Extinction

Posted: August 26, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , ,

Pegman took us to Resolute, NU, Canada this week. What an interesting place.

Me and my brothers lived along the shores of Qausuittuqall Bay all our lives. When little we tumbled around and over each other like cubs in a pack til our muscles grew stronger than the inside of an iceberg. As men, we tracked polar bears by the light of Nanjuriks’s eyes and killed those big white beasts with our bare hands. Laugh if you want. But it’s true. Tonraq ran beneath their bellies and after one, two, three jabs the bears sighed and fell. Ha! Those beasts didn’t have a chance. What did I do? I, Nukilik, sang the death songs. “We honor you, Nanuq! Thank you for your gifts of meat, fur, fat, and bones. We will use them wisely. We will use them well.” After all, gifts must be acknowledged.

Now, no longer honored, our Nanuq float on disconnected ice sheets, vainly listening for their song.

(Nanurjik – Star, Tonraq – Tiny Man, Nukilik – Strong)

 

Comments
  1. k rawson says:

    Such a powerful story, Alicia. Loved the image of the boys tumbling around ‘like cubs in a pack’. The contrast of the old ways and the plight of the polar bear is chilling.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the voice in this, Lish. It strengthens the story, too. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dale says:

    I really enjoyed this, Alicia. You could feel the spirit of the Inuit!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel for Nanuq, and for all who rely on the floes to make a living.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pennygadd51 says:

    You’ve written that story beautifully, Lish. I particularly like the way two of the names are counter-intuitive for the men’s functions – ‘Tiny man’ does the killing, and ‘Strong’ sings the death song. That’s a lovely touch. And your last line poetically conveys something of the sadness and loss of Nanuq, the Inuit and the world as global warming destroys the polar bears’ habitat.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is wonderfully written. I love the voice.

    Like

  7. Joy Pixley says:

    You did such a great job of evoking his feelings about those traditions, and the sadness that things have changed. Such a beauty in the language, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, what great images! you create!

    Sadly, the inside of an iceberg isn’t as strong as it once was.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great writing Alicia. I can see the scenes so clearly, the tumbling boy/ cubs, the respectful bear hunting, and the bleak image of the modern bear adrift on an ice floe, dis-connected from due respect for creatures.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Lynn Love says:

    An ode to the loss of an entire way of life – a history melted away with the ice floes. Love your language, your voice, the descriptions you use. Stellar work

    Liked by 2 people

  11. prior.. says:

    so interesting that you have the experience to have lived among First Nation people – and this fiction here is dense but light at the same time. And this line

    “Laugh if you want. But it’s true.”

    had me go back a few times and I think it was masterfully placed – as it connected to the reader and took the content to our thinking and then got back to the details

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dorianna says:

    Beautiful narrative…sad that such beauty and adventure is coming to an close.

    Like

  13. Dear Lish,

    The voice in this brings the people to life. I can see an old man telling this story to his grandchildren with a faraway look in his dark eyes. Beautifully told.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  14. abhiray59 says:

    A nice story describing life of native people of the land.

    Like

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