Distant Time Stories As Told By My Grandfather–The Owl

bear_in_owl1

Distant Time Stories As Told By My Grandfather—The Owl

The Owl

Told By Titus Bedes and Recorded by Fdel ©1935

The Owl was identified By Eliza Jones as the Great Horned Owl.

Owl was married to a woman. They had twelve children. Owl could not support them all. Everything he caught was just enough for himself. He could not feed his wife and children. They were all hungry. Sometimes he would catch twelve Spruce chickens in one day and eat them all himself. Sometimes he would give only the gizzard to his wife. She got sore.

He went off for some time. The wife caught a brown bear in its den. She killed it. She studied it.

“I’ll fix that old man with how much he could eat!”

She brought snowshoes and tied them for a chairback (back rest). She made thirty pounds of lard from that bear. She roasted all the tallow. She made the Owl eat it. After he got through, he drank up all the grease. The Owl got sick. He couldn’t walk any more. That’s why his eyes turned to yellow.

Notes:

Attla’s story (1989:191-211), “The Woodpecker Who Starved His Wife,” deals with a similar theme of wife abuse but in much greater and more subtle detail. Whereas the Owl’s wife was independent enough to kill a bear by herself, the Woodpecker’s wife, in her complete subjection to her husband, should be taken as a horrible example of over—submissiveness, because she was unable to take from his sled the food she needed for survival, until her brothers appeared. But Dena women, alone in the camp with an unloving, mean husband, are known to have been driven to suicide by hanging.

Blog Submitted by: ArcticRose.wordpress.com

Cited From: Tales From the Dena–Indian Stories from the Tanana, Koyukuk, & Yukon Rivers, edited by Frederica de Laguna, Illustrated by Dale DeArmond, and Published by University of Washington Press, ©1995.

Dale De Armond’s Biography

Tales From the Dena Book

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s