Kalitan, Our Little Alaskan Cousin eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 77 pages of information about Kalitan, Our Little Alaskan Cousin.

“The wind blows over the Yukon. 
My husband hunts the deer on the Koyukun Mountains,
Ahmi, Ahmi, sleep, little one, wake not. 
Long since my husband departed.  Why does he wait in the mountains? 
Ahmi, Ahmi, sleep, little one, softly. 
Where is my own? 
Does he lie starving on the hillside?  Why does he linger? 
Comes he not soon, I will seek him among the mountains. 
Ahmi, Ahmi, sleep, little one, sleep. 
The crow has come laughing. 
His beak is red, his eyes glisten, the false one. 
’Thanks for a good meal to Kuskokala the Shaman. 
On the sharp mountain quietly lies your husband.’ 
Ahmi, Ahmi, sleep, little one, wake not. 
‘Twenty deers’ tongues tied to the pack on his shoulders;
Not a tongue in his mouth to call to his wife with,
Wolves, foxes, and ravens are fighting for morsels. 
Tough and hard are the sinews, not so the child in your bosom.’ 
Ahmi, Ahmi, sleep, little one, wake not. 
Over the mountains slowly staggers the hunter. 
Two bucks’ thighs on his shoulders with bladders of fat between them. 
Twenty deers’ tongues in his belt.  Go, gather wood, old woman! 
Off flew the crow, liar, cheat, and deceiver! 
Wake, little sleeper, and call to your father. 
He brings you back fat, marrow and venison fresh from the mountain. 
Tired and worn, he has carved a toy of the deer’s horn,
While he was sitting and waiting long for the deer on the hillside. 
Wake, and see the crow hiding himself from the arrow,
Wake, little one, wake, for here is your father.”

Thanking Alalik for the quaint song, sung in a sweet, touching voice, they all took their departure, laden with purchases and delighted with their visit.  “But you must not think this is a fair sample of Esquimo hut or Esquimo life,” said Mr. Strong to the boys.  “These are near enough civilized to show the best side of their race, but theirs must be a terrible existence who are inland or on islands where no one ever comes, and whose only idea of life is a constant struggle for food.”

“I think I would rather be an American,” remarked Ted, while Kalitan said, briefly:  “I like Thlinkit.”



The tundra was greenish-brown in colour, and looked like a great meadow stretching from the beach, like a new moon, gently upward to the cones of volcanic mountains far away.  The ground, frozen solid all the year, thaws out for a foot or two on the surface during the warm months, and here and there were scattered wild flowers; spring beauties, purple primroses, yellow anemone, and saxifrages bloomed in beauty, and wild honey-bees, gay bumblebees, and fat mosquitoes buzzed and hummed everywhere.

Ted and Kalitan were going to see the reindeer farm at Port Clarence, and, as this was to be their last jaunt in Alaska, they were determined to make the best of it.  Next day they were to take ship from Cape Prince of Wales and go straight to Sitka.  Here Ted was to start for home, and Mr. Strong was to leave Kalitan at the Mission School for a year’s schooling, which, to Kalitan’s great delight, was to be a present to him from his American friends.

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Kalitan, Our Little Alaskan Cousin from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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