Hey Guys! Here is my very first Hetalia fic. I wrote it on America, because he's my favorite character, and I think his ideals and dream to be a hero make him very lovable.
I have always loved folk lore and legends, and read them as often as I possibly can. I've read Greek and Roman myths, Celtic and Norse lore and so many other kinds, but I think my very favorite will always be Narive American. Most people don't even know that the Native Americans had myths, and even if they do know, they rarely care. But I love the myths of Native America, because they are so very different from the myths of Europe.
Rainbow Crow's Gift is a very old legend that I read when I was very young. I was always inspired by the Rainbow Crow's selflessness, and ever since I was young, he has been my idol who I've wanted to emulate.
I hope you enjoy this amazing legend!
It was a normal World Summit Meeting: the usual chaos in the morning with France and England fighting while America laughed and goaded them on. Eventually, Germany took charge, and after France and England exhausted themselves, everyone decided to take a lunch break.
Alfred munched on his burger as he sat comfortably on a sofa in front of a large window. The meeting was in England and, though Alfred would never tell Arthur so, the view was quite lovely. For once, England wasn't raining, and the grass was bright and soft looking. The trees held some droplets from a previous rain and everything glistened. The only thing that marred the brightness and the beauty of the outdoors was a lone crow perched on a branch close to the window.
"Depressing creatures, crows." A soft British accent startled the American, who hadn't noticed the presence next to him. He looked up to see Arthur come closer with his lunch and cringed when he imagined the burnt scones that probably were inside that paper bag he held. He wondered vaguely how Arthur knew his thoughts at the moment, but dismissed it.
"Hey, Iggy!" He grinned. The Brit glared back at him, his wide brows furrowing. Alfred knew he hated that name. Nonetheless, the older nation sat next to Alfred on the sofa and gazed out the window at the lovely view. The man scowled as the crow continued to mar the beauty of the life outside.
"Crows are always considered omens of death. They are also often seen as thieves and tricksters. No one wants to be near them, so they are destined to stay alone. There are many legends, but none of them place crows in high regard. Truly pitiable creatures, they are." He turned once more to the window and the lonely black bird.
Alfred, too, turned his gaze on the crow. "That's not actually true, ya know. My place has ancient legends, too, and they're very different from the European legends about crows. In fact, in Native American mythology, crows are often considered gods or messengers to gods."
Arthur turned to him in surprise. "I wasn't even aware you really had legends."
"Of course I do!" The blonde replied indignantly, "It's just…most people have forgotten them. Even the descendants of the natives rarely remember them. It's kinda depressing, ya know?"
Arthur nodded. He, too, felt sad when people did not remember, or care to remember, the days of old.
"Do you remember the stories?" A silky voice asked. Both blondes turned to see Francis, along with his friends Antonio and Gilbert. Arthur bristled at the appearance of his rival.
"Of course I do!" Alfred exclaimed. "What sort of hero would I be if I didn't?"
"I don't believe this has anything to do with being a hero." Francis replied as he and his friends settled down comfortably on a couch nearby.
"Actually, it does." Alfred argued. "In fact, it's because of one of those stories that I decided I wanted to be a hero in the first place! If I forgot the stories, I would lose my resolve. Ya want me to tell you the story?" His eyes shone with excitement. He had never had the chance to share his stories.
Arthur sighed. "I suppose. I-It's not like I'm curious, or anything!" He hastily added when he saw Alfred's grin. The young nation just laughed.
The silence continued for a few minutes as Alfred stared off into nothingness. Arthur was about to give up on hearing the story at all when Alfred spoke.
"Long ago," he began, "Before the two legged walked the Earth, all the animals lived in peace. They had enough to eat and they never had to worry about the weather, because it never grew cold. Everything was perfect. The most beautiful of all the creatures was Rainbow Crow. He had feathers of all the colors on Earth and even some that were not on Earth: colors that we could not identify. He also had the loveliest voice. He filled the Earth with his heavenly music, and all the animals loved him and held him in high esteem. Yet, he was not proud, nor did he think himself better than the other animals."
Alfred didn't know where he heard the story. He had been far too young at the time to remember who told him, but as he told the story to his fellow nations, he let himself be lost in the words. He didn't need to look around to know that his fellow nations felt the same. Legends had a way of moving a person.
"One day, though, things changed. It grew colder and the sky began to let down small flakes of white. The animals, seeing snow for the first time, were surprised, but not afraid. They thought it was beautiful and new. It was only when the smallest of the animals, Mouse, became covered that they grew wary. 'It shall stop soon, surely' they told one another. But it didn't stop. The smaller animals began to get covered by the snow. Squirrel and Mink were soon covered. Yet the snow continued to fall. They grew ever more afraid. When the very tips of Rabbit's ears were covered, the animals lost hope in the snow ever stopping. They gathered together and began to think of ideas to help them. Yet none could agree on what they should do, so they howled and screeched and barked, making a huge ruckus. Gopher and Porcupine were soon covered. This only frightened the animals more and the noise grew.
Rainbow Crow, in his far off perch, heard their cries and came swooping down to their aid. 'My friends,' he sang in his musical voice, 'what is the cause of your distress?'
All the animals were overjoyed that their beloved friend was there. 'The white flakes are covering us! Surely, if this persists much longer, we will all be covered and die! See, all the smaller ones are already buried!'
