The Great Spirit gave seeds of corn to his people. At harvest time, he returned to see what they had done with the corn. There was nothing to see. The people told him that no corn had been planted. When asked why they said they were afraid the birds would eat some.
The Great Spirit asked them what they had done with the corn. He was led to a covered storage pit. The people pulled back the cover to show the Great Spirit the golden kernels of treasure he had given them. His wrath ws great when He saw that rot had ruined it all.
The people protested that they had only been trying to protect what they had been given. They were afraid to lose any of it. Their pleas for understanding went in vain.
The Great Spirit looked on them and said, “How do you know I didn’t give you the corn to see that the birds would be fed? Did you think this great treasure was only for you? If you had planted the corn then both you and the birds would have been feed. So would have been the deer and the squirrel. Your fear and your covetousness has lost you the chance to have corn. From this day forth, the birds and animals will be fed thistle seed. Everywhere you plant crops a thistle will grow.”