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Ancient Stories to Fill a Starry Night

August 22, 1993|EMILY ADAMS

Gather round, children, and you will hear of a time before stars clustered thick in the night sky.

Before distant suns appeared to light our way, all the creatures of the world stumbled about in the evening as they went about their chores. They bumped into spiny cactus needles and slipped into cold streams.

Tired of tripping in the dark, the animals went to the creator and asked for help. The creator gave them a bag of stars and told the creatures to outline their own images in the night sky. But this was a long process and the animals tired of the work.

So they went to the wisest of all creatures, the coyote, and asked for help. The coyote took the bag of stars and threw it into the sky. In his haste, coyote forgot to make a picture of himself. That is why the constellations of animals are unfinished, and also why the coyote howls at night as he looks into the sky and remembers his mistake.

That's one version of how stars came into being, says storyteller Paul Holguin. As a collector of American Indian stories, Holguin has heard many stories on the creation of the lights that appear in our skies.

And, luckily for you and the kids, Holguin will be telling some of those tales during the upcoming Night of Stargazing at the Pico Rivera Center for the Arts.

For a $1 contribution, stargazers will be able to hear Holguin's stories, see reproductions of artwork depicting the heavens, visit a portable planetarium and use telescopes to see the real things.

The portable planetarium, which will be set up in a tent in a lobby adjoining the art center, also will give the inside scoop on novas and black holes.

This evening of stars was conceived as a blend of art and science, literature and astronomy. All that, and it's supposed to be fun too.

The $1 goes to the Southeast Youth Science Center, which developed the program along with the city art center, said Erika Layton-Reynolds, art center director.

Hot dogs and beverages will be sold.

The program is scheduled from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Pico Rivera Center for the Arts, 9200 Mines Ave.

Information: 801-4300.

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