Rainbow Crow soothed their cries. 'I will help you in any way that I can.' He promised. 'What would you have me do?'
'Please,' they begged him, 'be our messenger to the Sky Spirit and ask him to take away this cold, or we will die!'
Rainbow Crow instantly flew off to the Sky Spirit to save his friends."
Alfred paused. The crow outside the window had flown off. He wondered in passing where it had gone, but then shook himself from his reverie and continued his story.
"It took Rainbow Crow three days of constant flight before he reached the Sky Spirit. His wings ached, but he was filled with happiness that gave him strength. 'My mission is almost done' he thought to himself. He gazed upon the majesty of the Sky Spirit with awe and respect. 'Please great Sky Spirit,' he begged, 'please take away the snow. It is burying my friends! I have been sent here to plead for your help.'
The Sky Spirit gazed upon the beautiful bird with the sweet voice. 'I am sorry,' he replied, 'but I cannot stop the snow. The Wind Spirit is the one blowing cold air and freezing the sky. I cannot have him stop. However, I will give you fire. Bring this to your friends.' The great spirit took a stick and set it aflame from the sun. Rainbow Crow thanked him, and with the stick firmly secured in his beak, set off to return to Earth. He flew even though his wings were exhausted, and the stick slowly burned shorter.
On the first day, the smoke and ash blurred his vision and tainted his beautiful rainbow feathers. The stick burned shorter and he wished to throw it away and save his feathers, but the reminder of his friends in peril made him continue. On the second day, the stick was even shorter. His feathers were now entirely dull. The smoke began to enter his throat and he coughed and coughed. He wanted so badly to drop the stick, for his throat was becoming sore and dry. Yet the thought of all the animals in trouble spurred him onward. On the third day, the stick was no more than a stub. The flames and smoke poured down his throat and burned. He was in much pain and only wished he could throw the stick away. 'Even if I die,' he thought to himself, 'I must see this through. My friends count on me.' At last, he saw land.
All the Earth was covered in snow, and not even the tips of Elk's antlers were visible. He slowly flew close over the snow, the flame in his beak melting it away. First Elk and Horse reappeared. Soon after, Wolf and Fox, followed by Rabbit and soon even Squirrel, until finally Mouse was free and all the animals were uncovered. They rejoiced in finally being free and thanked the Rainbow Crow, but when he opened his mouth to speak, no beautiful melodies came forth: only a hoarse and rough 'caw'. The animals were shocked and horrified at the bedraggled black bird with the awful voice before them. How could Rainbow Crow become so ugly? All the animals left without another word and Rainbow crow was left alone.
He flew his tired wings to his nest and collapsed into sobs. All he had been was now gone, and the animals thought he was ugly. It hurt him very much that those he had saved treated him so. Still, he would have done it again, even though he lose all his feathers. If it were to protect them, he would do anything.
The Sky Spirit heard the crow's weeping and came down from the sky. He had seen the treatment Rainbow Crow received and had come to comfort him. 'Do not weep, Rainbow Crow,' he whispered in a soothing voice. 'You have been rewarded for your actions, though it may not seem so.'
Rainbow Crow looked up curiously.
'Because you were so filling to do anything to save your friends, I have left you with a gift: survival. Soon the two legged will walk the Earth. They will kill many animals for their food or clothes, but you, they shall leave free. They will not capture you for your song, because your lovely voice is gone. They will not kill you for your meat, because you will taste like smoke and ash. They will not kill you for your feathers, because what was once a beautiful rainbow is a dull black. I am sure a kind bird such as yourself would rather die for your friends than see them hunted, but you must live. Your sacrifice has shown you worthy. See, not all your beauty is lost.'
Rainbow Crow gazed closely at his coal black feathers and gasped. There, among the black, was hidden bits of color. In his once beautiful feathers, a million tiny rainbows shone forth. Rainbow Crow smiled. He was content."
A silence followed the end of the story. The crow had returned, this time with another crow. Alfred smiled as he saw the twigs in their beaks. They were building a nest, and there would soon be little crows chirping outside the window.
"I always thought that crow was such a hero." Alfred mused. "He was willing to give up anything, even his own life, to protect those around him. That's a true hero. I'll bet he didn't even hold it against them when they left him alone and thought he was ugly. He was probably just glad they were alive. That's what I decided I wanted to be like. So, even if other cultures see the crow as a sign of death or a thief and pariah, I and my people see him as a sign of life and a hero."
Arthur glanced at the boy next to him. What had he given up in his endeavors to be a hero? He then looked at the crows outside steadily building a nest. He didn't think he would ever look at crows the same way again. He cleared his throat. "Well, that was definitely a lovely story, lad. I didn't know you were such a storyteller. From where did you pull that vocabulary?"
"Indeed," Francis added, "I thought that all your mouth could do was spout about being a hero and scarf down those greasy monstrosities known as hamburgers." His friends laughed with him.
Alfred just smiled. As long as they were happy and laughing, he didn't care what they said: even if they laughed at his expense. He could handle it. He was a hero.
And there is is, folks! I hope you liked it, and will be interested enough to look up other Native American legends. If you want me to suggest any, PM me! I've read lots of good ones!
Please review with any critiques and suggestions. I'm trying to improve on my writing.
Thanks for reading!