Oban's Myths & Legends
The Storytelling Stone - how stories began
Native American - Seneca legend
retold by Oban
A long time ago, a young man called Crow lived in one of the villages of the Seneca people. His parents had died many years before and he had no one to care for him, or to cook and sew for him.
He lived at the very edge of the village in a small lodge made from bark and branches. His hair was always a tangled mess, and his clothes were old and tattered cast offs he had been given in trade.
The village children were cruel and made fun of him because of the way he looked and because he was an orphan. This was a time when people did not have stories to teach them how to respect and care for others.
Young Crow was an excellent hunter with his bow and arrows. He traded the birds and animals he killed for parched corn, other food and clothes.
As winter drew nearer, Crow had to go further and further into the woods to hunt. One day he went further than he had ever been before. Eventually he came to a clearing where there was a large flat smooth stone with another round stone sitting on top of it.
Crow sat on the flat stone and rested his back against the round one. He laid the birds he had killed next to him. Then he reached into his buckskin pouch for some parched corn, and began to tighten his bowstring.
“Shall I tell you a story?” asked a deep rumbling voice near him.
Crow got such a fright he nearly choked. He jumped up quickly, spitting corn from his mouth and looked around but could see no one.
“Who’s there?” shouted Crow. “Come out and show yourself.”
The clearing was silent. Nothing moved.
“I must be hearing things,” Crow said to himself. “And now I’m talking to myself too.”
With a laugh, he sat down again and rested his back against the round stone.