Page:Eskimo Life.djvu/252

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
208
ESKIMO LIFE

this prophecy was very likely to be fulfilled, since I was so short-sighted that the bear would probably be licking me before I was aware of its presence.

They have also these further customs: If they see the track of a bear in the snow, they eat a little of it in order to assure themselves of killing the bear if it should happen to come back the same way. Little boys are given the kidneys of bears to eat, in order that they may be strong and courageous in bear-hunting. Furthermore, they are careful during the aforesaid five days not to make any jingling noise, for the bear is supposed to dislike any sort of clinking or clanking.

Mathæus told me that the bear I had seen him kill was his eleventh, and that he had not been in the least afraid of it because in this case he knew he had his rifle to trust to; but that once before when he had seen a bear come crawling up the beach in the same way, he had rushed right in upon it with only his lance. He said he could not remember how long ago that was.