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myth

The Nightingale

From Hans Christian Andersen... Long ago, in an emperor's garden, lived a Nightingale. The emperor ordered the bird to be brought to him, and she was locked in a golden cage. When the emperor received a mechanical Nightingale, the real Nightingale was banished. Years later, the emperor lay dying.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

Birds as Omens - From The Iliad

For us, an eagle in flight is an image of beauty and power. But for the ancient Greeks, an eagle in flight was an omen - a message from the gods. In Homer's epic, The Iliad, the Greeks have vowed to conquer Troy. But midway through the siege, mighty Hector and the Trojans battle them to the edge... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

Cygnus the Swan

The story of Cygnus the Swan constellation, from Greek mythology: Phaeton, unable to control the chariot of the sun, careens wildly though the heavens, scorching the earth. The god Zeus strikes the impetuous charioteer with a bolt of lightning, causing him to fall headlong into the river. His... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

Raven and the Winding River

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... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

Raven and the Sun, A Myth

Raven, in Northwestern Coastal mythology, is the Trickster, the agent of mischief and games. Raven was covetous of the sun but couldn't figure out how to steal it. He finally found a way and when you hear him call, he's still laughing about how clever he was. This photo courtesy of John Fletcher... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

The Crane Wife

Throughout history, the Japanese have viewed the crane as a symbol of good fortune. Because cranes mate for life, they also represent fidelity and honor. Visit SavingCranes.org, to learn more about the International Crane Foundation and the fight to save the Japanese Red-crowned Crane. Music in... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

How Raven Made the Tide

Long ago the tide stayed close to shore. The people went hungry because the clams lay hidden under water. Then Raven had a plan. He put on his cloak and flew along the shore to the house of the old woman who held the tide-line firmly in her hand. Raven fooled her, and she let go of the tide-line,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

The Mystique of the Albatross

Since Samuel Coleridge published The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, we've associated albatrosses (like this Black-browed Albatross ) with the superstition that shooting one would bring misfortune. With a wingspan of up to 12 feet, albatrosses are among the world's largest seabirds. They come ashore... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth, reflection

Why Robin Has a Red Breast

According to the Suquamish story, many years ago, South Wind blew hot and long. The animals banded together and found the source of the wind - a fortress atop a rocky mountain. At night, the animals crept into the fortress and vanquished the men who protected the South Wind. Afterward, the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

Why the Crow Is Black

Out of the 810 species of North American birds, the only completely black birds are the crow and the raven. Here's a story that explains why the crow is black, according to Native American tradition. When Crow came into the world, he wore all the colors of the rainbow, but the other animals and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  myth

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