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Crow Brings Daylight

Crow Brings Daylight

According to an Inuit legend, When the world was first born, it was always dark in the land of the Inuit (Inuit are a group of indigenous peoples inhabiting Greenland, Canada, and the United States). They thought it was the same everywhere until and old crow told them he had seen daylight in the south. The more they heard about it, the more they wanted to see the daylight.

‘If we had daylight we could hunt for longer,’ the people said, ‘we can even see the polar bear before it attacks us.’ They begged the Crow to bring them the daylight. At first the Crow was reluctant to agree to their request because he said he was too old and daylight was too far. But later because of their continuous pleadings, he relented and promised to bring them daylight.

Crow flew south until at last he came to the daylight that burst upon him with all its glory. He rested in a tree by a river as a beautiful girl came to dip her bucket in the water. Crow turned himself into a speck of dust and drifted onto the girl’s fur cloak.

She returned to the snow lodge of her father, the chief with her bucket of water. Inside, the speck of dust drifted towards the chief’s favorite grandson, who was playing on the lodge floor. It lodged itself in the child’s ear and the child started to cry.

The chief was surprised and asked, ‘Why are you crying?’

‘Ask him for a ball of daylight to play with,’ the dust whispered.

The chief asked his daughter to bring the box of daylight balls. He took out a small ball, wrapped a string around it and gave it to his favorite grandson.

Then the child began to cry again because the speck of dust scratched his ear.

‘What is wrong, child?’ asked the chief.

‘Tell him you want to play outside,’ whispered the dust.

As they all left the snow lodge, the speck of dust turned back into Crow who flew off with the ball of daylight. At the land of the Inuit, Crow dropped the ball, and it shattered. The sky grew bright, dark mountains took on color, the snow sparkled and the people were delighted. ‘We can see for miles! Thank you, Crow!’

Crow said, ‘I could only carry one small ball of daylight. I am afraid you will have only half the year of daylight.’

The people said, ‘Half a year is plenty – before you brought daylight, we lived our whole life in darkness!’

To this day, the Inuit live half a year in darkness and half a year in daylight. And they are always kind to crows.

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