BNA: Raven and Moon Woman

This story is part of the British North America unit. Story source: Myths and Legends of British North America by Katharine Berry Judson (1917).

Raven and Moon Woman

RAVEN became the son of Moon Woman. He cried a great deal. When he cried, he said, "Boo-hoo, moon!"

Then his mother said, "He talks about a thing beyond his reach which the supernatural beings own."

So Raven began to cry again, "Boo-hoo, moon!"

Then, when Moon Woman's mind was tired out with his noise, she stopped up all the holes in the house. She stopped up the smoke hole, and all the small holes as well.

Then she untied the strings of the box. Although they were very strong, she untied them. She did this because the moon was inside the box. Then she took the moon out and let Raven play with it. She did not give it to him; she only let him play with it to quiet him.

After his mother had gone out, Raven took up the moon in his beak. He turned himself into a raven and flew about the house with it. He made himself small. Just before his mother returned, he made himself a child again. Then he again played with the moon. Then Raven again began crying loudly, when his mother returned.

He cried, "Boo-hoo, boo-hoo, smoke hole!" So he cried, "Boo-hoo, boo-hoo, smoke hole!" He cried this way for a long time. Then he tired his mother's mind with his crying, and she opened the smoke hole a little. Raven cried, "Boo-hoo, more! Boo-hoo, more!" for a long time. Then she made the opening in the smoke hole larger, and he kept crying, "Boo-hoo, more!" until she had made it quite large.

Then again Raven played with the moon. Raven cried because he wanted the moon, and his mother did not want to give it to him. When he cried very much, she gave it to him and made that large opening in the smoke hole.

Now at that time it was always dark. Raven did not like darkness. Now after she had made the smoke hole larger, his mother again went out, and Raven was playing with the moon. Then he put the moon in his beak and flew through the smoke hole with it. Immediately he put the moon under his wing. He perched up on top of the house with the moon under his arm and called like a raven.

Then Raven flew to the bank of the Nass River, where they were taking olachen. And it was dark. Raven called, "If you will bring me your spruce needles, I will make it light for you." He called the olachen spruce needles. He said that same thing again.

The fishermen replied, "One who always talks is talking about something which the supernatural beings own and which is beyond his reach."

Thus they made him angry, and he let them see a little of the moon. It became light. Then they all went to him and gave him a great many olachen.

Raven again put the moon under his arm. Flying up with it, he sat on the top of a high mountain. He took the moon out and threw it down so it broke. He took half of it and threw it up into the sky, and said, "You shall be the moon and shall give light in the middle of the night. He then threw the other half upward and said, "You shall shine in the middle of the day."

Then he threw upward the small fragments, and said, "You shall be the stars; when it is clear, they shall see you all during the night."

(700 words)

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