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native.. - Animals/Nature
native.folklore.pep.zone

The Man and the Ravens

from
the
Anishinabe

There once was a man who loved watching the Ravens playing, squawking and flying through the sky.
He'd spend as much time as could watching them.
One time a Raven approached him and asked why he was always watching them.
The man replied, "Because i wish to know your language and learn about your ways. I want to understand you."
"As long as
you mean us no harm we will teach you our ways."
Most the Ravens saw him and accepted him as a friend and the man lived with the Ravens.
He came to know everything about them.
An older Raven was flying over and dropped a walnut onto the man's head.
All the other Ravens erupted into laughter.
The man asked the Ravens why they were picking on him, "I thought i was your friend?"
The Ravens stopped laughing and became very serious.
"You don't understand us at all because if you did you'd know we aren't mocking, only having fun. You should know better."
The man thought it over and decided he was being too serious.
He even joined the Ravens in playing pranks on each other.
Then one day two younger Ravens started flying over the man and peaked him on the head.
They started shouting vile things, fighting words, at him so he ran away.
He went back to his tribe and told anyone who would listen about the Raven People he had lived with for some time.
The people named him Black Feather.
Some believed him and listened while others simply shrugged him off as crazy.
Months later a Raven came to the town and began speaking to Black Feather.
Some people could actually understand the Raven as he spoke.
"It is true that you have come closer than any Anishinabe (human) but you still do not fully understand us.
Please return to us, many miss you."
Black Feather and the Raven walked to the edge of the town.
Black Feather stopped and asked, "I don't understand why you have asked me to return when those two young Raven were so cruel to me.
They wanted me to leave."
The Raven landed at his feet, "See how little you understand? We fight among ourselves and those young Raven saw you as a threat, instead of sulking and leaving you should've fought back."
"Maybe we are just too different and i should return to my village right now, " the man said.
Raven shook his head, "That is your choice, but again i say you have come closer than any Anishinabe to understanding the Raven People.
Will you throw away all you've learn simply because you don't understand fully yet?"
"How could i ever understand? I can't even fly", exclaimed the man.
"Of course you can't fly", laughed Raven, "you are Anishinabe and we are Raven but we accept you as one of our own.
We play with you. We fight with you. We love you and we want you back. Either join us or not."
After a short pause, Black Feather bade farewell to his tribe.
As they watched him leave a thousand Ravens circled the sky.
An older Raven dropped a walnut on the man's head and everyone, Raven and Anishinabe laughed hard.
Black Feather looked up and said simply, "Good one."


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