The Girl and the Raven

Glynn ManyironsHaida Nation Story

One day a father of a girl returned from fishing on the ocean, he gave the fish to his wife, who cut up and cleaned the fish. The girl took the fat and the liver of the halibut and gave it to the Raven. Every time the father came back from fishing the girl would feed the Raven, until it was spring, so that the Raven would not starve. The Raven knew that she was feeding him even though the rest of the family, and the people in the Village had very little to eat.

One day the Raven flew around and around the girl and finally he landed in front of her. He made motions as if he was eating and motioned her to follow him. She then followed the Raven, and he showed her where there was a large pile of mollusks and many other great tasting shellfish, on the sand, by the sea shore.

The girl brought all the shellfish to her relatives and wives, who were happy and thankful for her gifts of food. The next day she returned to the same beach when the tide was low, and picked up many sea creatures and shellfish and gave them to the rest of the people in the village.Girl and Raven

So because the girl helped and fed the Raven, he was helping her. One day she found the tail of a Spring Salmon and decided to take it home, when she got it home it grew into a whole Spring Salmon. Next day she found the tail of a Porpoise and the same thing happened to it.

Some time later, when she was looking for things on the shore, two men came and approached her and asked her to go with them to their village and they took her to the Chief of their village and the Chief held her hostage in his house.

After she was kept there for a long time, the Raven found her and helped her there too. The Raven said to the people ” I cut up a big black whale, that floated ashore there, plenty of food from it, go and get it, it is at North Cape.

The people somehow figured out that it was because of the girl the Raven was there. Their Chief said to them: “Give the woman food for the help we received from her.”

The people happily gave her plenty of food, such as: Halibut tails and heads and lots of berries, and allowed her to go home. She had not been home for a long time and her father did not know where to find her, but that morning she was sitting at the front of her father’s house, piles and piles food around her.  She was giving food to her uncle’s wives and then traded the rest for things her family needed.  She traded some for goods and gave them to her father, which made him a very rich man.

After all that was done, she said to her father: “The Raven told me about a black whale at the North Cape, you should go and look.”

Her father went there and found the whale, it had not been touched by the people from the other village. He cut off a big piece of it and went back to the village and told his people about the whale. All the people happily rushed to the beach and helped to cut up the whale. It gave them plenty of food for a very long time. They were very happy and thankful to the Raven and the girl.

 

 

I work with Muskwa International Foundation Inc. which is an entity that was formed to assist the street children in the Philippines, mostly in Manila and Davao, the two largest cities in the Philippines.  You can find out about their projects here Street Children and Natural Disasters.

The stories I tell here I learned from the Elders and Story tellers and I am passing them on with their blessings. These stories can be anything from 4,000 to 5,000 years old.

 

 

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