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belle deacon Taxghozr Polar Bear That’s the one that came over from that other village. It’s a brown bear woman. And this [one], on other side, it’s a polar bear woman. So he tore up this brown bear woman, tore up his own wife. It’s a really good story. There was a village, they say, on the coast.1 It was a big village. And a husband and wife lived in the middle of this village. At the downriver end of the village, a poor, dear grandmother and her granddaughter lived. From time to time, the old woman would go up to the village. She would go to find out what was happening in the village, and then she would go back home. As for this young hunter, a very powerful woman was married to him. She was tough and very strong. Whenever he looked around outside she would suddenly attack him and beat him up. ‘‘You looked outside at other women. Why are you looking at the women walking around?’’ she said to him. Then he paddled up to shore. He didn’t even look about, but he was really getting tired of her. So at last he thought, ‘‘It would be better if she left me alone. Why, if I so much as look out at women, she always fights with me,’’ he said, thinking. He went back down into his kashim. He towed seals to shore.  Deg Hit’an In his big boat he went hunting on the sea. I don’t know where he paddled, but he hunted seals and towed them back. Then this woman, his wife, would go down to the end of the village and give food to that poor, dear old woman all the time. With that food, she raised her granddaughter. They lived there a long time. Everyone liked them and spoke kindly of them. As for him, he had a good reputation. He never looked around, because she was jealous. So, then, things were all right. Then one time he paddled back out [to sea]. He was gone a whole day, and in the evening, far out on the ocean, they looked for him, and far out on the ocean there was a kind of black spot. It was him, paddling back in. He paddled back to shore. All the people came out to the bank and looked at him. The women too. He towed a great many sealskins to shore. They were impressed when they saw them. ‘‘He gets so many!’’ they thought. At that, that wife of his got angry again! I-i-y! She started fighting with her husband right there on shore. Meanwhile, all the people up there said, ‘‘Why does she do that, that one? She ought to just leave him alone. She’s just jealous, doing that again to the one she lives with,’’ they said. So then he went to his kashim. In there she gave him a black eye. She punched him in the face. And then when she brought food in to him, he didn’t eat. He was very, very angry. That was that. He thought to himself, ‘‘I should paddle away somewhere far across the water to where my bones will lie. belle deacon: polar bear  It’s better that I should paddle away, for I’m really tired of her. Well, for a long time now, even though I don’t speak with women, she has been beating me with no reason,’’ he thought. She brought food to him, but he didn’t eat. ‘‘Well, eat,’’ she said, but he didn’t; he just looked down all the time. Meanwhile, down at the end of the village, the poor, dear orphan girl was growing up. She reached puberty, and her dear grandmother raised her. She didn’t let her go out. She went out only early in the morning. ‘‘Don’t look from shore out to sea. Just keep looking down at your feet and come back in,’’ she told her. ‘‘That is how we [behave] whenever we menstruate,’’ she told her. So she did just that. Early one morning the young hunter got up. There on the beach was his big boat, with his big paddle in it. He went down to it there. He launched it in the water. He started to load it. He stuffed it full with all his blankets and all the furs from his cache. As it...


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