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The World Is Burnt

This version of the legend comes from Franz Boas' 1928 collection Bella Bella Texts. The storyteller was identified as Willy Gladstone.

It came to the mind of Real-Chief [Raven] to go up the mountains. He asked his younger brothers to start. "Let us go up the mountain," said he to those whom he had asked to go with him, Deer, Porcupine, Muskrat and Gull. Four were his younger brothers. Then they went. They followed his dog. Then barked his dog. Then they worked with their spears and arrows and the goat was killed. Deer skinned it with his knife. They cut it up, roasted it and ate it. They just ate all. It was morning again and they went again. Again his dog barked. He did not stop and his dog just kept on barking. "Maybe you did not clean up the bones, younger brothers. Therefore he does not stop. Let us go back that we eat again the bones that were left over," thus he said. Then they went back and ate the meat and ate, cleaning off the bones. Then it was all off, and they said, "now it is all done." Then they said that they were cold. In the morning they put on their belts again. He had his belt gone and his younger brothers. Then he called his younger brothers in the morning. As soon as Real-Chief awoke, he told them at the place where they had been sleeping, "I had a great dream when I slept." Thus he said to his younger brothers. They went on. They went as it were a long distance. Then he said again, "Run, younger brothers. I had a great dream when I slept, younger brothers." Thus, Real-Chief said. Then they went on and he said so again. "Run, younger brothers. I had a great dream when I slept." Thus he said again to his younger brothers. Then he spoke out clearly about his dream, "There was a fire," he just said. "The whole world was burning." All the places and mountains, and (there were) rock slides and stones rolling down. One man went into the water. His face was on the surface of the water. Then his face became black, and therefore is his name "Black Face." He just showed his face and his name is clam. Therefore, the clams have black tops.

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More stories to read:

 Native American Raven stories
 Legends about dogs
 Legends about dreams

Learn more about:

 Bella Bella myths
 The Bella Bella language
 The Heiltsuk people

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