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Native American Legends

Why the Raven is black

An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown

Long ago when the Earth was very young the Great Spirit was painting the birds along the banks of the river.

He had just finished with Raven's feathers, and Raven was looking at them in the river. But Raven was unpleased and he looked back to the Great Spirit, but he had already gone. He then looked at Eagle, whose feathers he admired very much. Then he noticed that The Great Spirit had left his paints by the river.

Raven asked Eagle to paint him as beautifully as The Great Spirit had painted him, but Eagle refused.

Raven begged Eagle until he finally agreed, Eagle painted Raven and when he was finished he was very pleased.. Raven went to look at his feathers in the river.. He was furious, his feathers where a mess compared to before.. He and Eagle fought, spilling the Great Spirits paints all over Raven, Raven leapt into the river and flapped against the current but the black color would not fade. Seconds later the Great Spirit returned. Raven begged the Great Spirit to paint him again, to fix his ugly feathers, but the Great Spirit refused, and said "Because of your sin of envy you shall learn to value what you have, from this day forward you will remain with Black beak, Black feet, Black breast, and Black eyes.

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