I will tell you this true story about something that really happened to me when I was a younger man.

I often traveled far inland to hunt and trap. Since I knew the land very well I traveled alone with my dog team. After arriving at the place where I wanted to begin setting out my traps, I built my snow house, chained my dogs and then set out on foot. It was winter and the days were very short.
I will tell you this true story about something that really happened to me when I was a younger man.

I often traveled far inland to hunt and trap. Since I knew the land very well I traveled alone with my dog team. After arriving at the place where I wanted to begin setting out my traps, I built my snow house, chained my dogs and then set out on foot. It was winter and the days were very short.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

I walked for a long time not being frightened by darkness because even the stars can provide light. Before I could reach my snowhouse, the wind began to blow and quickly became a fierce blizzard. We call this pilsitoaluk. I walked and walked seeing nothing but thinking I would soon hear my dogs and be safe. I grew exhausted and sat down to let my sleep carry me to death.

Soon after I closed my eyes I was awakened by the sound of a fox standing close to me and barking. I remember waving my hand and watching it run away. I closed my eyes but again the fox came close barking. I threw my mitt at it but this time it did not run away, it just came closer.
I walked for a long time not being frightened by darkness because even the stars can provide light. Before I could reach my snowhouse, the wind began to blow and quickly became a fierce blizzard. We call this pilsitoaluk. I walked and walked seeing nothing but thinking I would soon hear my dogs and be safe. I grew exhausted and sat down to let my sleep carry me to death.

Soon after I closed my eyes I was awakened by the sound of a fox standing close to me and barking. I remember waving my hand and watching it run away. I closed my eyes but again the fox came close barking. I threw my mitt at it but this time it did not run away, it just came closer.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Dog Sled

Dog Sled

Photo by Eric Loring

© Eric Loring


Suddenly I remembered that my grandmother who died many years ago was named Terigoniak, which means fox. Although close to death, I stood up and the fox ran ahead of me but not far because of the blizzard. I no longer knew if it was day or night.

The small fox would run towards me and then run forward so I could follow. I was very tired but I continued to walk with very slow steps. Maybe this took a very long time, I no longer can remember.
Suddenly I remembered that my grandmother who died many years ago was named Terigoniak, which means fox. Although close to death, I stood up and the fox ran ahead of me but not far because of the blizzard. I no longer knew if it was day or night.

The small fox would run towards me and then run forward so I could follow. I was very tired but I continued to walk with very slow steps. Maybe this took a very long time, I no longer can remember.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Suddenly I heard my dogs and then I fell against the snow house which had been invisible in the blizzard. I struggled to go inside to where my caribou skin blankets were set out.

After a long sleep I awoke. It was night but the stars were again visible. I made tea and ate frozen meat for strength. I know that it was the living spirit of my grandmother that saved me from death and now I have lived to be a very old man who never traps fox.
Suddenly I heard my dogs and then I fell against the snow house which had been invisible in the blizzard. I struggled to go inside to where my caribou skin blankets were set out.

After a long sleep I awoke. It was night but the stars were again visible. I made tea and ate frozen meat for strength. I know that it was the living spirit of my grandmother that saved me from death and now I have lived to be a very old man who never traps fox.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Hamoyalok

The storyteller: Hamoyalok

Photo by W. Kemp.

© W. Kemp


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Recount the story of the Inuit man and the fox
  • Relate this contemporary story to stories from one’s own experiences
  • Imagine the experiences of Inuit people in their environment

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