While attending NodeSummit in San Francisco a couple weeks ago, I was approached by very sweet older lady named Gretchen. She was strolling through the exhibition area for unrelated reasons and stopped in her tracks when she saw the word “Skookum” on our banner. Gretchen is a retired school teacher from the Pacific Northwest, and she told me a story about the “Skookums” that her students loved to hear and that she had told for many years.

Mountain of fire with Skookum logo in the moon

At the beginning of the world, people had no fire. The only fire anywhere was on top of a high mountain, guarded by the Skookums. You see, these Skookums were not like the fine and friendly Skookums we have today, these Skookums were total hoarders. They didn’t want the people to have fire, because if they did, then maybe they would become as powerful as the Skookums.

Illustration of a Coyote

A coyote thought he’d be sly and go steal a brand of fire and bring it to the people. After consulting his three sisters for advice, (in an odd twist of events, the three sisters lived in the coyote's stomach in the form of huckleberries...but I digress), the coyote lined up all the animals in strategic places along the mountainside in a line between the Skookum’s fire and the people.

Coyote has fire

The coyote stole some fire while the Skookum’s were chillaxing, then the animals basically relayed raced the fire until eventually an antelope gave the fire to a frog, who swallowed it. The frog then spat out the fire onto a piece of wood. The Skookum’s—kinda mad at this point—couldn’t figure out how undo the frog-fire-wood-spit, so they went back to the top of the mountain, presumably to resume chillaxing. The coyote then showed the people how to get the fire out of the wood by rubbing sticks together—and that’s why you can eat and be warm now.

Rubbing sticks to make fire

So, why did I tell you this story? Because today’s Skookums aren't hoarders. We don’t want to withhold our technology expertise, our “fire” if you will, from the people.

Three Coyotes protecting fire

We don’t want coyotes up in our business either. So trust me, we’ll give you the fire. Just ask. Or come to a Friday Tech Talk.

*Illustrations by Rich!