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mary tyone Dlign Mba’ Hehk’aayh Ts’ä ˛’ When the Tree Squirrels Cut Fish This is why today we watch what we say about our food. The Tree Squirrel People were up above slicing fish. They cut salmon and they dried lots of dry fish. They dried fish all summer. When they dried all the fish, they went out in the country [to hunt], and they made fish caches and they packed the dry fish to the caches. Down below [on the trail] the backbone of a dry fish had fallen down after they had filled the caches all full of fish. And a Tree Squirrel was packing back a fish, walking behind the others. A fish backbone was lying on the trail down below. ‘‘Where are we going to put this one?’’ he said. He kicked it across and out of the way with his foot. So they stored the fish and it snowed heavily on them, and they opened up all of their caches. They started to starve. When they opened the caches, there was only tree bark in there. All of the dry fish had turned into tree bark, and they all died of starvation. That one Tree Squirrel that had spoken previously is the only one that lived. He was eating on shiny spruce pitch and spruce cones for food. He [that Squirrel] was walking around in a snowstorm. He went far away and was subsisting on shiny spruce pitch.  Upper Tanana All of a sudden in an open bare spot in the snow he walked into the summer. He blurted out, ‘‘Dlik, dlik, dlik,’’ and scampered up a spruce. And then the people said to him, ‘‘How did you survive?’’ ‘‘Out there I ate the ‘spruce’s grease’ [pitch], and I survived on that.’’ And this is as far as it goes. ...


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