as stars.
The Lakota call this constellation wicincala sakowin, meaning Seven Little Girls. We know it as the Pleiades.