The Little Boy and Girl in the Clouds, The Tale of El Capitan ~ Folktales - Read free bedtime stories for kids online


The Tale of El Capitan

Illustrated By: Emma Leeper

In California today in the valley of Yosemite many tourists come to marvel at a very tall and sheer rock called El Capitan. But those who lived centuries ago, the people of the Miwok tribe, had another name for this natural wonder. They told a story about how it came about.



According to the Miwok, this very tall, vertical rock magically appeared overnight. One day it was an ordinary flat rock, but overnight it rose and stretched until it poked through the clouds above the tallest treetops.

The story began one late summer afternoon when a boy and girl were playing in a stream that crossed through their valley. At the end of the day they climbed out of the water and shivered in the cool air.

"I'm cold," said the boy to his sister. 

"Look at that rock," said the sister. "The sun's shining on it. The moss on top looks as soft as a blanket."


So they laid down on the sunny rock, stretched out on its thick green moss, and fell asleep under the warm sun.


While they slept - no one knows how or why - but the rock inched upward, bit by bit. Their sleep was so deep the children didn't stir at all. All that night the rock rose upward more and more. When the villagers awoke, they noticed a rocky hill taller than the highest tree that had somehow mysteriously appeared overnight.

Meanwhile, the parents were searching everywhere for their children, but in vain. No one had seen them playing in the stream.  No one knew they were on top of the rock that had risen overnight. The parents asked Antelope, Jack Rabbit, Raccoon, and many other animals if they had seen their children the afternoon day before.  But all of them had been quite busy at that time and none had any idea where the children might be.

It was Coyote, cleverest of all, who sniffed the ground around the stream, then followed the scent to the mysterious new high hill.

must be

did such a rock rise up overnight?

are the best jumper of all.

high as she could but could only reach

"you are the strongest of the animals.

the rock was too wide for him to stretch his arms around it

ran toward the rock with great leaps, sprang straight up - and fell and rolled over on his

said a small

animals looked around.

said an offended voice. Who

possibly expect us to believe

contempt to Jack Rabbit, who

trying and no one else had any new ideas. So

Lion.  Then only Eagle was left who could see where Inchworm was. For one whole day Inchworm climbed the rock, and at last he reached the top. The children were

Inchworm assured the children that they would be fine.  He urged them to follow him down a path through the ridges in

day, the Miwok people named the magic rock TUTOKANULA (too-tock-awn-oola) after the Inchworm, in

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Capitan is the subject of the song "El Capitan" by the Scottish indie band Idlewood. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier opens with Captain Kirk scaling El Capitan. El Capitan is also a circuit in the Playstation 2 games Gran Tarismo 4 and Tourist Trophy.The Miwok tribe & the Yosemite Valley: When the Euro-American first arrived in northern California, Yosemite Valley was occupied by the Southern Sierra Miwok. The Miwok peoples harvested black oak


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