The Theft of Light

The Theft of LightThe Theft of Light

Tsimshian

At one time it was dark all the time. Giant put on his Raven’s feathers and flew east. Along the way he put fish in the rivers and berries on the hills. There was some light from the stars at night, but not a lot. He remembered that there was light where he had come from so he decided to get some.

He flew up and found a hole in the sky. He took off his raven skin. He saw the chief’s daughter coming to get water. He turned himself into a cedar leaf and floated in the water. She drank it without knowing and became pregnant. She gave birth to a baby boy, which was, of course, Giant.

When he began to crawl and move around, he would cry for “Hama,” but no one knew what this meant. They finally asked a wise man. He determined the baby was crying for the Ma, the thing that made the light. They gave it to him to play with and he played with it for four days, until it was normal. After four days, he took the Ma and ran with it towards the hole in the sky. The people then knew he was trying to get away with it. He put his raven feathers back on and flew to Earth.

Giant came back down near a river where there were fishermen. Giant asked for a fish, but they said no. He told them he would break the Ma. The fishermen teased Giant and so he broke the Ma. Daylight went everywhere. The fishermen, who were actually frogs, were blown mountainous island, but they were frozen into stone. They are there to this day.

Observations

Ok, look, if I gave birth to a baby and it turned out the baby was some kind of strange creature who had only been a baby to try to steal something, I think I would be a little upset. This was my baby and now it’s some weird guy stealing stuff from my family. This is all very upsetting. Did no one question why this girl was pregnant? She went out to get water and she came back pregnant. Was there someone in the bushes?

Themes

The people were meant to have light. If you had something like light, why would you keep it from everyone? Why would you hoard it to yourself? Can you imagine trying to do everything in the dark. Let’s cook. Let’s catch dinner. Let’s go to a family reunion, but it’s all the in the dark. Cousin Mable, you look exactly the same as ever. Cousin Mable always looks the same because you can’t see her, or him, who knows, it’s dark.

Someone always goes and gets light for the people and usually it’s someone who is a little more than human. Sometimes it’s a lesser god and sometimes it’s someone like a superhuman. It’s never really a human who brings light to fellow-man. It’s always someone a bit better than humanity who decides to stick his/her neck out for the rest of humanity.

Christian theology has the same concept. We didn’t bring ourselves the light of the world, Christ is the light of the world. These stories, although Pagan versus Christian, are actually pretty similar in certain aspects. We all agree that someone greater than ourselves gave us light. Christian theology gets a bit murky though because God created the Earth, but Lucifer was called the Son of the Morning and ultimately kicked out of heaven. There’s probably more to the story.

Ultimately, no regular human is great enough to bring light into existence. I guess I’ll agree because I don’t know anyone who could pull something like that off, but it seems a bit sad that none of us could do it.

Overall

Look, when you’re drinking water, use protection, get yourself a filter, don’t want to end up pregnant.

Weigh In

Do you know anyone who has what it takes to bring light to the people?

What would you do if you found yourself pregnant by very strange circumstances?

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