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Native American Legends

The Mink, The Raven, and the Sea Eggs

A Native American Legend - Nation Unknown
as told by Louis Miranda

What I will be relating here, is something that was often told to us by our old people. It was something that happened to the Mink and the Raven. In the long ago, all the animals and birds were still human being and all regarded each other as sister and brothers.

So it happened one day that the Mink, and his brother, the Raven were paddling along in their canoe. It was a lovely day, it was hot and it was calm. There was no wind blowing, so the water was still and clear. They happened to look down into the clear water, and there, they seen allot of nice looking Sea Eggs (Urchins) at the bottom of the ocean.

So Mink told his brother, Raven, to stop paddling along said, "Look at all those lovely looking food showing at the bottom of the water. They really must taste good." After saying that, he took a hold of a basket made from young pliable red cedar limbs, and he dove to the bottom.

Whenever he got the basket full, he would come to the surface and pass the basket to his brother, the Raven, who would empty the basket into the canoe and hand the basket back to his brother the Mink.

Again the Mink would dive to the bottom and load the basket and again he would surface. He kept on doing that until the canoe was loaded with great big Sea Urchins, then they headed their canoe for home. When they arrived, they got ashore, then Mink invited all of the people to come to come down and have a feast of Sea Eggs.

The people were very thankful and showed a lot of respect to Mink, because they knew that he must have worked hard to accumulate so much of this good food. There for, all thanked him. So brother Raven, felt left out, because everyone was thanking and making such a fuss over Mink, and not paying any attention to him.

One day Raven got into his canoe. He was all alone. He took off, he did not want to share his reward of thanks with anyone when he returned home with his canoe loaded with those lovely Sea Eggs. He wanted to be the only one to receive respect and thanks, so he paddled for the place where Mink seen and got all those lovely Sea Eggs.

When he arrived there, he looked at the bottom of the water, he seen all of them lovely, tasting Sea Eggs. He didn't hesitate. he got a hold of a red cedar bough basket and prepared himself for a dive to the bottom of the water, for he knew that the sooner he got his canoe loaded and returned home, the sooner he would get his many thanks and the respect of the people.

He took the basket in his hand and dove to the bottom. But, to his disappointment, he discovered that he was unable to submerge. He tried and continued on trying until he passed out. He drifted up to the beach. He was semi-conscious and his canoe had gone adrift. He laid there, more dead than alive. It happened that some of his people were passing by, they seen him on the beach and approached him and inquired what had happened.

He spoke up and said, "My canoe was right full of those lovely eating Sea Eggs, which I intended to bring to my home and share it all with my friends, then the enemy arrived. They beat me up and left me her for dead and took my canoe loaded with those lovely Sea Eggs." So ends the story of the Mink, the Raven, and the lovely Sea Eggs.

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