Sun and its sibling Moon created the world together, but as siblings are wont to do they fell to squabbling over their creation. Sun desired its creations to be brightly colored and to sleep during the night, while Moon wanted muted colors and daytime sleep. Both sought to sway the animals to their side with gifts, as they had all been created with the will to do what they would.

For instance, Sun offered the vain cardinal a brought red hue in exchange for it singing during the day, while Moon offered it jet-black feathers for a nighttime song. Cardinal chose the red, and so they sing during the day. But owl took Moon’s offer of silent wings for hunting over Sun’s offer of a loud hunting cry.

When it was time for crow to be courted by Sun and Moon, it approached them separately. Sun offered bright plumage, while Moon offered dark. Crow refused both offers, noting that there were many birds of both dark and light. Sun responded by offering crow the gift of being able to eat anything, while Moon tempted crow with cleverness and curiosity. Crow decided to play both sides.

Crow went to Moon and accepted Moon’s offer, promising to take on dark plumage. Then, later, Crow went to Sun and accepted its offer as well, promising to sleep during the night. Only when Sun and Moon bestowed both their gifts did they realize that they had both been tricked, and that Crow had played them against one another.

Begrudgingly, both kept their word: crow kept the ability to eat anything and the cleverness and curiosity which it had been promised. But in a rare moment of agreement both Sun and Moon punished crow for its hubris by taking its song. Little did either realize that crow did not care to sing anyway; this is why crow does not sing, and has the colors of a night bird in the day, and more gifts than the other birds.

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