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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "Raven and the Geese"

Raven and the Geese

" and the little bride was very proud of her fine husband.

But Raven was not accustomed to the long, all-day flights of the geese, and he became tired.

"We would better stop early and look for a good place to spend the night," he said. The others agreed to this, so they stopped and were soon asleep.

Early the next morning the geese were astir, but Raven slept so heavily that the father goose had to shake him and say, "Wake up! Wake up! We must make haste for it will snow here soon; we must not linger."

As soon as Raven was fully awake he pretended to be eager to get away, and, as on the day before, he led all the others with his wide-spread wings, and was greatly admired by the others, especially by his young wife. He kept on, above or in front of his companions, and his bride would often say, "See how gracefully he skims along without having to flop heavy wings as we do," and she gave her brothers a side glance which made them feel that she was contrasting their clumsiness with his ease. After that tactless remark, the four brothers-in-law began to feel envious of Raven.

They stopped one evening on the seashore, where they feasted upon the berries which were plentiful there, and then they settled down for the night and fell asleep. In the morning the geese were making ready to start without waiting for breakfast, and Raven's stomach cried out for more of the berries. But father goose said they could not wait, and he dared not object to starting. The brothers-in-law had secretly urged the father not to wait, for they said, "Our sister needs to have some of the conceit about that husband of hers taken out of her; and so does he."

Raven dreaded the long flight across the sea, for he heard father goose say, "We will make only one stop in crossing this water. There is an island in the center of it, and there we will rest for a short time and then go on to the farther shore."

Raven was ashamed to say that he feared he could never reach that farther shore, so he determined to keep still and risk it; and off they all flew.

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