Thursday, May 26, 2011

Raven and The Box of Daylight (A Story)

"Black Bird" by Linda
Retold by Dreamwalker

It was many, many years ago, when I was still the White Raven of the North. My feathers were silver-white and glinted in the twilight when I soared over the trees. This was a time when I lived in the beginning time. There was no moon, no sun, no stars. Just the twilight, and the beings, and the planets. I was one of many beings who could change their appearance to anything with a simple thought; but I preferred the shape of a raven.

Yet all was not good because these other creatures were having a miserable time. They walked around on two legs and only had a bit of hair on their bodies. They were cold most of the time. They were bumping into each other because they couldn't see where they were going. They had to eat what they could from the muck because they couldn't even hunt, and they stayed close to home. I took pity on them as I looked down on them, surely these creatures could rise to greater things.

In my land there was an eagle chief who had a great longhouse. He was a greedy man who coveted fine things. His most prized possessions he kept in three boxes - one for the sun, one for the moon, and one for the stars. These were kept inside the longhouse but were heavily-guarded; no man but the chief was allowed to open the boxes.

So I thought to myself, hm, the sun can give these creatures light, so they can see to hunt during the day and warm themselves. The moon will reflect the sun's rays and let them see at night. The stars will help them navigate far from their village, so that they may broaden their horizons. Unfortunately no matter how hard I tried, it was impossible to get anywhere near these boxes!

Now the chief also happened to have a beautiful daughter, which presented a unique opportunity. She had no children of her own, and was of the age where she desired to have children. I removed my feather cloak and changed myself into a pine seed. I drifted down the river next to the chief's home, and as she was scooping up some water from the river, swallowed me as a seed.

And so she became pregnant with a child, and that child was me. As a baby I was naturally curious, and was always getting into things (as most babies do). One day I was left unattended, and managed to get into the box with stars in it! The box fell open and out popped the stars, decorating the skies with their magical glitter!

My grandfather the eagle chief was pretty angry about this, but could not stay angry at his grandson for long. I was soon a toddler and became even more curious. So one day I kept asking Grandpa Eagle if I could see the moon, I pestered and pestered him - just once grandpa, just once can I see the moon?

And eventually he gave in and showed me the moon, and when he did, I caught it, and threw it, and up it went into the sky!

The box containing the sun was more of a challenge; it was the one possession my grandfather would not let anyone near. I decided the only way to have the sun was to take action! One night I discovered the guards were sleeping, and took my chance! I opened the box and threw the sun up into the sky! As I was making my escape, my grandfather grabbed my cloak and threw it into the fire, to prevent me from escaping. Just in time, I grabbed my cloak from the fire - it was blackened but still serviceable - put it on, and transformed back into a raven. I soared out of the longhouse smoke hole, and made my escape!

But from that day on, I have always been black, because the fire on that day scorched my cloak. And from that day on, man had the sun in the sky during the day, the moon in the sky at night, and the stars to navigate by.

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