How The Fire Was Brought

: Indian Legends Retold

After a time, Raven saw that the people were discontented without

fire, for they could neither cook their food nor warm themselves when

it was cold. He remembered that they had fire at home in his father's

village, so he flew westward once more until he came to the wigwams of

the animal people. But however hard he begged, they would not give

him what he had come for.

Raven made a new plan. He went a littl
way off and sent the Sea Gull

to the camp with this message:

"A handsome young chief will come to feast and dance in the dwelling

of your chief. See that all is ready."

He knew that the people would prepare for their guest, so he caught a

Deer and tied a bundle of pitch-pine to its tail, for at that time the

deer had a long tail like that of the fox. He borrowed the canoe of

the Great Shark, and with the Deer came in it to the village.

As he expected, the house of his father the chief was full of people,

and there was a big fire made and much feasting and merriment. All the

creatures were dancing and singing, and the very birds clapped their

wings for joy.

The Deer entered, leaping and dancing, and his grace was much

admired, but as he danced around the fire he swung his long tail over

it, and the pitch blazed up. He ran out, sprang into the sea and swam

off, with his lighted tail flaring above the waves like a torch. Many

sprang into their canoes and tried to follow him, but he escaped and

reached our shores in safety. There he struck a dead fir tree with his

blazing tail and said to it:

"You shall burn as long as the years last!"

We should remember that it is to him we owe the gift of fire, for his

tail was burned off, and since that day all Deer have had a short

black tail.