Long ago, why did the Haida people not have light?

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mrkirschner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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If the Haida legend of the raven is to be believed, the reason the Haida did not have light was because an old man was selfish with an important gift to the world. The legend states that an old man had an intense warm and bright sphere that he hid at his house.  He kept the sphere in a box inside a box. One day, the raven was spying on the home of the old man when he discovered the secret of this great light.  

The raven was a shape-shifter in addition to his legendary slyness.  He was very sick of flying into trees because of the darkness.  He hatched an unlikely plan.  When the old man’s daughter was out collecting water, the raven transformed himself into a pine needle and dropped himself into the girl’s bucket.  To make a long story short, when the girl got home, she drank the pine needle and was impregnated.  The sly raven then again transformed into a human inside the daughter and was born months later.

The raven, disguised as a small human, waited for the right time to steal the sun from his grandfather.  One day he convinced the grandfather to toss him the ball at which time he transformed back to the raven and grabbed the sun with his beak.  The raven flew the sun to the outer reaches of the atmosphere and the Haida could now enjoy the light.  

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