The Raven’s Tale




A long time ago, before the people had stories to tell, the Olden gods were sitting around the fire telling of the things they had done.  Lluvia, the wind god, said that she had blown down a canyon and taught the trees a whispering song.  That seemed like a right nice thing to have done, so the great spirit told the rocks (who live the longest of all the creatures that the great spirit made) to remember what Lluvia had said. 



 




When they nodded their heads a landslide sent some rocks into the gods’ camp, and everyone laughed.  The fire god, who was not to be outdone by such a simple story stood up and gestured everyone to silence.  He always did this so they would know that what he had to say was very important. When all the gods were quiet, he began.  “That was a silly, silly thing to do.  I did something of great importance today” he said. 



 




Lluvia was mortally offended at his demeaning her gentle creation and stood up and walked away from the consul saying, “Very well, from this day forward I, too shall do as I please, without the permission of the consul and you shall see how mighty the rain can be!” 



 



There was a great furor among the gods but the fire god ignored her and continued, “I came upon a place that was surrounded by mountains.  It was like a water gourd and was filled with sweet water.  Since no one was there to drink the water, I told the sun to dry it all up into the clouds and make the valley full of salt.”  Clearly expecting to be praised for this mighty effort, the fire god puffed out his great chest and looked around.  No one was smiling.  The great spirit was not smiling, and he said.  “That was truly a mighty deed, but you did not speak in consul with any of us before you dried up that lake.


 



Lluvia had just filled that bowl with water, a mighty deed to be sure, but she is not as boastful as you, and so did not speak of it.  As it happens I, myself had just created some people and had put them in a cave near that lake so they would have water to drink.  Tomorrow I was going to fill that lake with fish and awaken the people to a land of plenty, but now they will surely starve.  Lluvia has left the gathering and I fear she will not be helpful for some time.  What are we to do for the people that I have made?”


 



A croaky voice came from high up in a tree, it was Raven, who had been listening to the gods talking for many nights and knew all their doings, both good and bad. He opened his wings and glided gently down onto the arm of the Great Spirit. The ancient one had a special fondness for Raven as he was one of the Great Spirits first creations.  “May I speak to the consul, oh Great Spirit?” cawed Raven.  “Of course, you are wise and know many things,” was the Creator’s reply.


 




The fire god was enraged.  “We are the mighty gods of the world!  I will not listen to the jabberings of a mere bird!”, and with that he turned himself into a huge column of smoke and flames and swirled off to the other side of the world to find the sun.  “Impressive,” croaked Raven with a sly wink.  The other gods laughed as they too found Fire to be more than a bit pompous.  “Since he has chosen not to take part, he may not complain too much about the outcome.”  Said Great Spirit “Speak, Raven, if your plan be of merit you may ask a boon of me.” 



 



So Raven began to outline his plan.  “I will speak to my Cousins the Deer People, the Sheep People and the Plant Spirits.  I will persuade them to offer themselves to your new creations for food, shelter and the like, but the new people that you have made must be made to know of this wondrous gift in some way and be taught to value this great sacrifice.  As for my part, I will help the people you have made in this by telling them the doings of this council to help them understand how the world was made and how they must live within it.   I will give them stories and teach them to remember and tell them forever to their children.”


 




The Great Spirit smiled and said, “Raven you have spoken wisely and well.  What would you have us grant you?”  Raven tilted his head and thought for a moment, shifting is feet.  The he spoke.  “As for my boon, oh Great Spirit, it is simply that I may have your leave to tell all the stories, good and bad, so that the people may better understand the doings of their gods.” The Gods were troubled and many spoke against Raven at this since they were not so proud of some of the things that they had done and a great murmuring began among them.  “This is an impudent request,” said Great Spirit, although his heart was deeply troubled.  “I will grant this request as I have given my word, but you must be punished for asking for such a thing.” 



 




A cold stillness rose up from the ground below them.  The God of Death had joined the consul.  Her hissing rattle of a voice silenced the others instantly.  “Oh, Great Spirit, my brother, as you know I take little notice of the doings of this consul as all will join me in the end even the Gods.  But I would ask a favor of you and may solve this problem with noble Raven.” 



 



Great Spirit looked even more troubled but spoke quietly “Speak, my sister.”  “Very well, I require a helper to bring the people you have made into my realm.  Great Warriors, the Mothers of the Tribes, and all of the people you have made.  I need a guide for them.  Long have I admired the darkness of Raven’s feathers, punish him by making him my agent, the Agent of Death.”  The Gods were in an uproar.   Raven sat silently on Great Spirit’s arm.  “Very well,” he said.

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~ by ravenjake on December 31, 2007.

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