ago the oceans had no tides and the shores no shallows. Raven knew
there was lots of food in the sea - oysters and clams, mussels and
crabs. But how to get to it? He was lazy and preferred getting into
mischief.. Raven wondered, "If only there was a way to move the water
out of the way, so I could gather food from the sea!"
Raven, he knew nothing about the sea, but knew the Fog Man did.
He would find the Fog man and ask him. Raven started asking around.
He asked the sandpipers, and like a single bird, the flock darted
and swooped this way and that, but Raven could not figure out which
way they wanted him to go. Raven asked the gulls, but they seemed
to be lost souls endlessly searching themselves. Raven asked the
Cormorants, perched like lonely sentinels on the offshore rocks
but they didn't know where The Fog Man was to be found either.
Raven decided to look far to the north, where the fogs came from.
He searched until one day he saw a island bouncing from wave to
wave, like a raft free of its moorings. On it was a wrinkled old
man with a long straggly beard. When he saw the Raven coming, he
snatched up his hat and pulled it down on his head. Fog began to
pour out from under it's brim, hiding the fog man and his island.
Raven swooped down and snatched off his hat. "What, do you throw
a fog in a friend's face."
"Hey, Raven! Give me my hat, I've fog to make." He cried.
Raven asked: "Why do you make fog anyway."
"It's my job. It's what I do, I'm the Fog Man."
"Well do you know how the sea can be moved away from the shore?"
"I don't know, please give me my hat, the sun is getting too
"Do you know someone I could ask?"
"Go ask the Man who sits on the Tide."
"What is the tide? And why does he sit on it? Where do I find
The Fog Man pleaded: "Please leave me my hat, and go to where
the sun sleeps."
Raven laughed "I'll just take your hat. It's time we had a sunny
Leaving the Fog Man cursing on the shore, Raven flew towards
the setting sun. For many days, he pursued the sun and was just
about to give up his search when he spotted a solitary Rock crag,
with sea birds swooping around its head and shoulders. Raven was
about to ask the birds, when the crag yawned, then it blinked. What
looked like a rock, was a giant man, sitting in the water. Three
times Raven asked him: "Have you seen the man who sits on the Tide?"
with no answer, but the fourth the Giant roared "I AM THE MAN WHO
SITS ON THE TIDE!!" His breath blew Raven back several miles.
Avoiding his mouth, Raven shouted in his ear. "Do you know the
secret of how to move the sea aside?"
"I KNOW MANY SECRETS, BUT I CAN'T REMEMBER THEM"
"Well maybe if you told me one, it would jog your memory."
"GO AWAY I CAN'T REMEMBER ANY?"
"Well what is the tide, and why do you sit on it?"
"IT'S MY JOB, IT'S WHAT I DO. I AM THE MAN WHO SITS ON THE TIDE."
Curious, Raven tried to see what he was sitting on. "Maybe if
you stood on it"
"NO, I HAVE ALWAYS SAT ON THE TIDE - IT'S WHAT I DO!"
"Come on, get up."
"GO AWAY, YOU BOTHER ME."
began circling him. Raven spotted an exposed portion of his "backside"
and got an idea. Flying up high in the sky, he pointed his sharp
beak right at it and dropped like hawk, jabbing the giant real good.
With a mighty roar, the giant rose up and started howling in pain,
jumping around and holding his "backside". But his wail was drown
out by the sound of a hundred waterfalls, as the sea poured into
a large hole where he had sat. The giant danced around in pain.
The sea was almost all gone, leaving sand and floundering fish as
far as the eye could see. Finally, rubbing the "tender spot" the
giant sat down. As he did the sea spurted up and refilled to its
former water line.
Raven knew the giant's secret. "So that's what the tide is,
now if we can just teach him some new habits."
Raven perched on his shoulder and with his most persuasive trickster
voice suggested: "From now on, how about taking a little stretch
twice a day - just a short one, so the people can gather food from
"NO, SITTING IS WHAT I DO, I AM THE MAN WHO SITS ON THE TIDE.
I HAVE ALWAYS DONE THIS AND ALWAYS WILL. IT'S MY JOB."
"Come on, everybody needs a break now and then, just a short
stretch twice a day?"
"GO AWAY, YOU'RE UPSETTING ME."
"I know, it's my job. It's what I do. I am the Raven. I upset
things. I upset the darkness when I stole the sun and put it in
the sky. I upset the cold when I stole fire from Owl and gave it
to the people, and now I will upset you twice a day."
As Raven began circling for another jab, the giant roared "WHY
I CAN SWAT YOU LIKE A MOSQUITO! YOU ARE NO BIGGER TO ME THAN A MINNOW
TO A WHALE."
He began to swing his arms wildly at the circling Raven. Giant
waves were formed. As the two struggled, Raven trying to jab the
giant, the giant trying to crush the Raven, a great storm struck
the shores, and they say that this was when Mountain Goat first
tasted salt and why sea shells are found in the mountains.
Trying as hard as he could Raven could not get near a tender
spot on the Giant. Then Raven remembered Fog Man's hat. Raven pulled
the hat down on his head. Fog began pouring out, thicker and thicker.
A fog bank enveloped the Giant. He looked around, trying to spot
Raven, but all he could see was Fog. Then, "YEOWWW!" Raven jabbed
him good. For a little while, he jumped and danced around, then
settled back on his spot.
as the waters receded, Raven was able to gather food from the sea
shore. The waters were shallow enough to fish, and there were oysters
and clams and mussels and crabs. The Sandpipers and gulls and cormorants
found plenty to eat. Then as the giant had settled down, the waters
returned to their former level. Raven began to visit the giant twice
a day at different times to catch him by surprise, upsetting him
each time. Sometimes he used Fog Man's hat, or came in the dark
of the moon. And as the tide went out and came in, there was plenty
of food to eat.
Finally, one day, as the Raven was about to pull on the fog
man's hat, he saw a surprising sight. All by himself, without Raven's
reminder, the Giant stood up, stretched, looked around and after
a bit, sat down. Raven was puzzled. He disguised himself as a sea
bird and flew to the giant's shoulder. "Why did you just stand up
and sit down?"
"IT'S MY JOB. IT'S WHAT I DO. AS LONG AS I REMEMBER IT'S WHAT
I HAVE DONE. I AM THE MAN WHO MAKES THE TIDE GO OUT AND COME IN."
And as Raven flew off, relieved he would have to upset the Giant
no longer, he laughed. "I am the Raven. I upset things. It's my
job. It's what I do!"