One day Raven saw a whale far out at sea and sat down on the beach to study how he should bring it ashore. Then he got some pitchwood and rocks of the kind that was formerly used in making fire, flew out to the place where he thought the whale would come up, and went into its open mouth. He made a fire inside of the whale and cooked everything there. Only he would not touch the heart. When the whale took in many fish he ate them. Finally he did cut the whale's heart out and killed it, after which it began drifting about from place to place. Then he sang: "Let the one who wants to be high-born like me cut the whale open and let me out, and he will be as high as I am." He also sang: "Let the whale go ashore. Let the whale go ashore on a long sandy beach." Finally he heard waves breaking on a sandy beach, and he said again: "Let the one who wants to be high-born like me cut the whale open and let me out, and he will be as high as I am." Suddenly he heard the voices of children. These children heard his voice, went home and informed their parents. Then the people all came there and cut the whale open, and Raven flew off into the woods crying "Q!one', q!one', q!one'."
Raven stayed up in the woods a long time in order to get the grease and smell off of his feathers, and, when he came down again, he saw boxes and boxes of whale grease. Then he made believe he was surprised and asked the people where they got all of it. They said: "We found a whale that had come right in here where we could get it easily. So we are making oil out of it." Said he: "Did you hear anything inside when it first came ashore." "Yes? there was some strange sound in there, and something flew out calling itself q!one'." Then Raven answered, "Years ago just such a thing as this happened, and all of the people of that town that heard the noise died. It brings bad luck to hear such a noise in a whale. You people must leave this right away. Don't eat any of it. Leave it here."
[paragraph continues] Then all of the people believed him and left their oil there. It became his. a
Next Raven went to a place where many sea lions, seals, and porpoises were lying about. Among these there were a number of children, who cut pieces of fat from the animals and threw them back and forth. So he made himself look like a child and, when they threw him a piece of fat, he ate it. Finally the children missed their fat and said, "What is becoming of all the fat we were playing with? It is all disappearing." b
Then Raven came to a large town where everyone appeared to have died. He entered the largest house, and saw no one inside, yet he could feel a person continually pushing against him. It was a ghost house, and the town was called the Town of Ghosts (Qayahâyî' ânî'). Afterward Raven loaded a canoe with provisions from the ghosts' houses and started to paddle away, but he did not notice that a very long line was fastened to the stern of the canoe and secured at the other end round a tree. When he reached the end of this rope the canoe was pulled right back to the beach, and the goods were all carried up to the house by invisible hands. One of the ghosts also dropped a very large rock upon his foot, making him lame. c
Next Raven went among the Athapascan Indians of the interior beyond the place he had reached before. There he saw a giant cannibal called Cannibal-man. Knowing that this cannibal was very smart he tried to get the better of him, so he won his confidence and learned that he was married to the black pine (
lA l). d In the morning the cannibal bathed. After that the two became very good friends, and the cannibal said to Raven, "I am going hunting, and I am going to get four animals, two mountain goats and two ground hogs." So the cannibal took a hide rope such as the interior Indians used to make and started. On the way Raven said to the cannibal, "Where is that man called TsA'maya?" He
was another very powerful man. And the cannibal showed him where TsA'maya lived.
Then Raven stayed with TsA'maya, and they became good friends also. The latter lived all by himself at that time, all of his friends having been killed by Wolverine-man (NûsgA-qâ'). So he said to Raven, "I do not know what to do with him. I would like to kill him." And Raven said to him, "Do you see this spear? Go and get a bear skin and put it around yourself. Put the spear in such a position as to make him believe he has killed a bear." TsA'maya-did so, and by and by Wolverine-man came along. He was very glad when he saw the bear and said, "I have another." Then he picked the bear up, took out the spear and carried it home. After that he went to gather wood. While he was gone Raven made himself appear like a common blackbird and in that form said to TsA'maya, "Wolverine-man's heart is in his foot." Then he took the little spear he had concealed in his long hair and gave it to TsA'maya, who speared Wolverine-man in the foot as soon as he came in. He was hurt badly but ran away from them. When they caught up with him and told him they were going to kill him, he said, "All right." But every time they killed him he came to life again until finally they burned him. Then, when they were about to pulverize his bones, the bones spoke up and said to them, "Pulverize my bones and blow them away. They will always be a bother to you and everybody else. I shall always remain in the world." That is where the mosquitoes and gnats come from. a
Afterward Raven came to where a house was floating far out at sea, called K!u'datAn kahî'tî. Nâs-cA'kî-yê
l had been keeping it there, and in it were all kinds of fishes, but Raven did not know how to get at them. At the same place he also met a monster, called Q!â'nAxgâdayiyê (which seems to mean "a thing that is in the way"), who had a spear like the arm of a devilfish called, "devilfish-arm spear." Raven wanted this, and obtained it by marrying the monster's daughter. Then he got into a canoe, paddled out near the house, and speared it. Inside he heard all kinds of songs sung by different voices. These were the songs people were to sing in the fishing season. When Raven threw his spear, it became very long and wrapped itself around the house so firmly that he was enabled to take his canoe ashore. He had great difficulty, however, for as he did so he had to sing continually, "I think so, I think so," a song known to all of the Raven people. Whenever he stopped singing, the house went back to the place where it had been at first. This happened three times and the fourth time he got it in.
[paragraph continues] After that the door of the house opened, and all kinds of fish came out of it. He sang, "Some go to Stikine river. Some go to Chilkat river," which they immediately did. Then he sang again, "Some go to the small creeks to provide the poor people." That is how fish came to be all over the world. a
92:a The writer's informant added, "In our days when a person is making a living dishonestly by lying and stealing he is not told so directly, but this story is brought up to him and everyone knows what it means."
92:b "When older people were giving their children advice they would bring up this part of the story and tell them not to be greedy and selfish, but honest. They would say they did not want them to be like Raven, who ate up all his playmates' fat. When people went about trading they would also bring up this story to a person who wanted to make all the profit himself. They would tell him he was like Raven, who wanted to enjoy everything himself." (From the writer's informant.)
92:c "This episode is brought up to a child people desire to make honest. They say that just as these goods were taken back from Raven, and he was made to feel shame at having been discovered, a thief will always be found out. If the child becomes a thief when be. grows up, they tell him that he will be classed among the very lowest no matter how well born he was. They also tell the little ones that there is a Creator watching them an the time, just as these ghosts watched. The Raven could not see them, but they saw him. They say that a person who does evil things is like a crippled or deformed person, for he has disgraced his family. They tell them that a person who gets that low is nobody and that the Creator despises him." (From the writer's informant.)
92:d What immediately follows was probably considered by my informant too indecent to relate.
93:a "This episode is referred to when a person takes after a bad father. They say to him, 'Why do you take after your father? Everybody knows that you are his child. Can't you take another road and do better than he did?'" (From the writer's informant.)