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

Jack Sigvaldason

Yellowknife, NT

I remember another instance demonstrating the rare quantities of ravens. Our garbage cans were full, so I put the current garbage in one of these cardboard boxes with handle holes at the ends. Then hoping to outsmart the black garbage raiders, I put another box upside down over it. That should beat them I thought as I placed the box by the garbage cans. But a few minutes later I found out I was not as smart as I thought, perhaps not even as smart as a raven.

Glancing out the window I saw a raven walk to one end of the box, insert his beak in the handhold at one end and attempt to lift the top box off. It came up part way and jammed. Mr. Raven then tried the other side with a similar result. “Ah ha, fooled him,” I thought, but my satisfied reaction was premature.

The raven flew to the top of a pole, uttered several croaks for assistance and shortly two more ravens arrived. Following a brief raucous discussion they swooped down to the box. Clearly by pre-arrangement, one of the ravens went to either end, inserted a beak and lifted. The box came up and off. The third raven dug out the garbage. Just another challenge.