Alaska: Raven and the Seals

This story is part of the Alaskan Legends unit. Story source: Myths and Legends of Alaska, edited by Katharine Berry Judson (1911).

Raven and the Seals


AS Raven travelled along, he came to a house where a man lived near the edge of the water.

Raven said to him, "I will be your friend."

The man said, "That is good."

Now the beach in front of the house was full of seals. Raven ate them all during two nights. He ate all the seals in front of the house.

Then he was hungry again. Raven killed the man. Then he used his canoe and harpoon. Raven used those. He speared four seals. Then he returned to the shore. He took the seals out of the canoe and began cutting wood. Then he built a fire and placed stones in it in order to heat them. Afterward he put the seals on a pile of hot stones. He cooked the four seals and covered them with skunk cabbage leaves. Raven then raised the cover and took out a seal. He ate it. Then he stretched out his hand and took another seal.

Now there was Stump sitting nearby. Raven held Tsimshian the seal in his hands and said to the stump, "Don't you envy me, Stump?" Then he went into the woods.

At once Stump arose and sat down on the hole in which the seals were steaming. The seals were right under Stump. Then Raven returned, carrying leaves of skunk cabbage. When he saw Stump sitting on his seals, he cried. He was much troubled because he was hungry. Then he took a stick and dug the ground. He cried all the time he was digging. He found a little bit of meat and ate that. But he could not do anything. He cried all the time because he was so hungry.

(300 words)

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