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peter kalifornsky Ggugguyni Ch’u Nut’aq’i Raven and the Geese The geese fly back in the spring, after winter, and in the fall they fly back south with their young ones. Once Raven fell in love with a girl, a white goose. ‘‘She should be my wife,’’ he said. The geese said, ‘‘That’s no good. You won’t make it back with us. Our village is across the ocean,’’ they told him. ‘‘Well I’m pretty tough. And my words come true, too.’’ And he flew around in different ways. He tumbled and fell doubling his wings. He was stunt flying. In the fall, when the birds started to go south, Raven went with them with his girlfriend. Those geese were carrying the smaller birds. And as they crossed the ocean, his strength started to give out. And his geese brothersin -law would transfer some small birds to their brothers. And they would carry Raven when he got tired. ‘‘You fly on your own,’’ one told him. And then another one would carry him. ‘‘We aren’t even half way over the ocean and we’re all tired. You fly on your own,’’ they told him. ‘‘We’re getting tired out.’’ And they left him behind. So he had to turn back to the north. And he was flying slowly. His strength started to give out. He lost altitude and, flying above the water, he said ‘‘Let there be a place beneath me.’’ And he landed on a rock sticking up. He rested. But what was he going to do next? He flew again, and again he was losing strength. Near the water, he said, ‘‘Let there be some place for me.’’ And a whale surfaced and he landed on it. ‘‘Hey, friend, can you help me?’’ he said to him. ‘‘I’m really tired. I was helping the birds and the geese and took them halfway to their village. Can you ferry me back to the mainland ?’’ So the whale started to swim him to the mainland. After he brought him to a point, the whale told him, ‘‘Farther upstream is not my territory. Maybe someone else can help you out.’’ And he dove underwater. And Raven flew up to the clouds but he got tired out again. And he de-  Dena’ina scended, and nearing the water he said, ‘‘Let there be some place beneath me.’’ And another whale surfaced. He landed on it. ‘‘Friend, I’m exhausted. You are an old man and you don’t look good without a mustache. If I put a mustache on you, will you take me to the mainland?’’ And he took out some tail feathers and made a mustache for him. ‘‘Yes, now you look like you have become a handsome old man.’’ And the whale started to swim with him toward the mainland. And Raven climbed into his blowhole and began to pick at him. ‘‘Ouch! What are you doing?’’ he said. ‘‘Well, I am picking out the worms and barnacles from your blowhole,’’ Raven said to him. The whale swam with him and when they were in sight of land, he said ‘‘This is too far for me. The water is shallow.’’ Raven said, ‘‘There is still no land, but there is a sandbar. When I say ‘swim fast,’ you can slide over the sandbar.’’ ‘‘Swim fast,’’ he told him. And the whale swam fast and landed on the shore. And, being out of the water, he died. And Raven was picking at its blowhole. And then Raven saw a person. He flew off into the woods. And the people came over to the whale and were cutting it up. Raven turned himself into a man and came up to them. ‘‘Be careful not to eat that. It died by itself. It might kill you.’’ And then he went to visit the people and stayed with them. In the morning he would sneak out to the flats and eat that whale. They were watching his movements. And one man went up to the whale, and all the others remained hidden. Raven went up to the whale and turned himself into a raven and flew inside the whale. And the people came out to catch Raven, and he flew away. And the people said, ‘‘It must be good if the bird can eat it.’’ And they butchered that whale. That’s a Raven story. about the raven and the geese story In this story Raven...


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