Tag Archives: Yurok

Keekwten Mehl Leen

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, in the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, a dragon came to rest. She enjoyed the peace the Oregon coast promised, having fled the great dragon wars occurring over Greenland at that time. The heavy winter rains and thick summer fog kept her scales from drying out and she soon fell into a deep and blissful sleep. When she woke, this dragon had become part of the rainforest; her great tail looked like a nurse log and vanilla plants had wrapped their tendrils around her eyelashes. Tiny sentient berries played hide-and-seek amongst the ferns that lined her scales, and the bears of the woods brought her fresh salmon to eat. She was hidden and safe in these woods, and she let out a great sigh of relief.

The Yurok people called her “Keekwten Mehl Leen” (moss with eyes) since her scales looked so much like the ground cover and only her clear dark eyes were visible. Content in the t’ohl t’o leehl land, this dragon protected her cheykenee nerhpery (little berries) and the Yurok people with a simple bellow and spurt of fiery breath. For their part, the Yurok made sure she had plenty of food and quiet. Should you offer her fresh salmon and the scent of vanilla, Keekwten Mehl Leen will tell you the stories of the first peoples, in the softly gutteral Yurok tongue.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

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