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

Kerry McCluskey

Iqaluit, NU

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful woman who loved ravens. She loved them so much that she would talk to them and feed them, and they made her feel very welcome in the land of snow and ice. One day, the beautiful woman met a handsome hunter and she fell deeply in love with him. At first, the ravens didn’t mind because they believed the beautiful woman would always love them most of all. One day, the beautiful woman and the handsome hunter had a feast. They ate tuktu and char until they couldn’t eat any more. Their bellies were very full. They decided to go for a walk. They dressed up in their very warm clothes and went out in the winter night. It was a very beautiful night and the full moon and the stars and the Northern lights filled the sky with magic. The beautiful woman and the handsome hunter were very happy. The ravens were usually asleep by this time, but on this night they were very jealous because the beautiful woman was eating with the handsome hunter and did not share any food with them. The ravens began to realize the beautiful woman loved the handsome hunter more. As the beautiful woman and the handsome hunter walked under the magical sky, the ravens formed a plan. They would hide the moon behind the earth so the earth would block the sun’s rays from the moon. This would make the sky very dark. The ravens thought this would trick the beautiful woman and the handsome hunter and make them think their love was cursed. They hoped this would scare away the handsome hunter so the beautiful woman would love the ravens the most once again. As the beautiful woman and the handsome hunter walked, the ravens hid the very bright, big full moon behind the earth, and the sky became very dark. But the beautiful woman and the handsome hunter were very brave and were not afraid and they kept walking, even though it was very, very dark. This angered the ravens. The biggest raven of all grabbed a star from the sky with his big black beak and threw it at the beautiful woman. The star hit her in the stomach. The beautiful woman fell down and the handsome hunter ran away in fear. The ravens sang and rejoiced in the sky because they scared the handsome hunter away, and they knew they had the beautiful woman all to themselves once again. Time passed and as the seasons changed, the beautiful woman’s stomach grew and grew. She thought she was getting fat from eating too much tuktu and char. All of a sudden, a baby came out of her. The raven who threw the star at the woman knew the star had turned into the baby. The raven told the beautiful woman if she called the baby Talittuq, in honour of the sky that the ravens made dark when they hid the moon behind the earth, the ravens would always watch over her and her son. To this day, the beautiful woman and Talittuq live happily ever after with the ravens in the land of snow and ice.