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The following is a folktale told by Kotar the orca during a storyboard role playing game I was involved in awhile back.

The Battle Of The Tricksters

by Kay Shapero
Copyright March 17, 1994

Below the waves was an orca who was a hunter of the hunters, who swam far and wide and caught what he wished where he wanted it. He stalked food for the eating, and others for the teasing, and the grand poets of the humpbacks to be first to know the year's song, and no being in the sea could keep a secret from him for long. And no other being could learn the secrets from him for he kept his own counsel. Above the waves was a human who was a hunter of the hunters, who caught what he wished and teased whom he wished and spied out the secrets of the birds in flight and the creatures on the land and his own tribal elders, much to their discomfiture. Yet no others could learn the secrets he collected for they were his own.

And both traveled far and wide in search of food and secrets, and the day came when the hunter of the land came to the shore of the sea and looked out over the waves and thought of all the secrets that might lie beneath. And the hunter of the sea came to that same shore and spy-hopped up to catch glimpses of the land and he thought of all the secrets that might lie there. And he saw the hunter of the land, and the land hunter saw him.

So it was the land hunter spoke to his brother of the sea for in those days all spoke the same language. "Greetings, mighty hunter, have you seen any good game hereabouts?"

"Not perhaps what you would call good, but the Great Shark prowls but a little way to the North of here. And, great hunter, what game have you seen hereabouts."

"Nothing of notice, though the Great Buffalo walks but a little way to the South."

And they agreed each to seek the other's suggested prey. The land hunter studied the ocean, then built himself a raft, oars, and a long spear with which he sallied forth onto the sea. Leaning over the side, he dropped bits of meat into the water until the Great Shark rose to the top to see who was feeding him. He opened his jaws until they were wider than the raft, meaning to eat food, man, and all, but the man jammed the raft into his mouth as it closed, and stabbed him to the heart with the spear. Rowing ashore, he roasted his catch and ate dinner, after which he took the rest of the shark back to the nearest tribe who ate for many days. The orca studied the land and saw where a cliff overhung the cove. Leaping up and down, he made the waves crash against the cliff and knock it down, dropping the Great Buffalo into the sea where he made a tasty morsel for the orca, several pilot fish, and an opportunistic grouper.

And so they continued, catching the Bear and the Kraken, the Eagle and the Sunfish-as-big-as-an-island, the Lion and the luminescent Angler fish who lives at the bottom of the sea. And at last when each had caught his prey, the two began to eye each other. "Oh Great Hunter of the Land," said the orca, "I know one creature you can never catch."

"Oh Great Hunter of the sea," replied the man, "And I know one which would best you."

And they agreed to start the hunt in three days. The orca swam back out to sea, and collected every Swimmer he could find from the great blue whale to the littlest dolphin [an image of Dart herself somehow slips into view for a second], and told them all of a school of the most wonderful fish swimming to the South. And all swam that way at once and raised such a wave that three days later it splashed onto the land and sank it to a distance inland of hundreds of miles. At the same time, the man made himself a huge plow and hitched it to a team of great oxen and plowed out such a ditch that it carried the water still in the ocean miles inland to form a sea there, leaving the sea floor dry over hundreds of miles.

And when all was done, the orca swam in the waters where the land had been, and the man walked on the ground where the ocean had been. And neither had the upper hand, but many ocean creatures were stranded on the land, and many land creatures were trying to stay afloat in the water. And then there was the sound of mighty laughter. {ENOUGH} called the voice, {TRULY YOU ARE BOTH WORTHY FOLLOWERS OF MINE} And the Great Trickster himself, whose shape is a matter of the moment and whose mind is ever bent on mischief looked down on the mess.

As he chuckled at the bemused pair, islands began to appear in the new ocean where the land creatures might swim to refuge, and lakes and streams in the new land that the water beings might again be covered. And the two hunters moved closer together, one at the very edge of the ocean, the other at the very edge of the land, and eyed him warily. {SOME REWARD IS CALLED FOR ENTERTAINING ME AS HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. WHAT WOULD YOU WISH?}

The two hunters eyed each other dubiously, then both spoke up boldly as one. "We would know all the secrets of both land and sea, as each of us knows our own element now."

{IS THAT ALL?} laughed the Trickster. {HERE - YOUR WISH IS GRANTED.} And suddenly instead of one orca, and one man there was a new being with the knowledge and features of both. {GO, LIVE WHERE YOU WILL AND LEARN WHAT YOU WILL}. And off he swam.

Thus, it is said, were born the K'teer.