(too-loo-gak): Inuktitut (the language of Inuit) word meaning raven

Craig Stevens

Cambridge Bay, NU

Just outside out our window, we usually have a team of dogs. They are there in the wintertime. We like to sit back and watch the ravens come around. There is usually a group of ravens that will sit on the houses. One raven will jump down and lure the dogs away from their food while the other ravens come and swoop down and pick at the food. The dog will turn around and realize what’s going on and chase the ravens and the one that was the lure, runs in and grabs his share. Then they all take off. They have a good, healthy feed that way. This goes on every day. It’s like watching the circus. The ravens are too smart to get caught by the dog. They know the length of the chain and they stay right outside that length. It’s hilarious. My mother was up last spring and sat on the couch and watched the whole thing. It was like watching TV for her, watching the dogs and the ravens.

I used to take Billy the dog out for walks on the bay. This was my first experience with a raven. The raven swooped down low over Billy’s head and then flew about four feet ahead of her. The raven was watching Billy as Billy was running trying to catch it. It would keep just ahead of Billy and go up and circle around and Billy would run and jump. Then it would fly ahead and stop and call Billy, and Billy would come running and then the raven would take off. The raven was playing games with Billy. It went on for about an hour. I thought it was a particular raven. I call the raven the Joker. Every time we went down there, the Joker would come out and play.