Oban's Myths & Legends
How Raven Brought Light and Why Seagulls Cry
Native American Legend
retold by Oban
A long time ago when the world first began there was no light on earth. There was only darkness.
Only Seagull had light. He kept it locked up in a box and would not share it with anyone else.
All the animals stumbled around in the cold darkness bumping into each other and stumbling over things.
“Ouch!” cried Little Rabbit. “You stepped on me!”
“I am sorry” growled Big Bear “I try to walk very slowly and carefully, but I keep bumping into things or stepping on things.”
“That’s alright.” said Little Rabbit, rubbing his sore head where Big Bear had stepped on him.
All the animals begged Seagull to share the light but he refused. Finally they couldn’t take it anymore. A meeting was called to decide what to do.
“I am frightened my cubs will wander off in the darkness and get lost.” said Big Bear
“I hopped into the lake because I couldn’t see it. The water was very cold.” cried Little Rabbit.
“We need light to grow tall and to grow leaves.” moaned the Trees.
“We can’t go on like this.” They all cried. “We need light!”
“I have a plan!” said Raven. “I am sure I can get Seagull to open his box and let the light out.”
All the animals knew Raven was smart and crafty. They listened to his plan and everyone agreed he should try.
Raven went to the sea shore where Seagull had his teepee. Seagull's canoe was tied up near the water’s edge. Raven cut some branches from nearby thorn bushes and spread them on the ground, from the teepee entrance towards the sea.
Then he loosened the rope on Seagull’s canoe and shouted loudly “Seagull come quick, come quick! Your canoe has come loose and will soon float away in the sea!”
Seagull, still half asleep, rushed out of his teepee and stepped on the thorns.
“Caaaaa, Caaaaa!” cried out Seagull in pain as he hopped around on one leg, holding the other leg in the air.
“What’s the problem?” asked Raven.
“I stepped on some thorn bushes and there are thorns in my foot. It hurts.”
Raven told Seagull there had been a storm overnight and the wind must have blown the branches down.