Sacred-Texts Native American Inuit
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94. THE MEANS FOR GETTING CHILDREN.—A married couple had in vain been in hope of getting children. At length the man set out in search of some means to attain their desire. The first summer he travelled as far as he could get to the north, and the next as far as possible to the south, before he succeeded p. 444 in finding an old woman who promised to help him. From the bottom of her bag she produced two small dried fishes, a male and a female, of which he was to give his wife the former to eat if he wanted a son, and the latter in case they preferred a daughter. He received the fishes, and started on his way home; but having to travel very far, and not always being able to get any victuals, he once in a great strain for something to eat began to consider, "What is the use of keeping this spawner? a son is what we desire;" on which he swallowed the one little fish. After a while he began to feel very ill at ease, at the same time growing bigger and bigger, till at length he could hardly manage to slip down in his kayak. A skilful old woman, who lived at a place where he happened to land, soon suspected what was the matter with him, and hit on a charm to deliver him of what was encumbering his inside, which soon proved to be a fine little daughter. (It is doubtful whether the rest of the tale is of genuine Eskimo origin.)