When the world was new, it was black. Raven grew tired of of groping around in the dark.
One day, Raven came upon the home of an old man who lived by a river with his daughter. Through cunning and sly observation, he learned that the old man held a great treasure in a bentwood box. Inside that box were dozens other boxes, at the centre of which was one that held the light of the universe.
Raven vowed to steal that light.
He was the cleverest creature, so it wasn't long before Raven came up with a plan. He waited by the river for the old man's daughter to come and gather water. The trickster transformed himself into a single helmlock needle just as she scooped water in her basket to drink.
Raven slipped down her throat and nestled into her warm belly. He transformed himself into a tiny human. He slept for a long time, then emerged into the world a second time.
The Raven-child looked quite strange, but the old man loved him all the same. Still, he threatened dire punishment if Raven were to touch the treasure box. But as the man's grandson, Raven held the strings to his heart. Raven begged and begged to hold it just for a moment. Finally the old man relented. He unpacked the many bentwood boxes and pulled out the glowing sphere of light, then tossed it gently to his grandson.
As the light moved towards him, Raven transformed from a human child into a shadowy black bird, its talons flexed in anticipation. He caught the glowing light in his beak and took flight through the longhouse's smokehole.
And that is how light came to the universe.
(I first heard this story many years ago as a child living on Haida Gwaii, British Columbia (then known as The Queen Charlotte Islands.) I lived in a remote military outpost in the town of Masset, and spent three years alongside the Haida people with their beautiful stories and strong culture. This particular story has always stuck with me. I rewrote it slightly from the base tale. But a tale like this is all in the telling, and it's based on the oral tradition, so no two tellings are ever quite the same.)