The Origin of the Guillemots

While some children were playing on the level top of a high cliff overhanging the sea, the older children watched the younger ones lest they should fall down the bluff. Below them the sea was covered with ice, and the strip along the shore had not yet loosened to permit the seals to approach. Soon afterward a wide crack opened and the water was filled with seals, but the children did not observe them. The wind was cold and the children romped in high glee, encouraging each other to greater exertion in their sports and shouted at the top of their voices. The men saw the seals and hastened to the shore to put their kayaks into the water to pursue them. At this the children increased their shouts, which frightened the seals till they dived out of sight. One of the men was angry, and exclaimed to the others, "I wish the cliff would topple over and bury those noisy children for scaring the seals". In a moment the cliff tipped over and the poor children fell among the fragments of huge rocks and stones at the bottom. Here they were changed into guillemots or sea-pigeons, with red feet, and even to this day they thus dwell among the debris at the foot of the cliffs next to the water of the sea.