How the Crow Became Black

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See link for this video below

A wonderful Native American story told at Fordham’s first ever celebration of Native American History Month via Fordham News:

Sheldon Raymore brought stories and dances from the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe.

In introducing his dances, his stories, and his regalia to the crowd, Raymore described how each tradition was “gifted” to him. In each introduction, he credited a specific person. After the performance, as he walked across Edwards Parade to have his photo taken, he explained why.

Kodiak Tarrant dances.

“In our culture, everything is a give and a take. We don’t just cut down a tree without purpose, or without making an offering in its place,” he said. “It’s always an exchange of energy or a blessing. That’s what we as a people do.”

Host and emcee Bobby Gonzalez, a Bronx-based community organizer, said most of the dancers that came to Fordham had volunteered to share their culture. It was in that same spirit that Raymore gifted a story, “How the Crow Became Black,” to all those gathered.

“It’s a story that reminds us not to judge each other, that we each have a gift that was given to us by our Creator, and that we’re here to share that gift with each other.”

How the Crow Became Black

A long time ago, Mother Earth’s shawl was covered in snow, so much snow that the animals were freezing. The animals held a grand council to decide [who]should visit the Great Spirit [to ask for help].

Rainbow Crow was the most beautiful of all the winged birds. His feathers had many colors, some not even from this world. Those colors don’t exist anymore. And Rainbow Crow had the most beautiful singing voice out of all the winged birds. And so, Rainbow Crow was chosen.

Suki Tarrant

He flew to Great Spirit to ask for the snow to stop. Rainbow Crow flew past Mother Earth, past Grandmother Moon, past Grandfather Sun, finally reaching Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka. To catch the attention of Great Spirit, Rainbow Crow sang the most beautiful songs, and he caught the attention of Creator.

Creator asked Rainbow Crow, “What can I give you for this gift of that beautiful song?” Rainbow Crow said “Everyone is freezing on earth, can you make it stop?”

But once Creator thinks about something it cannot be unthought—that’s the power of thought.

So, he told Rainbow Crow, “I’ll give you this gift of fire.” Creator stuck a torch into the sun and gave it to Rainbow Crow. But being a winged bird, the only way he could carry this gift of fire was in his beak. Rainbow Crow flew back as fast as possible, past Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, finally reaching Mother Earth. When Rainbow Crow put that fire down, all the animals of earth rejoiced. They were dancing and they were excited because life would go on.

But, for Rainbow Crow, his once beautiful feathers had been scorched black from carrying the the fire back to earth. And the beautiful singing voice that he once had was gone. It sounded like what you hear from the crows just outside: “Craw! Craw!”

Creator noticed that Rainbow Crow was sad and he said to Rainbow Crow, “Do not be sad. When grandfather sun shines his light upon you, you will see the colors of the coat you once had.” That is why when you look at a crow today they have an iridescent color to their feathers. Creator then said, “Rainbow Crow I will make it so that when the humans come they won’t hunt you because I’ll make your meat taste like burned flesh. And they won’t cage you for your beautiful singing voice.”

That was enough for Rainbow Crow. And that is how the crow became black.

Watch a video from the event here.

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I met a Bouvier des Flandres last night.

This is Jasper. He’s a Bouvier des Flandres and he was chilling on the E train, calm as ever. His owner told me he weighs 120 pounds and is a service dog, which is why a crowded train did not bother him in the least.

About the breed via Your Pure Bred Puppy:

The Bouvier des Flandres is sober and thoughtful, rather than light-hearted or whimsical.
The AKC Standard calls him “equable, steady, resolute, and rugged.”
Though they can be athletic and agile, Bouviers are often a bit lazy unless deliberately taken out and encouraged to move. Brisk walks are a must to keep them in hard condition.
Mental stimulation in the form of advanced obedience, agility, tracking, herding, carting, or Schutzhund is even more important to this highly intelligent breed.
Though he is not overly demonstrative — he shows his loyalty in deeper, more subtle ways — the Bouvier des Flandres must live indoors and close to his family, his “flock.” When his needs are met, he is laid-back and serene.
Matching his stern appearance, he is often aloof with strangers and assertive when challenged. His air of calm appraisal can be intimidating, and he may use his big body to control people, rather than biting. Socialization must be early and frequent so that he learns to discriminate between friend and foe.
Most Bouvers des Flandres are dominant with other dogs, especially of the same sex, and those with a high prey drive are not reliable with cats and other creatures that run or flutter.
He may poke or nudge people and other animals in an attempt to gather them or move them along.
Make no mistake about it, the Bouvier des Flandres can be a pushy, strong-willed dog who requires a confident owner, especially during the challenging adolescent period. This is not a breed for first-time or passive owners.