Once, there was a sea monster which greatly troubled the Nootka, for it would wait at the mouth of the river for children to swim when it would catch and eat them. The Nootka did not know what to do for their children had to learn to swim if they were to catch Whale. So they asked Thunderbird and he told them to make belts of the whale skin and put it on a brave child. This child had then to swim out towards the sea monster and when he was swallowed, to shout “snake in belly” when the belt would kill the sea monster. “For” said Thunderbird, “I have turned the magic of the double-headed serpent into the skin of the whale and it shall turn the poison against the sea monster”. From that day on, the children of this child that slew the sea monster bore the crest of Thunderbird upon their canoes and his image shows where the shores are safe to the Nootka, to this day.
A Nootka Tale
(As published in The Thunderbird Journal, Winter 1984)