Happy Solstice to everyone, as we celebrate the shortest day of the year, and the return of the sun and longer days.
Crow Brings Daylight
From the Inuit people of far North America
When the world was first born, it was always dark where the Inuit people lived. They thought it was dark all over the world until old Crow told them about daylight and how he had seen it. They imagined how much better they could hunt if there was daylight and how much safer they would be from attacking polar bears. They begged old Crow to go and bring them back some daylight. Finally he agreed and headed off to the east where he had seen the daylight before.
Crow flew for a long time, and was about to turn back when he saw a dim light in the distance. He headed toward it and it got brighter and brighter until the whole sky was bright and he could see for miles. He saw a young girl, the daughter of a chief, filling her bucket with water from the river. Crow turned himself into a speck of dust and drifted down into the fur of her jacket. She didn’t know it, but she carried Crow back to her snowlodge.
Crow drifted out of the girl’s jacket and into the ear of a young boy, the chief’s grandson, who was playing on the floor. The dust tickled him and made him cry. When the chief asked his grandson what was wrong, old Crow whispered, â€œTell him you want to play with a ball of daylight.â€ The boy did and was given a small ball of daylight with a string tied around it. Crow tickled his ear again. â€œTell them you want to go outside to play with the ball,â€ whispered Crow. The boy did so, and the chief and his daughter took him out to play.
As soon as they left the snowlodge, Crow turned back into himself, grabbed the string on the ball of daylight and flew up into the sky, heading west. When he reached the land of the Inuits, he let go of the string and the ball dropped to the ground, spreading light all over the land.
All the people came out of their houses, exclaiming, â€œLook how blue the sky is! We can see for miles.â€ They thanked Crow for bringing the daylight. Crow shook his head. â€œI could only carry a small ball and it will need to gain its strength from time to time. So, you will only have daylight for half the year. The other half will be dark.â€
So that is why, in the land of the Inuit in the far north, it is dark half the year and light the other half. The people were very happy to have half a year of daylight. They never forgot who brought it to them and they take care never to hurt Crow, in case he decides to take it back.