There was an old man and an old woman. The old man was a good hunter: so he filled three large storehouses with the game he killed. One storehouse was full of reindeer and elks, another of seals and walrus, and a third was full of fish. They had plenty to eat. One morning he awoke, and said to his wife, "Listen, old woman! I dreamed last night that we were going to die. If this is so, then there is no need of all these stores of food. I want you to go to the first storehouse and throw all the food out to the ravens and the crows." The old woman refused; but he was so angry that she finally went and did as she was bidden. She worked all day long, and was very tired. Then she went back to the old man. The next day she emptied another storehouse; and the next day she emptied the third one, and threw all the fish back into the water. "Let us swim off," said the old man. The fish, however, was dead and dry, so it could not swim. The following morning they awoke quite early. Neither was dead; and, moreover, both felt very hungry, but all their food was gone. "Ah!" said the old man, "You, old woman, go to the storehouses and look among the rubbish. Perhaps you will find some scraps." The old woman really
found some scraps, and brought them home. A few of them were reindeer meat, others were seal blubber, and a third kind were some heads of dried fish. They put all this into a large kettle and prepared a soup. They ate of it. All at once a fly settled on the brim of the kettle. Oh! both felt alarmed.. The old woman seized her culver-tail, and the old man a hatchet, and both attacked that nasty fly. The old woman struck at it with the culver-tail, and overthrew the kettle. The old man threw his hatchet at it, but the hatchet hit the old woman and broke her head. She fell down dead. The old man ate the remainder of the soup, and a fish bone stuck in his throat of which he also died. The end.
Told by Marie Shkuleff, a Russian creole girl, in the village of Pokhotsk, the Kolyma country, summer of 1895.
116:1 This story is based on one of the episodes of the well-known story of the Raven Kutq.--W. B.