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katherine peter K’aiiheenjik K’aiiheenjik was as big as a giant. His upper arms were as big around as a baby’s stomach. His legs were like tree trunks and just as strong. He was taller than any man. He was taller than any animal. He was so strong he could lift a moose. K’aiiheenjik was a very gentle man. He never used his strength to harm others. He was also very kind. He helped his friends. He shared the meat he hunted. He was always willing to work. People were jealous of K’aiiheenjik because he was so strong. They teased him. They wanted to make him angry. One day K’aiiheenjik’s brother went hunting. He went with a group of men. They were hunting for a moose to eat. They did not find a moose and kill it. Instead, they killed K’aiiheenjik’s brother. They killed him to make K’aiiheenjik angry. At the same time, K’aiiheenjik went hunting. He killed a moose. He began to cut it up. The other hunters came to see him. K’aiiheenjik said, ‘‘Where is my brother?’’ The hunters answered, ‘‘He killed a moose. We left him to cut it up.’’ K’aiiheenjik and the hunters built a fire, and they put the moose head on the fire to cook. It hung from two crossed sticks. The men poked it with a longer stick. The moose head turned around and around. It cooked evenly. It smelled delicious. K’aiiheenjik was worried. He knew something was wrong. His brother had not returned. A young boy was sitting next to K’aiiheenjik. He was shivering in fear. K’aiiheenjik said, ‘‘Why are you afraid? What do you have to hide?’’ The boy didn’t answer. He couldn’t talk. He was too scared. He just sat and shivered. The moose head was only half cooked. The men sat and watched it. One  Gwich’in man sharpened his knife. K’aiiheenjik knew why the man had the sharp knife. The men planned to jump on him. They wanted to kill him. K’aiiheenjik became very nervous. His brother still didn’t come. The boy kept shivering. K’aiiheenjik went to the fire. He grabbed the moose head. He tore it apart with his hands. He threw the pieces to the men so they could eat. K’aiiheenjik became even more nervous. He knew his brother was dead. The young boy was still shivering with fear. K’aiiheenjik couldn’t stand it any longer. He had a long, sharp bone tied to his arm. He swung his elbow at the boy. The sharp bone hit the boy and killed him. K’aiiheenjik attacked the other men with the jawbone of the moose. They shot at K’aiiheenjik with arrows. He killed all of them except for one man. Then K’aiiheenjik climbed up a mountain. He stood on a high cliff. He picked the arrows out of his body. Two great chiefs went to find K’aiiheenjik. They wanted to talk to him. K’aiiheenjik grabbed both chiefs and put them under each of his arms. He called down to the people below. He said, ‘‘Don’t say that you have killed me. That is not true. You have killed my brother, but you have not killed me!’’ When he finished speaking, he jumped off the cliff. K’aiiheenjik fell to the ground below. The two chiefs fell with him. That was the end of K’aiiheenjik, but the cliff can still be seen. It is up the Porcupine River. ...


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