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

Madeline Drybone (as told to Dorothy Carseen)

Gameti, NT

Wolverine was a man. He was hunting. While he was hunting, his granny was home alone with his wife, who was carrying a child. The granny said, “My child, why don’t you rest your head on me?” Believing her, the woman did as she said. The old lady killed wolverine’s wife and scalped her. She put her in a ditch, covered her up with branches and put her hair on as a wig. The old lady stuffed herself with caribou hide so she looked pregnant. She waited for wolverine to come home. When wolverine came home, he was wondering why his wife was acting strange. Somehow she was not in a cheerful mood when he came home from hunting. She wasn’t like herself, and she wasn’t looking at him. So wolverine went out and found his wife dead in the ditch buried under branches. He went back inside and pulled the false wife’s hair off. He found it was the old lady. He went back to his dead wife and touched her to see if the baby was alive. The baby was alive. He cut his wife open and took the baby out and wrapped him up with caribou hide. Wolverine threw out the old lady and raised his son by himself. He packed his baby everywhere he went, even on short hunting trips. When the son was a bit older, the father wanted to go hunting by himself. But he didn’t know what to do with his son. There was no babysitter for him. So wolverine built a swing while he went hunting. Although he wasn’t gone long, another wolverine came along and found the baby on the swing alone. He took him. The father followed them from their tracks, seeing his son’s footprints. He was sad. He was hiding as he followed the first day. The other wolverine made the boy small snowshoes. Every day, he made the boy a snowshoe. On the fourth day, he made a big snowshoe. On the fifth day, he made another big snowshoe and they were on their way. The other wolverine told the boy, “I’ll go this way and you go around the pond.” The father wolverine followed his son there. The father caught up to his son, and the boy said, “What are you doing here, stranger?” The father said, “That other wolverine is not your father, I’m your father. He took you away from me when I went hunting.” The son said, “He said he was my father.” The boy gave some ptarmigan to his dad and the rest he took to the other wolverine. “If you want your real dad, you give me the big ptarmigan and leave the small ones for him,” said the father wolverine. He also said to his son, “When you roast those ptarmigam you ask him, ‘If you’re my dad, who is my real father?’ The boy went ahead and set the ptarmigan to roast. When the other wolverine went to put wood on the fire, the father came out and pushed him in the fire. Once again the father was back with his son. The father said, “Since you are my son, we will go and stay together.”