For one of my classes I had to choose an Inuit painting or sculpture and write a little story about it. I chose a print that shows sea creatures gathering around in a circle performing a sun dance.
In the deepest, darkest part of the Ocean, there is a ritual among the animals who live there. Every year they gather to hear the story of The First Foot.
"Happened like this," Rumbles the Coral, the eldest of all. "When my Great Great Grand Polyp was just a thought in the stones it is said that there was a Fish who found the End of Waters. I cannot say for sure what it is meant by 'The End' only that the Fish was curious, and he decided to go further and further until the sands were not wet."
All of the creatures then turn to the Old Brittlestar, who has a hundred legs and a thousand children. " The way I remember it, the Fish was afraid at first. His fins moved across the sand and he found himself in a strange, silent forest. He looked up and up, and there was a bright light in the murk -- "
"True!" Cries the Shrimp, and her bioluminesence ripples excitedly. "I've seen this light! It looks like this!" For a moment everyone dulls their own lights, and the Shrimp GLOWS.
The creatures marvel at her light. And one by one, they come close to one another and glow as well, and those who don't have a light of their own begin to sway or swim in circles.
"Let this story be a reminder, Children of the Deep!" Intones the Coral. "That there is a world beyond our Waters! That there is a Light that shines above us! In the end the Fishes' children grew stronger and their fins lengthened. It is said that they became a part of the shining world beyond. But we will never know."
When the story is done, each creature goes its own way to think about what has been taught. But the Shrimp, on the way to her shoal, takes one look at the ocean above her and smiles at the sunlight beaming down from that unknown realm.