Dolphin Legend – The Rainbow Bridge

There are as many tales, legends and stories surrounding dolphins as there are concerning any other animal. Why is that? I feel it’s because dolphins seem to be just as curious about us as we are about them. I think if we finally ever crack their code and actually do learn to communicate with dolphins, we’ll hear many stories and legends that they have about us strange creatures who live on land and put on funny looking fins and gills so we can swim along side them. But until that time, we’ll have to be satisfied with our stories we have about dolphins.

One of my favorite stories comes from the Chumash people of Santa Cruz Island off the cost of California. Legend says that they were created when the Earth Goddess planted seeds to raise them. Her husband, the Sky Snake, could spit lightning and he decided to give the Chumash people the gift of fire by spitting lightning down on the island.

They were very happy because now they could stay warm and cook their food. In fact, living became so easy that their population grew and kept growing. But, soon the island became very crowded and the Earth Goddess started to notice the noise. It became so unharmonious that she couldn’t sleep and she decided they had to move to the mainland over 20 miles away.

The people all asked her how they were to get to the mainland. After giving it a lot of thought she decided to make a bridge out of a rainbow. It would stretch from the highest point on the island all the way to the mountains of the great expanse.

The people were worried and scared, but the Earth Goddess assured them they would be alright. She told them to go to the other side and populate the world. So they climbed to the top of the rainbow on their island and started across. Many of them made it safely but others became dizzy from being so high. They looked down at the ocean so far beneath them and got scared. Then a fog came in and confused them more. While most walked across the bridge with no problems, these others fell off and they fell long and far down into the ocean. The Earth Goddess saw this and felt very bad because the bridge had been her idea and she had assured them all would be alright.

She wanted to show them that they hadn’t made a mistake by trusting her so she turned all that fell into dolphins. So even today the Chumash people say dolphins are their brothers that fell off the rainbow bridge. Some even say they were the lucky ones.