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The end of darkness (Traditional Alaskan legend)


n the beginning of time, the Eskimos lived in an endless night. They had never known sunlight, so they spent their days in a darkness that only faint starlight could make up for. And, believe me, it’s not easy living like that: they couldn’t stray too far from their igloos in case they got lost, they couldn’t see when a wild animal was approaching and the worst of all was the intense cold. Which is why they all had such a surprise when an ancient crow came to their village and told them about daylight. In the south, the bird said, there was such clear light that could help make the Eskimos’ lives so much better. So the whole village begged the crow to bring them a little bit of that wonderful light. The bird was old and tired, but it could not refuse such a request. The next day, the crow set off south. The days went by and, just when the Eskimos had begun to give up hope, a shining light that they had never seen before appeared on the horizon. The light continued to come closer until it covered everything. The crow had returned carrying a ball of light under its wings. The Eskimos couldn’t believe the world of colours opening up before them: the white of the snow, the green of the trees, the blue of the sky. The thing is, the crow told them, because he was so old, he had only been able to bring a very small ball of light. The Eskimos would have to let the ball rest for several months every year so that it would continue to work. That’s why, in Alaska there are 6 months of light and 6 months of darkness.


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The end of darkness (Traditional Alaskan legend)