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Home  >  History and Culture  >  Art of Storytelling
Raven Who Went Down Along the Bull Kelp
By Dr. Dolly Garza

Géesh Daax woogoodi Yéil - Raven Who Went Down Along the Bull Kelp

Raven came to a certain cliff and noticed an open door. He hid from the "old woman who controls the tide" who lives in this cliff. Looking out to sea, Raven saw some bull kelp in the water and flew out to it. He climbed down the kelp to the roots at the bottom of the ocean and found many sea urchins. He brought as many as he could carry back up with him.

He greedily began eating his catch, making loud slurping noises. Hearing these slurping sounds, the woman who sat on the spot that controlled the tide asked, "Where did you get those sea urchins?" She knew the tide was not low enough for anyone to find sea urchins. When Raven ignored her, she repeated her question over and over.

"Keep quiet, old woman," Raven said, still eating his treasured sea urchins. But the woman kept up her questioning. After Raven excited her, he began to prick her with the spines of the urchin.

"Stop, Raven, stop," said the old lady. As she began to move from her spot, the tide began to go down. This is what Raven wanted. He kept poking her and asked mink to tell him when the tide uncovered everything on the beach.

Then Raven asked the old woman, "Will you let the tide rise and fall regularly through the months and years?" When she agreed, Raven stopped poking her. Since that time, the tide rises and falls regularly. And the sea urchin has become the mink's food. This is why old ladies have brown spots on their behinds.

Reprinted with permission from Dr. Dolly Garza

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