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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "Up to the Top of the Sky, and Down to the Bottom of the Sea"

Up to the Top of the Sky, and Down to the Bottom of the Sea

If the man tries to escape by getting out of his kayak upon the ice and running away, it will dart underneath and break the ice under his feet. Or if he gets on the shore and runs, it burrows through the earth as easily as it swims through the water. No one can escape if once it pursues him."

"Why did you make such an animal?" asked Man.

"This is like man's own misdeeds, from which he cannot escape," replied Raven.

Raven then showed Man several other animals: one somewhat like an alligator, another with a long scaly tail with which it could kill a man at one stroke; some walruses, and otter, and many kinds of fish. They finally came to a place where the shore rose before them, and the ripples on the surface of the water could be seen.

"Close your eyes and hold fast to me," said Raven.

As soon as he had done this, Man found himself standing on the shore near his home, and was very much astonished to see a large village where he had left only a few huts. His wife had become an old woman and his son was an old man. The people saw him and welcomed him back, making him their Headman, and giving him the place of honor in their gatherings. He told them all he had seen and heard since he left them, and taught the young men many things about the sea animals.

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