Sacred-Texts Native American Inuit
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p. 298


A HUSBAND and a wife, with an only son, were living together with an old married couple, who had got no children at all. On a certain day, while together on the fishing-place, the former lost their son, and left the place before the five subsequent mourning days were over, leaving the old childless people behind. Not knowing any way to get food without assistance, the man said to his wife, "Let us go up to the tomb." Having arrived there, he went on, "Thou being a woman, must open the grave;" but she told him that he, being the man, ought to do so. However, she proceeded to take away the top-stone, after which the man set himself to open the grave. When they had got the corpse taken out, and had done chanting over it, it began to move, and after a while it rose up, and began running straight against the man. The woman now said to her husband, "Stand steady;" but the very same moment he was overturned, and in the next she was herself thrown over; and lastly the youth also fell down. The old man first rose, and going up to him said, "Now, dear, come along and stay with us;" and the revived youth went home with them, got a kayak, and became their provider. Once his real father came back to see what had become of the old people, who he almost expected had starved for want of food. Coming round the point, and seeing blood upon the stones on the beach, he thought, "They must have been to the grave and taken away the corpse;" but coming closer, he observed marks of seal-flensing besides, and therefore inquired, "Whoever might have caught these for you?" They p. 299 made answer, "Thy own son, whom we have restored to life again;" but he at once prepared to kill them, because he doubted the truth of this assertion, and believed they were mocking him. The old man now said, "Just wait a little; and if he then does not come, it is time enough to kill us!" Before he had finished speaking, the son appeared from behind the point. They both cried out, "Don't touch him at once!" but the father could not forbear so doing, and consequently he again fell down dead on the spot. The old people again sang some magic lay over him, and by this means restored him to life. Once more he moved, rose up, and ran right up to his father, whom he threw down, and likewise his foster-mother, but then stopped. His father would fain have taken him home to his true mother, but the son answered him, "No, no! ye left me before the five mourning days were over, and therefore I will remain with those who have revived me;" and the father started off by himself. One day the youth returned in his kayak, but in a strangely silent mood, whereat his father said, "Why doestn't thou speak, dear?" to which the son answered that he had gone and taken an ingnersuak-woman for a wife. The old people were sorry that he should have to leave them, and asked him if they might not accompany him; and one day, on meeting an ingnersuak, he inquired of him whether he could bring them with him. He answered that they might come, but at the same time told him to warn them not to look back when they approached the rock which enclosed the abode of the ingnersuit, lest the entrance should remain shut for them. He told them this, and impressed on them all the way to keep their eyes fixed on the point of his kayak. They then instantly loaded the boat, and made ready to depart. When they had reached the cliff, and were rowing up to it, it forthwith opened; and inside was seen a beautiful country, with many houses, and a beach covered with p. 300 pebbles, and large heaps of flesh and matak (edible skin). Perceiving this, the old people for joy forgot the warning and turned round, and instantly all disappeared: the prow of the boat knocked right against the steep rock, and was smashed in, so that they all were thrown down by the shock. The son said, "Now we must remain apart for ever; but build your house on yonder cliff: they will no doubt provide you with food." They built their house on the cliff, and every day they got their meals without trouble from the ingnersuit.