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Many years ago, when rivers began flowing from the mountains to the sea, the animals couldn't agree on their course. Raven wanted the rivers to turn and wind, so that as he flew up and down them, he would have different views at every bend. Mink disagreed. The loud and raucous Raven convinced the council of animals that rivers should bend as they travel from the mountains to the sea. Learn more about this Common Raven at Cornell's AllAboutBirds.
Raven and the Winding River
Originally by Frances Wood
This is BirdNote!
The Common Raven appears in many myths. This one, called Raven and the Winding River, is from the Chinook tradition.
[More Raven calling with ambient river]
Many years ago, as rivers began flowing from the mountains to the sea, the animals couldn’t agree on their course. Raven wanted the rivers to turn and wind, so that as he flew up and down them, he would have different views at every bend. Mink disagreed. [Squeak of a mink] Mink said it would be easier to hunt for frogs if the banks were straight. The rivers would be shorter, and he would be less tired after hunting all day.
So the animals called a council to decide. Should rivers run straight to the sea, or should they wind back and forth?
Raven and Mink presented their arguments. [Squeak of a mink] Mink was very clever as he argued. But Raven, in his loud and raucous way, persisted, [Croaking of a raven] until the council decided that he had won the argument. [Croaking raven]
And that is why rivers bend as they travel from the mountains to the sea. Now Raven has his different views as he flies up and down, and Mink must work harder to find his frogs.
[More Raven croaking]
Sounds of the birds featured on BirdNote—including this crafty raven—come from The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Call of the Common Raven provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by R.S. Little. Mink recorded by P.P. Kellogg.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2011 Tune In to Nature.org March 2011 Narrator: Mary McCann
ID#021506ravenKPLU Revised Nov. 2007 CORA-02-2008-02-XX-KPLU CORA-02b