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The Raven Myth

It was in the time when there were no people on the earth. For four days the first man lay coiled up in a pea-pod. On the fifth day he stretched out his feet and burst the pod, falling to the ground, where he stood up, a full-grown man. He looked about him, and then moved his hands and arms, his neck and legs, and examined himself curiously.

After a while he had an unpleasant feeling in his stomach, and he stooped down to take some water into his mouth from a small pool. The water ran down into his stomach and he felt better. When he looked up again he saw approaching, with a waving motion, a dark object which came on until just in front of him, when it stopped, and, standing on the ground, looked at him. This was a raven, and, as soon as it stopped, it raised one of its wings, pushed up its beak, like a mask, to the top of its head, and stared at the man, and after it was raised he stared more than ever, moving about from side to side to obtain a better view At last he said: "What are you? From where did you come? I have never seen anything like you." Then Raven looked at Man, and was still more surprised to find this strange new being was so much like himself in shape.

Then Raven told Man to walk away a few steps, and in astonishment exclaimed again: "From where did you come? I have never seen anything like you before." To this Man replied: "I came from the pea-pod." And he pointed to the plant from which he came. "Ah!" exclaimed Raven, "I made that vine, but did not know that anything like you would ever come from it. Now wait for me here." Then he drew down the mask over his face, changing again into a bird, and flew far up into the sky where he disappeared.

Man waited where he had been left until the fourth day, when Raven returned, bringing four berries in his claws. Pushing up his mask, Raven became a man again and held out two salmonberries and two heathberries, saying, "Here is what I have made for you to eat. I also wish them to be plentiful over the earth. Now eat them." Man took the berries and placed them in his mouth one after the other and they satisfied his hunger, which had made him feel uncomfortable.

Raven then led Man to a small creek nearby and left him while he went to the water's edge and molded a couple of pieces of clay into the form of a pair of mountain sheep, which he held in his hand, and when they became dry he called Man to show him what he had done. Man thought they were very pretty, and Raven told him to close his eyes. As soon as Man's eyes were closed Raven drew down his mask and waved his wings four times over the images, when they became endowed with life and bounded away as full-grown mountain sheep

More Raven Myth
More Raven Myth