making land, Raven decided to make man. He took clay and sand from
the beach and formed the first man.
When he was done, Raven decided to fly around the entire world
to see what he had created. While on this journey, Raven wondered
if there was anything he should give man to make his life easier.
Then he realized that he had forgotten to give man fire so that
he could cook his food and keep warm.
Raven called to his friends, the other birds, and asked if they
knew how to get fire.
Seagull said that he had seen fire once at the Valley of Ten Thousand
Smokes, what is now called Katmai, and so Raven asked for a volunteer
to bring it to him.
Wood Owl agreed because he had a longer bill than the other birds
and could safely carry a firebrand without burning his feathers.
The other birds and Raven agreed, even though they were jealous
of the small owl's long bill.
So Wood Owl flew far across the waters to the Land of Ten Thousand
Smokes, which is actually a large number of small volcanoes. The
air was so hot that some of Wood Owl's feathers were singed.
found a long firebrand and picked it up in his very long bill and
began to fly back to where man lived. But, before he got there,
the firebrand began to burn his bill.
Wood Owl wanted to drop the burning stick into the sea.
Just then Raven flew close and shouted, "Don't drop the firebrand'
If you do, it will surely go out in the water."
So the small owl kept flying even though his bill was being burned
and it hurt very much. Finally, Wood Owl and Raven arrived at the
place where man lived and dropped the burning stick so that man
could cook and keep warm.
The fire had burned all of Wood Owl's bill so that only a small
beak was left. The heat had singed his wings so that he could no
longer take long journeys, and the smoke changed his voice so that
he could make only a shrill whistle. This is how all of his descendants
became as they are.