Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/465

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[No. 46].

Title of Story— Kagsagsuk.

Dramatis Personse. — Kagsagsuk (a poor orphan boy). — Foster-mother of Kag- sagsuk. — Amarok (a fabulous animal).

Abstract of Story. — (l) Kagsagsuk lived among a lot of uncharitable men. He and his foster-mother occupied a shed adjoining the passage to the men's house. Warmed himself among the dogs in the house-passage. — (2) When the men were feasting they lifted him above the threshold by his nostrils. — (3) The nostrils, therefore, enlarged, but he did not otherwise grow at all. He had to eat without a knife. The men pulled out two teeth because he ate too much. His foster-mother procured him boots and beard-spear, so that he might play with the other children. — (4) Children treated him badly and the girls covered him with filth. — (5) At length he went to the mountains by himself, — (6) Taught by his foster-mother, he stood between two high mountains and cried out [prayed] for strength. — (7) A fabulous animal [wolf] appeared to him. — (8) Kagsagsuk tried to escape, but the animal twisted his tail round him and threw him to the ground. — (9) He there saw a number of seals' bones falling from his body. The animal said these bones stopped his growth. It again wound its tail round Kagsagsuk and threw him; more seal-bones fell off. It threw him the third time, and the last bone fell off. The fourth time he did not quite fall ; the fifth time he did not fall at all, but jumped along the ground. — (10) The animal told him to come back every day if he wished to get strong. Approaching the house, the girls and boys treated him as usual ; but he made no opposition, and slept among the dogs, as usual. — (11) He then met the animal every day, and always underwent the same process. At last, the beast was not able to .throw him, and it told him human beings would not be able to conquer him ; but he was not to depart from his old habits until winter. He followed this advice. — (12) One day in the autumn the seal-hunters brought home a large piece of drift wood, which they left on the beach, as it was too heavy for them to carry. Kag- sagsuk at nightfall carried the timber up to the house, and buried it deep in the ground. The men go to the beach in the morning and find it gone. An old woman discovers it sticking in the ground.— (13) The men declare that they must have some one of great strength among them, and the young men all tried to make believe that it was one of them. — (14) One day during winter three bears are seen climbing an iceberg. No one dares to attack them but Kagsagsuk. On setting out, all deride him, including his foster-mother, who tells him to bring her two skins. — (15) Ascending the iceberg, he first turned round to make himself hard [invulnerable by charm], and then flung two of the animals among the crowd. — (16) The third bear he took hold of by the forepaws, and, swinging it above his head, hurled it at the bystanders, until they all fled before him. He