Digital Dimdima
When Animals and Birds were Created
-A Makah American Lore Retold by Rani Iyer

When the earth was very young, there was nothing but grass, sand and creatures. These were neither animals nor people but had some traits of both. Then two brothers, the Sun and the Moon, came to the earth. Their names were Ho-ho-e-ap-bess (means "The two-men-who-changed-things.") They came to prepare the earth for the Indians.
Among the creatures was a thief who stole food from fishermen and hunters. The two-men-who- changed-things transformed him into Seal. Then they threw Seal into the Ocean and said, "You will have to catch your own fish if you have to eat."
One of the creatures was a great fisherman who always wore a white cape around his shoulders and stood on the rocks or was wading with his long fishing spear.

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The two-men-who-changed-things transformed him into Great Blue Heron.
Another creature was a fisherman and a thief. The two-men-who-changed-things transformed him into Kingfisher who watched the water, and dove headfirst into the water when he spotted a fish.
Two creatures with huge appetites were transformed into Raven and Crow who used their strong beaks to tear food. When Raven croaked, "Cr-r-ruck!" the Crow answered, "Cah! Cah!"
The two-men-who-changed-things asked Bluejay's son, "Do you wish to be a bird or a fish?"
"Neither," he answered.
"You will be a Mink. Living on land, eating the fish from the water or from the shore. "
Then the two-men-who-changed-things knew that people would need wood for many things. They told one strong creature, "The Indians will want tough wood to make bows and wedges to split logs. We will change you into the Yew tree."
To some little creatures they said, "The new people will need many slender, straight shoots for arrows. You will be the white arrow-wood, blooming in early summer."
They transformed a big, fat creature into Cedar tree with big trunk. "The Indians will need soft wood to make canoes. They will also use your bark and roots," they said.
The two-men-who-changed-things knew that the Indians would need wood for fuel. To an old creature they said, " You be the Spruce tree. When you are older and your pith is dry, you will make a good kindling."
To another creature they said, "You shall be the Hemlock. Your bark will be good for tanning hides, and your branches will be used in the sweat lodges."
A creature with a cross temper became a crab apple tree, always bearing sour fruits.
Another creature became wild Cherry tree, so that Indians would have fruit and could use the bark for medicine.
A thin, tough creature became the Alder tree, so that the new people would have hard wood for their canoe paddles.
Thus the Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things got the world ready for the Indians to live.

User's Comments                     
Haren Sarma
Dear sir, I want more birds' photo to extened my research on birds.
When I saw this, I was very interested. The information is too good. You please convert these things into magazines & books. I appreciate and others will too enjoy it. It is the best
That's a really cool way of putting it!
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