Tuesday 27 November 2007

Bird Land Morning

By dawn's

early light

at the edge of the roof

a faithful friend appears

calling on his brethrens

beyond the horizon

to welcome the golden rays

of the returning sun.

Raven steals the sun

Long 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 without fresh water.

Gray Eagle had a beautiful daughter, and Raven fell in love with her. At that time Raven was a handsome young man. He changed himself into a snow-white bird, and as a snow-white bird he pleased Gray Eagle's daughter. She invited him to her father's longhouse.

When Raven saw the Sun, Moon and stars, and fresh water hanging on the sides of Eagle's lodge, he knew what he should do. He watched for his chance to seize them when no one was looking. He stole all of them, 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.

He flew back over the land. When he had reached the right place, he dropped all the water he had stolen. It fell to the ground and there became the source of all the fresh-water streams and lakes in the world. Then Raven flew on, holding 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 firebrand. 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 from the firebrand. That is why Raven is now a black bird.

Thanks to Wikipedia, for this ancient story
from Puget Sound.


  1. The bird sitting on the roof is a crow (going on locality probably Hooded Crow - Nebelkrähe). Is the flock in the sky definitely ravens? It would be very unusual (though I guess not impossible) to see such a large congregation of ravens which tend to be solitary. Do you think they could be Rooks (Saatkrähe?

  2. Wonderful photos...and story--just lovely! Happy Day ((HUGS))

  3. Merisi,

    A BEAUTIFUL post.

    x x x

  4. You gave me my first smile of the morning... as usual!

  5. Maalie:
    Dear Maalie,
    I am the last person to ask about these birds. You must be right about the Hooded Crow and probably about the Rooks.
    One of my neighbors every now and then feeds the birds down on the courtyard's lawn. The ones feeding down there seemed larger than the one on the roof. To me they looked like ravens.
    I will have to finally get a good bird book and then ask my neighbor to tell me beforehand next time she's going to feed the birds (she does not do it on a regular basis).

    In the meantime I enjoy observing their morning rituals. They seem to observe me too, diving every time they see me lift my camera.

    When I was a little girl, one of our neighbors kept in his garden a tame bird who supposedly was a raven. I loved teasing him when I walked by (he was not caged), because he was able to "speak".

  6. Thank you,
    Tracy, Sally and Incurable Insomniac! It's always a pleasure "meeting" you in town! :-)

  7. Lovely - the photos and the story.

  8. I really love the sky in your first picture, and learning new cultures is good for the soul too. Thanks merisi. JLS

  9. I had never read that story before - thnaks for sharing it and the lovely photos.

  10. Very beautiful pictures and post...

  11. That's a beautiful story Merisi.

    Good to have you back in blogland. I hope everything is okay.


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