Raven and the First People: Reading Comprehension
Read the story and answer the questions.
Raven and the First People
Raven was bored. He was walking along the beach in Haida Gwaii, looking for some new way to amuse himself. As he walked along the beach, the blue ocean in front of him and the green forest behind him didn’t seem interesting. Raven wanted to play, but there was no one to play with.
Then he heard a strange sound, unlike any sound he knew. He looked up and down the beach. Where was it coming from? As he walked he noticed a large white clamshell lying in the sand. Inside the clamshell were tiny creatures, unlike any he had seen before.
Raven bent down to get a closer look. The creatures seemed afraid of him, so he began to coax them in a gentle voice, “Come out. Come out. Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.”
A few of the creatures came out of the clamshell. They were very different from Raven. They had no feathers, no wings, and no beaks. Like him, they walked on two legs, but they had arms, faces with mouths, and black hair. They spoke to each other in a language that Raven didn’t understand. These tiny creatures were the first humans.
Raven enjoyed watching these humans play and explore the world. After a while, when he was beginning to feel bored again, he noticed that these humans were only men. There were no women. Raven had an idea. He wondered if he could find some women. He searched for a long time. Then he saw some *chitons. He opened one of the chitons and found some lovely, tiny women. He brought the women to the men.
Raven enjoyed watching the behaviour of the men and women. He saw them begin to pair off and have children. The human families moved to other parts of the island. Since that day, many generations of humans have grown and flourished, and Raven has never been bored.
* Chiton: a large sea shell
Story adapted by Mary Mahoney from a traditional Haida legend. The traditional territory of the Haida people includes part of today’s southern Alaska and the islands of Haida Gwaii.
Audio version performed by Cam Culham
Audio effects adapted under Creative Commons license
Audio credits: Crowd sounds | Chimes | Raven
Creative Commons photo credit: ru_24_real on Flickr
- Where was Raven walking?
- through the forest
- along the beach
- in the water
- Why did Raven want to play?
- He was bored.
- He was excited.
- He was hungry.
- What was Raven's problem?
- His frends were all working.
- Raven had nothing to play with.
- His friends were too busy to play.
- What did Raven hear?
- A baby crying.
- A bird singing.
- A strange sound.
- Where was the sound coming from?
- The birds.
- The sea.
- A clamshell.
- What did Raven see in the clamshell?
- baby clams.
- tiny creatures.
- How did Raven get the creatures to come out of the clamshell?
- He coaxed them in a gentle voice.
- He sang to them.
- He grabbed them amd pulled them out.
- What idea did Raven have?
- He wanted to find some women for the male creatures.
- He wanted the men and women to get married.
- He wanted to get married.
- Where did Raven find the female creatures?
- in the sand.
- in the seaweed.
- in a chiton.
- Why isn't Raven bored now?
- He has children of his own.
- He can amuse himself by watching the behaviour of men and women.
- He can create humans.