A Great Flood had occurred upon Earth long, long
ago. While Earth was still covered with water, there were no living
creatures upon the land.
Then out of the sky one day glided an enormous Eagle with a black Crow
riding upon its back, searching for a place to light.
Around and around Eagle flew until he discovered a projecting tree
stump, or what appeared to be a stump, upon which he landed to rest.
There was a home at last upon the flat surface, which was amply large
enough for Eagle and Crow to roost upon.
From here, they surveyed the greenish gray water as far as they could
see. The sky was a gorgeous bright blue with a few white drifting
clouds, occasionally swirled by a passing breeze. All seemed serene to
Eagle and Crow.
Small fish were visible below the water, sometimes leaping out of the
sea playfully. Hunger caused Eagle and Crow to swoop down, catching a
meal for themselves from time to time. Soon a game developed between
the two birds to see which one would be the winner in the
fish-catching contest. Upon their return to the stump, however, they
always shared the reward.
Because of Eagle's great size and wingspan, he soared to great heights
and surveyed widely, as the two birds often flew in opposite
directions exploring for land. But no land did they find. No other
flying creatures did they see. But they always returned to their home
base on the tree stump.
Between them, they wondered "How can we possibly think of a way to
"We know we cannot dive deep enough to find dirt, and the fish are of
no help except to provide food."
Day after day these scenes were repeated, exploring in search of land
or wondering how to create land, only to return to their stump and
catch more fish.
One morning soon thereafter and much to their surprise, a Duck was
swimming around and around their stump. Occasionally, it dived deep in
the water, rose to the surface chewing small fish, twisting its head
from side to side trying to swallow its meal. One time, Duck emerged
with more mud than fish in its mouth.
Eagle and Crow bird talked excitedly about this! "Can Duck possibly
bring up enough mud for us to build land?" they wondered.
How could they let Duck know that mud was what they needed most?
An idea occurred to Eagle, which he bird talked to Crow, "If we supply
fish for Duck, maybe he will bring up more mud than fish."
By trial and error, the two birds caught fish for Duck, placing them
at the edge of the stump, until Duck learned that the fish were for
him in exchange for mud!
When Duck appeared on the surface after a deep dive, Eagle and Crow
brushed off the mud from Duck's bill and his body with their wings.
Progress was slow but steady.
Gradually, Eagle had a pile of mud on his side of the stump and Crow
had a similar pile on his side. Each placed fish on his own side for
Duck, who now responded by carrying more and more mud to Eagle and
Crow. This became a great game of fish-and-mud exchange.
Duck worked very hard, consequently he was always hungry. The birds
were surprised at how large each one's mud pile grew every day. In
bird talk they said, "Duck is helping us to make a new world. This we
will share equally."
Occasionally, Eagle and Crow flew toward the horizon, exploring for
any new signs of land. But they returned with nothing new to report;
however, they noticed a slight lowering of water around the tree
"Surely, the flood must be coming to an end," Crow and Eagle bird
Each day they watched for a change in the waterline. Each day their
piles of mud seemed higher and higher. Faithful Duck kept up his good
work as Eagle and Crow caught fish for him and scraped off mud from
him for each side of the new world.
Another time, Eagle flew high and far in search of dry land, not
returning until late. The sun set and darkness enveloped his world on
the stump. Next morning, to Eagle's surprise, he saw how much more mud
he had acquired, and he was pleased. But after looking across at
Crow's mud pile, Eagle was astounded to see that Crow had given
himself twice as much mud while Eagle was away.
"Was this Crow's idea of sharing the new world equally?" accused
Of course, they quarreled all that day and the next over Crow's
unfairness. But the following day, they went back to work making their
new land. Eagle decided that he must catch up. He caught two fish for
Duck and put them in his usual place. Duck responded by bringing up
mud twice to Eagle in exchange for his two fish. All three worked very
hard for many, many moons.
Gradually, Eagle's half of the new world became taller and taller than
Crow's half, even though Crow seemed to work just as hard as Eagle.
Duck was faithful to his task, never tiring in his effort to supply
mud. Of course, Duck continued to give Eagle twice as much mud for his
two fish. Crow never seemed to notice why Eagle's half became higher
and higher than his half.
One morning, as the sun rose brightly, the two birds looked down
through the water and saw what appeared to be land!
"So that is where Duck finds the mud," they bird talked. They were
pleased to see that the water was subsiding. How they hoped that soon
they would be high and dry on their new world.
But all was not so easy, for that very night lightning flashed across
the waters and thunder rolled and rolled from one horizon to the other
followed by a heavy, drenching rain. Eagle and Crow sought shelter in
holes they dug into the sides of their mud piles. All night long the
rain continued to fall, washing away much of the new world into the
As the rain stopped and the sun rose, Eagle and Duck looked out upon
the waters and saw an arc of many colours reaching from one edge of
the horizon across the sky to the other horizon. This brilliant
display held their eyes in wonderment. What did it mean? They marveled
at how long the colours lingered in the sky. Eagle flew toward the
scene for a closer look, returning when the arc disappeared.
In bird talk, Eagle and Crow decided that the storm of the night
before must have been a clearing shower. They began their land-
building project again, hoping that Duck would resume his work as
mud-carrier. Soon the sun's rays burned strong and hot, packing the
mud until it was hard. Duck appeared and the team of three continued
to build the two halves of the new world.
Day by day, the waters subsided and new land began to show above the
waterline but far, far below the new creation by Eagle and Crow.
Eagle's half became taller and taller and hard packed by the hot sun.
Crow's share of the new world was still great, but never could become
as large as Eagle's half of the new world.