Raven

Raven2Long ago, near the beginning of the world, Gray Eagle was the guardian of the Sun, Moon, and Stars; of fresh water; and of fire. Gray Eagle hated people so much that he kept these things hidden. People lived in darkness without fire and fresh water.

Gray Eagle had a beautiful daughter, and Raven fell in love with her. Raven was a snow-white bird and, as such, he pleased Gray Eagle’s daughter. She invited him to her father’s longhouse.

When Raven saw the Sun, Moon, Stars, and fresh water hanging on the sides of Eagle’s lodge, he knew what he should do. When no one was looking, he stole them all, and a brand of fire also, and flew out of the longhouse through the smoke hole.

As soon as Raven got outside, he hung the Sun up in the sky. It made so much light that he was able to fly far out to an island in the middle of the ocean. When the Sun set, he fastened the Moon up in the sky and hung the stars around in different places.

By this new light, he kept on flying, carrying with him the fresh water and the brand of fire he had stolen. It fell to the ground and became the source of all the freshwater lakes and streams in the world.

Then Raven flew on, carrying the brand of fire in his bill. The smoke from the fire blew back over his white feathers and made them black. When his bill began to burn, he had to drop the fire. It struck rocks and hid itself within them. That is why, if you strike two stones together, sparks of fire will drop out.

Raven’s feathers never became white again after they were blackened by the smoke of the fire. That is why Raven is now a black bird.

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