Louisiana History (site directory)

The Louisiana Legacy

The Bargain

based on a folk tale by Trevor Collins


Many years ago in the land of the Bayougoulas there were many great floods. Some were go big that even the tree tops were covered.

The graceful white pelicans would circle all day because they had no place to land and they didn't know how to swim. The alligators on the other hand were in 'heaven' because of all the water. However, they had a hard time catching anything to eat because they couldn't see where the schools of fish were because of the muddy brown water.

The pelicans looked down and asked the gators if they would teach them how to swim - "but please don't eat us. Maybe we can help you."

"Sure", said the gators, "The price is simple. Catch fish for us. Enough for us and our children and our children's children."

What choice did they have but to agree because the pelicans couldn't fly around forever waiting on the floods to go down.

The bargain was struck and the gators taught the pelicans to swim. There was just one minor problem. The muddy waters of the region turned the beautiful white pelican to a dark, grayish brown.

The pelicans kept their word, too. And if you think none of this is true, just watch a pelican someday and you will see. His mouth will generally be full of fish, keeping his promise made so many years ago in the land of the Bayougoulas.


Louisiana Difference
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