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anna nelson harry Giant Rat They were boating along, one man with her, they were probably boating for berries. They were boating along and the woman said thus, – – they were boating in front of that monster’s place – – 1 ‘‘I wish we might see it,’’ thus the woman said. The man said thus, ‘‘Don’t ask for trouble!’’2 He said thus and it emerged behind them, that rat.3 The canoe capsized with it. It emerged and the man [grabbed] the child, he grabbed the child. He jumped onto the big rat. They had capsized. It was they, the woman of them had disappeared. Then it went inside with them. They went in with it and then, he got off it. They had gone into its hole with it. It stuck its tail out over there. Simply everything was sticking out.4 The child, he held her.5 She was afraid of it. anna nelson harry: giant rat  Nevertheless he lived a long while with it, with that monster. When it got dark it would go out – – it would go hunting – – to hunt. Seals, it would kill them for them. All these sorts of ducks, it would kill them. It would put them in under itself. Thus it cooked them. It cooked them for them. It would lie down on top of them. When they cooked, it would give them to them. Then they would eat them. When it went out, that person would try it, those spruce-roots,6 to climb out there. He had been living with it for quite some time and, he tried it. He climbed out there. It hadn’t come back here yet and he ran back there, again. He got back and then pretty soon it was coming in. Inside it would straightaway look for them. They were sitting right there. It cooked for them. It would lay it in under itself, what it had killed, it cooked it, it cooked it for them. Thus they ate it. His child, a girl-child, wasn’t big.  Eyak When it was pitch-dark it would go [out]. As it started to get light it would come back in. Thus it did and then, he put her on his back, that girl, and he climbed out there with her. There had come a little daylight and, he had climbed out there with her. Before he had gotten far, he was going along with her and the rat came back home. It missed them. It started banging its tail around. It knocked everything down. He had gotten back there. He had gotten back home to among people. He got back with the child and then, he said thus to people, ‘‘Those young crows, young ravens, snare them. Snare them, lots of them.’’ So they were snared, they were snared. He would look there and, the moon had become full and then, they went there. It wouldn’t come out when the moon was full, that rat. It would stay right at home. It would never go out. They packed them on their backs, those young ravens. Young ravens, they packed them there. anna nelson harry: giant rat  They sharpened them. They sharpened them, those knives, axes. They dumped them down, they dumped those young ravens down there, where there was a hole going down. ‘‘Now then,7 throw the ravens down, [to see] will they quiet down.’’ They clamored, they clamored. It just jerked it down, its tail. Not far. They chopped its tail off. They chopped its tail off. Thus they killed it, that big rat, monster rat. Halfway forward [out of] there it moved. It moved halfway forward [out of] there. Then, they went back, those people. Then they killed it, that big rat. Then they went there by boat. They were going to tow it forward to the shore. They couldn’t.8 They left it right there. There was a big tide and it drifted forward out of there. It was taller than a very big whale, that monster rat. Its teeth were long, that rat. The lower ones weren’t, though.9  Eyak Its hair was longer than black-bear hair,10 that rat-hair. It floated forward there. It was washing around. They towed it ashore. They butchered it to get its skin. They cut it open and then, all sorts of things were in its stomach. These people’s bones were in its stomach, people’s bones. People...


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