Raven wondered about, bored and hungry, until he decided to eat the whale. He strapped a quiver of kindling to his back, swooped down onto the whale’s lower lip and said, “Whale, we are cousins. I can prove it. We have the same throats. Simply open your mouth and I will show you.”
Whale thought the creature was strange, but was so large that he feared nothing, and opened his cavernous mouth.
Raven was so bored, hungry, and tricky, that he too feared nothing, and ran straight between the open jaws into the belly of the beast.
Whale shrugged, dove, and continued feeding.
Raven quickly stoked a fire, ripped a piece of fat from the whale, cooked it and ate it.
Whale grimaced with pain, but knew there was nothing he could do. He swallowed a mouth-full of plankton to regenerate his fat, then tried to strike a deal with the odd creature. “I know it is you, trickster, I have felt you in my bowels before. I will make you a deal. You can continue to eat my fat, and I will continue to replenish it by feeding on plankton, but you must never eat my heart or my liver or I will die, and you will surely perish on the bottom of the sea.”
Raven agreed and continued to gorge on the fat. He ripped flesh from the belly, the back, the ass, and even the head. He burned it, smoked it, ate some raw, and savored every morsel. He ate as fast as he could, imagining that Whale could never keep up, that the leviathan would shrivel from the inside until he was nothing but a powerless shell and Raven could fill the void.
But the whale also feasted more than ever. He used Raven as an excuse to eat all the more.
Bloated to the point he could no longer move, Raven was still bored and hungry. He drew his sword-like beak into the deepest chambers of the whale, and cut out the heart and liver. Oh, the delicious meat! Raven ate with relish the inner organs of the mighty beast.
Whale died and sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
Trapped in his watery grave, Raven did what he always did. He continued to entertain himself. He ripped the flesh from the dead whale and cooked it in new, unimaginable ways. He carved tunnels and sculptures in the blubber before he devoured it. He stuck his beak through the skull of the dead whale and sucked out its eyeballs. He had so much fun that he didn’t notice when the carcass of the whale began to move. As it grew lighter and hollow inside, it was pushed around by the currents and washed ashore.
At the same time, Raven ate the last section of meat. He began to weep in sorrow, but then he heard voices from without. He bellowed like the leviathan had when it was alive, and lured the voices closer. As he stared at the thick skin of the whale in pure darkness, a slit of light emerged.
Raven shot out of the hole, so fat that he could hardly wobble into the air on his own two wings.
The humans jumped back in amazement and watched as the whale deflated like a popped blowfish beneath the fat, cackling Raven.
Raven turned away from them, and flew down the beach, stumbling and bobbing in the air, as he relearned how to fly after emerging from the depths.