Myths & Legends

The Gulls

A true Utah Legend

retold by

S.E. Schlosser

In the year of our Lord 1848, vast swarms of crickets descended upon our settlement. Twas a judgment upon us, yea certain, for how else could you explain the desecration of our crops, the dimming hope of survival for the coming winter?

We tried rude methods to destroy the insects: some attempted to burn the crickets, some tried to drown or bury them. But alas, nothing, not even our prayers for deliverance, seemed able to stop the massive destruction of the crickets.

Then, when we had lost all hope, the morning sky was filled with the hoarse cry of gulls and the sound of wings. Before our eyes, thousands of gulls descended over the Great Salt Lake and commenced a great feasting upon the crickets. Twas a miracle of God. Every day the gulls came to eat the crickets until there were no more crickets left. Our crops were saved and we survived the following winter.

* Based on a true story, this story explains why the California gull is the Utah state bird.

 

You can read more Utah folktales in Spooky Southwest by S.E. Schlosser.

 

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