Thunder lived. One day he said, “How shall the people live there is just prairie there? Let us place the ocean there.” He said to Earthquake, “I want to have water there, there so that the people may live. Otherwise they will have nothing to live on.” He said to Earthquake, “What do you think?”
Earthquake thought. “That is true,” he said. “There should be water there. Far off I see it. I see the water. There are salmon there and water.”
“Go,” said Thunder. “Go with Equilini, the one who sits there by the water. Go and get water. Get water that is to come here.”
Then the two of them went. Equilini and Earthquake went to see the water. They went to get the water. They had two abalone shells that Thunder had given to them. “Take these shells,” Thunder had said. “Collect the water in them.”
First Equilini and Earthquake went to the east end of the world. There Earthquake looked around. “This will be easy,” he said. “It will be easy for me to sink the land.” Then Earthquake ran around. He ran around and the ground sank. It sank there at the east end of the world.
Then Equilini and Earthquake started. They went to the place at the end of the water. They made the ground sink behind them as they went. They saw all kinds of animals and fish that could be eaten there in the water. Then they took water in the abalone shells.
“Now we will go to the west end of the world,” said Earthquake. “We will go there and look for water. Thunder will help us breaking down the trees. The water will extend all the way to the west end of the world. There will be salmon and fish of all kinds and seals in the water.”
Now Equilini and Earthquake came back. They saw that Thunder had broken down the trees.
Together the three of them went east. As they went together they kept sinking the ground. The Earth quaked and quaked water flowed over it as Equilini and Earthquake poured it from their abalone shells. Equilini emptied her shell and it filled the ocean halfway to the east end of the world. Earthquake emptied his shell and it filled the ocean the rest of the way.
As they filled in the ocean, the creatures which would be food swarmed into the water. The seals came as if they were thrown in handfuls. Into the water they came, swimming toward shore. Earthquake sank the land deeper to make gullies and the whales came swimming through the gullies where the water was deep enough for them to travel. The salmon came running through the water.
Now all the land animals, the deer and elk, the foxes and minks, the bear and others had gone inland. Now the water creatures were there. Now Thunder and Equilini and Earthquake looked at the ocean. “This is enough,” They said. “Now the people will have enough to live on. Everything that is needed is in water.”
So it is that the prairie became ocean. It is so because Thunder wished it so. It is so because Earthquake wished it so. All kinds of creatures are in the ocean before us because Thunder and Earthquake wished the people to live.
You may reprint articles found here, provided you include the following resource box along with the printing: