A Time of Hunger
Many years ago somewhere up by Telida, there lived a man and his wife. They had a little baby. They were really starving. They would not have made it through winter without food. The man hunted but he never got anything. He even looked for blackfish along the lakes. He was going along when he found an otter hole in a lake. He had only a knife. Even though the otter kept coming up, he did not even have anything with which to kill it.
While he tried to get the otter, his clothes got wet and they froze. He kept on trying, however, to kill the otter. He finally got it tired and he killed it with his knife. He was too weak to carry it all, so he cut off the otter’s tail. That was all he was able to carry. When he started to return to his place, he got really tired and gave up.
His wife at home became worried. She kept going out looking and listening for him. Finally it got dark. She went back out again. She heard him yelling, but she had the little one to take care of so she did not follow her husband’s voice.
Finally night came, and then morning. When it was morning, she went in the direction she heard his husband’s voice coming from. Before she left, she bundled up her baby in lots of things so he would not be cold. On her way, she came across a lake. This was where she found her husband. He was all frozen. When she moved him, he was still warm under the armpits. She searched him all over. She found the otter’s tail. She went back to her baby. The baby was just the way she had left him.
In the next morning, she started to follow the track made by her husband to see if she could find the otter. She finally came to the place where the otter was. The otter was under the snow where her husband buried it.
She could not do anything with her husband because the snow drifted over him. She and her baby, however, lived on the otter until it got to be springtime.