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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "The First Man"

The First Man

Where did you come from?"

"I came from the pea-pod," said Man pointing to the plant from which he came.

"Ah!" exclaimed Raven, "I made that vine, but did not know that anything like you would ever come out of it. Come with me to the high ground over there. This ground I made later and it is still soft and thin, but it is harder and thicker over there." They came to the higher ground which was firm under their feet.

"Have you eaten anything?" Raven asked Man.

"I took some soft stuff into me at one of the pools," replied Man.

"Ah! you drank water," said Raven. "Now wait for me here."

He drew down the mask over his face, changing again into a bird, and flew far up into the sky where he disappeared. Man waited where he had been left until the fourth day, when Raven returned, bringing four berries. Pushing up his mask, Raven became a man again and held out two salmonberries and two heathberries.

"Here is what I made for you to eat. I wish them to be plentiful over the earth. Now eat them."

Man took the berries and placed them in his mouth one after the other, and they satisfied his hunger which had made him feel uncomfortable. Raven then led Man to a small creek near by and left him till he went to the edge of the water and molded two pieces of clay into the form of a pair of mountain sheep. He held them in his hand till they were dry and then called Man to show him what he had done.

"Those are very pretty," said Man.

"Close your eyes for a little while," said Raven.

As soon as Man's eyes were closed Raven drew down his mask and waved his wings four times over the images, when they came to life and bounded away as full-grown mountain sheep.

Raven then raised his mask and said, "Look! Look quick!" When Man saw the sheep moving away full of life he cried out with pleasure. Seeing how pleased he was, Raven said, "If these animals are numerous, perhaps people will wish very much to get them."

"I think they will," said Man.

"Well, it will be better for them to have their home in the high cliffs," said Raven, "and there only shall they be found, so that everyone cannot kill them.

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