‘Walk tall as the trees, live strong as the mountains, be gentle as spring winds, keep the warmth of the summer sun in your heart, and the Great Spirit will always be with you.’ – American Indian Prayer
Raven is known as the creator, trickster and barely known for his sacrifice. The creator brought the land to the world and molded man to walk the earth. In turn, gave every animal their gifts to share with man. Many times he plays tricks that upset the other animals. Once however, the creator made a sacrifice to save the ones he loves.
The world was once warm and full of bountiful harvests for both man and animal. Peace and tranquility thrived, until the Sun became dark and cold and the world erupted in anger. Man and animal alike were scared. Many were starving and the cold took the lives of many.
Raven’s plumage was the purest white in the world. The most beautiful creature in the world, but raven was always playing tricks and didn’t notice what was happening around him. One day he heard man cry out. He went to them and saw a man and wife holding their son. Thinking he can play a trick to cheer them up. Raven approached, but was stopped by owl.
‘Do not my friend. Now is not the time. They lost their child. Soon they will be gone as well.’ Said owl. Raven looked at owl in confusion and responded, ‘Why do you say they will be gone too? Are they sick?’ Owl shook his head, ‘The world is cold. Food is scarce and they have none. Many are dying and soon we will all pass on. The world is angry and the sun is scared and in her fright she left.’
Hearing what owl said, raven flew away to see the world for himself. Saddened to see his creation die around him. He flew higher and higher towards the distant sun. Owl was close behind and shouted to him, ‘You will die my friend! Do not do this. Live while you can!’ Ignoring him, raven flew higher and higher until owl could no longer follow.
The winds carried sadness with it and raven heard the calls. He looked down and saw his creation. Like a dying tree, the world was grey and full of anger. Raven was getting closer to the sun. The heat from the sun burned his feathers. Turning them black as night.
Raven was close enough to the sun and took it in his beak. He was burning from sun’s flames, but the pain not as great in seeing his creation die. He told himself just a little longer. The sun was back and with it the world was warming up again. Ice was melting and with it came new life. But Raven was hurt, his feathers were no longer white, his plumage was gone.
As he landed, owl greeted him. ‘You saved us all my friend.’ Laughing, Raven responded, ‘I was just playing a game with Sun and she won.’ Smiling back, owl nodded at Raven and flew away. Watching owl fly away, Raven took one last look at the world, grinned and closed his eyes as the breeze scattered his feathers and transformed them into a thousand black ravens. His last creation.