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1001 Stories Collection

Why the Seagull Cries

1001 whytheseagullcries
Added on 08th July 2020

Oral tradition Native American folktale

North and Central America Animals
1001 , Audio , Text

An origin story that tells how light came into the world and why the seagull's cry is so mournful.

Story

Seagull is the keeper of all the light in the world. He keeps it in a box under his wing. Raven tries to trick seagull into handing over the light.

Why we chose it

Pourquoi or origin stories that tell how or why something has come to exist are great to tell and to use as models for children to create their own stories to tell. This was one of the stories in our original audio stories collection.

Where it came from

Why the Seagull Cries is a Native American tale, which is part of an entirely oral tradition. The story appears to exist as one of series of tales, which explore the specific jobs of certain animals. Within this narrative, the seagull is employed to be the keeper of light.

Where it went next

Many different versions of the story exist. As well as Why the Seagull Cries, the tale is also called Raven, Seagull, and the Coming of Light. It can be found in Chris Smith’s 147 Traditional Stories for Primary School Children to Retell (2014)

Associated stories

Seagulls appear regularly in Native American folklore. In some stories they are seen as greedy or aggressive, in others they are praised for their endurance and perseverance. On the north west coast they are sometimes said to have power over storms and weather.

Added on 08th July 2020

Oral tradition Native American folktale

North and Central America Animals
1001 , Audio , Text

Story Resources

  • Why The Seagull Cries story text PDF (242.556 KB)
    Download