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katherine peter Shaaghan The Old Woman This story was told long ago. It was told in the land of the Gwich’in. An old woman lived with her daughter. The daughter was married. She had two handsome husbands. The daughter was very beautiful. Her husbands loved her very much. The daughter sewed nicely. She sewed beautiful clothes and moccasins out of animal skins. She sewed for her husbands. They were very well dressed, and they were happy. Every day the husbands went hunting. Every day the wife cooked and sewed. Every evening she watched for her husbands. She ran outside when she saw them. She jumped over a stick. Every night she jumped over a stick when her husbands came home. The old woman was jealous. She was jealous of her daughter. The old woman wanted the two husbands. She made a plan. She would trick her daughter. She would trick the two husbands. One day the old woman said, ‘‘Come here, daughter. I will pick the lice from your hair.’’ The daughter came. She put her head in her mother’s lap. The old woman had an awl. She had it hidden in her sleeve. The old woman took out the awl. She quickly poked it in her daughter’s ear. The daughter died. The old woman worked fast. She took the skin from her daughter’s head. She put the skin over her own head. She wanted to look like her daughter. Then the old woman looked at her legs. They were baggy with old age. The old woman wrapped caribou-hide string around her legs. It made her legs look strong. ‘‘Now I look young. I have my daughter’s face. I have my daughter’s clothes. I will fool the husbands.’’ The old woman went outside the house. She went to her daughter’s stick.  Gwich’in She made the stick lower. She couldn’t jump over a high stick. Then she returned to the house. She waited for the husbands. The husbands came home at dark. The old woman ran outside. She jumped over the stick. The stick fell down. The old woman almost fell down, too. The husbands looked at their wife’s hair. They looked at their wife’s face. They looked at their wife’s clothes. They were not fooled. They knew that their wife was gone. The husbands chased the old woman until they caught her. They beat her until she died. The husbands felt sad. Their wife was gone. They had no wife to help them. The husbands could not bring their wife back to life. ...


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MARC Record
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