Native American Myths

The First Tears

An Inuit Myth

retold by

S. E. Schlosser

Once long ago, Man went hunting along the water's edge for seals. To Man's delight, many seals were crowded together along the seashore. He would certainly bring home a great feast for Woman and Son. He crept cautiously towards the seals. The seals grew restless. Man slowed down. Suddenly, the seals began to slip into the water. Man was frantic. His feast was getting away.

Then Man saw a single seal towards the back of the group. It was not moving as quickly as the others. Ah! Here was his prize. He imagined the pride on Woman's face, the joy in Son's eyes. Their bellies would be filled for many days from such a seal.

Man crept towards the last seal. It did not see him, or so Man thought. Suddenly, it sprang away and slipped into the water. Man rose to his feet. He was filled with a strange emotion. He felt water begin to drip from his eyes. He touched his eyes and tasted the drops. Yes, they tasted like salty water. Strange choking sounds were coming from his mouth and chest.

Son heard the cries of Man and called Woman. They ran to the seashore to find out what was wrong with Man. Woman and Son were alarmed to see water flowing out of Man's eyes.

Man told them about the shore filled with seals. He told how he had hunted them, and how every seal had escaped his knife. As he spoke, water began to flow from the eyes of Woman and Son, and they cried with Man. In this way, people first learned to weep.

Later, Man and Son hunted a seal together. They killed it and used its skin to make snares for more seals.



awsome; BY; BRANDY

AW. this is sad. LOL :(

Cool, cool

Cool, cool

Im so fat Now!!!!!!

One word AWSOME!!!!

It's about a man who learns to cry. He's never had that feeling anymore & when it finally came about, it kinda shocked him in a way that he had to have other people help him with the way that he felt. As his son & his wife went through it with him, all three of them got the feeling of what it's like to cry.

I think that this came about, because many people don't know what it feels like to feel real feeling until they have cried.

How sad...:(

holly crap

I can't believe they killed a seal!But a great story!


poor seals!!!
but really, i don't get the point. they learned to cry? i didn't think you had to LEARN, i thought it was just a reaction

it was such a happy ending

Sweet :p


thats sad


i could believe they killed a seal i watched one get killed

I love this story

Hello! I have not read the folktale just yet, but I do plan to!!! Looking at the comments I'm going to like this one!!

does this have a moral??

i think the moral is the man learned how to cry for the first time


LOL it's funny he cries cause he can't catch a seal

ya that was cool

Ummm... Interesting I suppose.

wow!! i like it for real i love this story.
n im doing my project in this tpoic..........

Good Story... But poor seal!!!!

Famous characters Ghost Stories Folktales


Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

About the Author   |   The Spooky Series   |    Facebook Page   |    Folklore Resources   |   Folklore stories A-Z   |   Reprints/Permissions
Comments; the appearing and disappearing 

worm!Comments? Email us at

©| S.E. Schlosser 1997 - 2020.

This site is best viewed while eating marshmallows around a campfire under a starry sky.