In a time long ago, before the world was illuminated as it is today, there lived a powerful chieftain named Sky Chief, in a grand lodge nestled high above the clouds. He harbored all the light in the world, keeping it locked in a series of ornate boxes, leaving the world below in utter darkness.
People could hardly see, living their lives in shades of grey, always longing for even just a sliver of light. Among these people was Raven, a sleek, clever bird with glossy black feathers, known for his cunning and transformative powers. But Raven wasn’t always black; he was one of the brightest and most beautiful shades.
“Why does Sky Chief keep the light all for himself?” the villagers would often wonder aloud.
One day, Raven, tired of the continuous darkness and hearing the lament of the people, decided to intervene. “Enough of this eternal night! I shall fetch the light for all,” he declared.
Using his magical abilities, Raven transformed himself into a cedar seed, which floated down from the sky and was swallowed by Sky Chief’s daughter as she fetched water from a stream. After some time, to the astonishment of the Sky Chief’s household, she gave birth to a boy. This child was none other than Raven in disguise!
As the boy grew, he became the delight of Sky Chief’s eyes, his laughter echoing through the great halls of the lodge. One day, while playing, the young Raven-child saw a glimmer emanating from one of the ornate boxes.
“Grandfather,” he began with the innocent curiosity of a child, “what’s in that box?”
Sky Chief replied, “It’s something very precious, my child. It’s not for play.”
But like all children, Raven was persistent. Days turned into weeks, and with each passing day, his pleading grew more insistent, wearing down Sky Chief’s resolve. Finally, unable to deny his beloved grandson, Sky Chief opened a box, revealing a shimmering star. However, several more boxes remained unopened, and Raven’s curiosity was insatiable.
“Can I see what’s in the other boxes, please?” the child implored.
After much pleading, Sky Chief revealed the contents of the other boxes – the moon and the sun. The lodge was filled with a brilliance unlike any other.
Seizing his opportunity, Raven transformed back into his bird form, grabbing the sun in his beak. But as he made his escape through the chimney, the smoke-blackened his once lustrous feathers, turning them into the dark shade we see today.
Soaring high and far, Raven released the sun into the sky. Its magnificent rays broke the perpetual darkness, bathing the world below in a golden hue. The people rejoiced, finally able to see the beauty surrounding them.
The world now had day and night, and Raven, despite his darkened feathers, became a hero. To this day, he’s revered as the mischievous bringer of light, a symbol of transformation and resilience.