The Rainbow Crow
Winter time came and with it the winds brought the snow and ice that covered the earth and sealed the waters.
To this point the animals had never seen the snow and ice. In the beginning they frolicked and played in it, enjoying making imprints and sliding along the glass like ice. But as the temperatures began to drop, the animals became scared. The small ones were being buried in the snow and the larger creatures were finding it harder and harder to walk. Food was becoming scarce and the temperatures were frigid. If they did not figure out what to do, they would surely all die.
“We must send a messenger to the Creator,” Owl spoke out, “and we must ask that the earth can be warm again so that Spirit Snow will leave us in peace.” All the creatures thought this would be a good plan and talked amongst them selves about who should be the one to go and ask the Creator for this great favor.
Since the Owl’s sight was limited in the daylight, they all agreed he should not be the one. Coyote was too easily distracted and was known as the Trickster so it was agreed that he could not be trusted. Turtle although held great knowledge and would surely be reliable, yet they all agreed he was too slow and would not survive the trip. Then the Rainbow Crow stepped forward. Everyone looked to him with his shimmering feathers of the rainbow listening to his beautiful singing voice, they all agreed he was the best choice to go and speak with the Creator and the Rainbow Crow accepted.
The journey was a long and difficult challenge, high into the heavens, beyond the trees and clouds, higher than Grandmother Moon and Father Sun and out beyond the Stars he flew. The Sacred Winds blew and helped him a little, but there was no where for him to rest so he continued his flight knowing that he needed to reach the heavens for all the Creatures below were depending on him.
When the Rainbow Crow finally reached the Sacred place, he called out to the Creator, but received no response. The Creator was busy and did not notice this most beautiful of birds. So Rainbow Crow decided to sing his most beautiful song in hopes the Creator would hear.
Soon the most beautiful of song reached the Creator’s ears and looked to see where the song was coming from. Smiling the Creator greeted the Rainbow Crow asking what gift he could give in return for the beautiful song he had shared. The Rainbow Crow asked the Creator to stop the snow and ice from covering the earth and the creatures below causing them to freeze to death. The Creator listened and then explained to the Rainbow Crow that the snow and the ice had spirits of their own and could not be destroyed.
“What can be done to help my friends so that they will not all freeze or be smothered by the snow and ice?” asked the Rainbow Crow.
I will send the Sacred Fire to the Earth Mother; it will be something that will warm all creatures during these very cold times.”
The Creator then stuck a stick towards Father Sun and the end ignited and blazed with a bright, glowing fire which created a warming heat. “This is Sacred Fire,” he explained to the Rainbow Crow, handing him the cool end of the stick. “You must hurry down to your friends as fast as you can before the stick burns up and the Sacred Fire burns out.”
The Rainbow Crow bowed to the Creator in gratitude and thanks, then flew as fast as he could back to his friends and the Great Earth Mother. The stick was large and heavy, but the Sacred Fire kept the Rainbow Crow warm as he descended from the Heavens and down through the path of stars. Then the Sacred Fire grew hot as it came closer to the Rainbow Crows feathers and as he flew passed Father Sun, his tail caught on fire, turning the shimmering beautiful feathers black. By the time he flew passed Grandmother Moon, his entire body was black with soot. As he soared into the Sky and flew through the clouds, the smoke got into his throat, strangling his beautiful singing voice.
By the time the Rainbow Crow reached his friends, he was black as tar and could only Caw instead of sing. He delivered the fire to the animals melting the snow and bringing warmth to the littlest animals from the snow drifts where they lay buried.
All the creatures rejoiced for the Sacred Fire had been brought to the Earth Mother. The Rainbow Crow sat in the background of the festivities, saddened by his dull ugly feathers and his rasping voice. Then he felt the touch of the Sacred Wind on his face. He looked up and saw the Creator moving towards him.
“Do not be sad little one,” the Creator said. “All animals will honor you for the sacrifice you have made for them. And when the tribes come, they will not hunt you, for I have made your flesh taste of smoke so that it is not good to eat. Your black feathers and hoarse voice will prevent man from putting you into a cage to sing for him. You will remain free.”
Then the Creator stretched out his hand towards the Rainbow Crow’s black feathers, and before his very eyes, the Rainbow Crow saw the dull feathers become shiny and inside each one, he could see all the colors of the rainbow. “This will remind everyone who sees you of the great sacrifice you offered for your people that saved them all.”
~ bear Medicinewalker
“the Red beaten Path” by Steven Rushing wind available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/stevenrushingwind