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I. Little-Bird-Man and Raven-Man. 1

Raven-Man and Little-Bird-Man wooed (the daughter) of Big-Raven. Big-Raven preferred Little- Bird-Man. He said, "I will give my daughter to Little-Bird-Man." Miti' said, "I will give my daughter to Raven-Man." After that Raven-Man would go out secretly. He would eat excrement and dog-carrion. (In the morning) they would wake up, and several wolverene-skins and wolf-skins would be there. They would ask both of the suitors, "Who killed those?" and Raven-Man would answer, "I killed them."

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Then a snow-storm broke out, and continued for a long time with unabated violence. Big-Raven said to the suitors, "Go and try to calm this storm! To the one who calms it, to that one will I give my daughter to wife." Raven-Man said, "I will calm the storm." He said, "Prepare some provisions for me." They prepared several pairs of boots. He went out, and staid near by under a cliff, eating. Little-Bird-Man went out, and there he stood eating of the provisions. Raven-Man gave to Little-Bird-Man a wicked look. Little-Bird-Man entered again, and did not say anything.

Raven-Man staid at the same place. The snow-storm

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continued with the same vigor, without abating. Oh, at last Raven-Man entered. His boots were all covered with ice, for he would make water in his boots. That is the reason why the boots had ice. He said, "It is impossible! there is a crack in the heavens." After a while they said to Little-Bird-Man, "Now, then, calm this storm!" He said, "It is impossible. Shall I also go out and make water in my boots, like Raven-Man?" Then Big-Raven said to both suitors, "Go away! None of you shall marry here." Then Little-Bird-Man said, "All right! I will try." He took a round stopper, a shovel, and some fat, and went up to heaven. He flew up, and came to the crack in the heavens. He stopped it with a stopper, and threw the fat on the heavens all around it. For a while it grew calmer.

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He came home, and the snow-storm broke out again. Even the stopper was thrust back into the house. It was too small. He said, "It is impossible. The heavens have a crack." Big-Raven made another stopper, a larger one, and gave it to Little-Bird-Man. He also gave him a larger piece of fat. Little-Bird-Man flew up to the same place and put this stopper into the crack. It fitted well. He drove it in with a mallet. He spread the fat around over the heavens, shovelled the snow around the hole, and covered it. Then it grew quite calm.

He came back, and then Raven-Man grew hateful to all of them. He took a place close to Miti'; and she said to him, "How is it that you smell of excrement?"--

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[paragraph continues] "Why! it is because I have had no bread for a long time. 1 She said to him, "Enough, go away! You have done nothing to quiet this storm." He went away. Little-Bird-Man married Yini'a-ñawġut.

Summer came. It was raining hard. Then Raven-Man put the sun into his mouth; so it grew quite dark. After that they said to Čan*ai', "Čan*ai', go and fetch water!"--"How shall I fetch water? (It is too dark)." After a while they said to her, "Why, we are quite thirsty, We are going to die." She went groping in the dark, then she stopped and began to sing. She sang, "Both small

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rivers are stingy (with their water)." Then a small river came to that place, bubbling. She filled her pail bought from the Russians (i. e., an iron pail), and carried it on her back. (Suddenly) a man came to her. She could not carry the pail. He said, "I will carry the pail (for you)." She came home in the dark. The man followed. It was River-Man. They said to her, "Who is this man?" He said, "I am River-Man. I took pity on that singer." They scolded their daughter. Nevertheless River-Man married her.

After that they remained still in complete darkness. They said to River-Man, "Why are we living in darkness?" He said, "Why, indeed?" He put on a headband

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of ringed-seal thong. He went out (and practised magic). Then at least a little light appeared. The day dawned. They spoke among themselves, "How shall we do it?" Then Yini'a-ñawġut prepared for a journey. She went to Raven-Man and asked, "Halloo! Is Raven-Man at home?" Raven-Woman said, "He is." She said to Raven-Man, "Since you went away, I have been feeling dull all the time." She found Raven-Man, and said to him, "Did not you feel dull (since that time)? Will you stay so?" He turned his back to her, but she wanted to turn him (so that he should look with) his face to her. But he turned his back to her. Then she tickled him under the arms. She put her hands under his armpits. His sister said to him, "What is the matter with you?

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[paragraph continues] Stop it! This is good girl." After that he began to a make sounds in her direction, "Ġm, ġm, ġm!" She turned him around, and at last he laughed out, "Ha, ha, ha!" The sun jumped out and fastened itself to the sky. It grew daylight.

After that they slept together. She said to him, "Have you a tent?"--"No!"--"Have you a fork?"--"No!"--"Have you a plate?"--"No!" She said, "Then let us go home! I have all those things at home." They moved on to Big-Raven's house. She said to Raven-Man, "Oh, you are a good man!" and he felt flattered. Afterwards she killed him.

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Yini'a-ñawġut put Raven-Man's (head) on above. She said, "That spotted palate of yours, let it grow to be a fine cloudless sky!" 1

She came home. And they said to her, "What have you been doing?" She said, "I killed Raven-Man. He had the sun in his mouth." From that time on it was quite calm. Raven-Woman said, "Well, now, does my brother remember me? (Probably) he has plenty to eat." She said, "Let me visit him." She visited him, and he was dead. Then she cried (and said), "He caused annoyance to the other people. (Therefore he is dead.)" She left him there. There was nothing else to do.

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Then those people said to Little-Bird-Man, "Go home, both of you!" They said to them, "Go away with a caravan of pack-sledges!" He replied, "We will go on foot." They went away on foot, and came to a river. Little-Bird-Man said to the woman, "Let me carry you (across)!" The woman said to him, "Do not do it!" He said, "It is all right." He carried her, and in doing so he died. Yini'a-ñawġut slept a night among stone-pines and was almost frozen to death. On the following morning it dawned, and close to that place a reindeer-herd was walking. All the reindeer had iron antlers. A man was walking there too. He said, "Oh, come here!" She said, "I will not come. My husband has

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died." He said to her, "I am he, I am your husband." He took out his gloves. "These you made for me. I am your husband. I am Little-Bird-Man."

A house was there, also reindeer (for driving). He said to her, "Let us go to Big-Raven! Now let them say again that you have a bad husband!" They went with a caravan of pack-sledges, and they arrived. The people said to Big-Raven, "Oh, your daughter has come with a caravan." Big-Raven said, "Our daughter went away on foot." She said, "Here I am, I have been brought home by Little-Bird-Man." Little-Bird-Man made numerous driving-sledges, all of silver. They lived there

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all together, and travelled about in all directions with a caravan of pack-sledges. They lived in joy. They staid there.


12:1 Compare W. Jochelson, The Koryak (Publications of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. vi), No. 82, p. 250.

16:1 This is meant sarcastically. Bread is considered a delicacy among the Koryak. The Raven, who eats excrement, pretends to feed on bread.

20:1 These words are used also as an incantation against bad weather.

Next: 2. Big-Raven and the Mice