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10. Eme'mqut and Fox-Woman. 1

Eme'mqut married Fox-Woman. He said, "I will go and get some blubber from our summer place." He arrived there. One of the flippers of his blubber-bag was gnawed at by a mouse. The mouse was dead. He found it and said, "What is it, a wolverene?"

He loaded it on his sledge and hauled it home. He came home. Then only he looked back and saw that

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the mouse had turned into a wolverene. He looked into the house and said, "Mi'ti, I have killed a wolverene. Let some of you come out."

They took in the wolverene and began to beat the drum. Fox-Woman, the untidy one, was sitting with her boot-strings loose. She was looking for lice. "Oh, you Fox-Woman! it is your turn to beat the drum." The untidy woman was making leather thimbles. She began to beat the drum, "I am an unskilful one, I am an untidy one! I am eating hard excrement, left outside! I am eating strings of snowshoes in the brightness of the full moon."

Indeed, they eat them. Whenever we come to look for our snowshoes, the strings are eaten. 1

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She felt ashamed and went away, even with untied boot-strings. She went away, and did not come back. After some time Eme'mqut went outside and found her. A number of children were there. He said to Fox-Woman, "Whose children are these?"--"I said to myself, 'Perhaps they will keep me back somehow. I wanted to go away into the open country for my delivery. And I was delivered outside.'"--"Now, at least, stop your clamor! Let us go home!"

They went home. The thimbles which she had made before, and hung tip outside, now turned somehow to clothes for her numerous children. The people were asking Eme'mqut, "From where have you brought the woman?"--

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[paragraph continues] "I brought her from the open country. Long ago she went away to give birth to her children secretly outside. All those together are her children." In truth, she was a skilful seamstress, and had no reason for going away and living in secrecy.

After that they lived in joy. Eme'mqut married Kĭlu, 1 Ila' married Yini'a-ña'wġut. When so disposed, they would ascend the river and catch plenty of winter fish. Then they would return to their house-mates. They killed plenty of game. In this manner they led a happy life. What has become of them I do not know. That is all.


58:1 Compare Jochelson, The Koryak, l. c., No. 106, p. 294.

59:1 Remark of the narrator.

61:1 The narrator seems to have forgotten the marriage of Eme'mqut with Fox-Woman, and their subsequent reconciliation.

Next: 11. Ermine-People.--I