Index Previous Next
Object-of-Loathing (Êkịrka´ịrġịn) lives with his uncle. He stays with the herd. All the time he is busy with the reindeer; but his uncle chides him, saying, "You good-for-nothing!" He is alone with the herd, — the only herdsman. One time, while he was with the herd, some people came, driving reindeer. They were Wolves. They said, "We want to slaughter reindeer." — "Oh, how can I do the slaughtering? I am afraid of my uncle." — "Why are you afraid? This is your herd. You are the sole herdsman." — "No! I am afraid!" Notwithstanding, they slaughtered reindeer, and carried them away on their sledges. He went home, and on the way he met a person clad in white skin. It was a Polar Bear. The Polar Bear said, "If you slaughter reindeer for strange people, then better go away and look for a wife. Over there lives a wealthy reindeer-breeder. You might try for his daughter."
Object-of-Loathing went there. He gathered a sledgeful of fuel, — a very large sledge, so large that he was not able to haul it along. Then the Wolves came, a number of them. They said, "We will attach ourselves to the sledge, and haul it along." So they did. "Sit down," they said. He sat down, but they trotted on. They came to the camp of the rich reindeer-breeder. The one clad in white skin said to him beforehand, "When they go to sleep, catch the youngest girl, that one in the corner." They went to sleep. Then he caught the youngest girl, that one in the p. 167 corner. She cried aloud, "Oh, oh! What is he doing? He caught me!" The master of the house awoke. He said, "What noise is this? You have wakened me, you scamps! This loathsome new-comer, why is he making trouble? — There, you, give me a stick!" He caught hold of the wooden handle of a scraper and rushed at those who were quarrelling; but before he had time to strike, the whole sleeping-room filled with wolves. They howled all around. All the people, in utmost fear,1 rushed out quite naked, the house-master still with a stick in his hand. They fled to the neighboring house. Meanwhile he took the girl and carried her to his home. The next morning the father-in-law sends for Object-of-Loathing in soft and pleasing words: "Let him come and visit me!" The reindeer-herd was brought. It was a large herd. "Cut it in two!" It was cut in halves. "There, take one half!" Object-of-Loathing took the wife and the herd. He settled separately, established his own camp, and lived there. The end.
Told by Rịke´wġi, a Maritime Chukchee man, at Mariinsky Post, October, 1900.
1 Em-yị´mġumġä, in fear before supernatural things; for instance, before spirits, the dead, etc. This is a special term for such kind of fear.