When Celeste came out of the woods, she limped back to the fire. Jack was waiting, while poking a stick in the fire. “Looks to me Hialeah, you are going through menopause.” Celeste gave Jack a nasty look, then went into her tent, and grabbed an Indian blanket. She limped back to the fire, and sat down ready to hear Jack’s introduction.
Jack watched Celeste cover herself, when done, she gave him a look,and spoke. “Okay buck, spill the beans!” He was dreading the exposure of telling the wild woman who he was. He didn’t want anyone to know his where about.
He had spent his life living in these woods for over 20 years. Celeste could feel his hesitation, she knew he was battling with telling her who he was. She sat patient, but spoke lightly to him. “You have asked me to be honest, now I ask the same from you, Jack.”
Jack took a deep breath and began his story. “Jack is a name I call myself. In Inuit, my name is Aklaq; it means Black Bear. My father was a white man, my mother was Inuit. We don’t like using the name Eskimo. The word Eskimo has been used for centuries by white man.
Some tribes up north are not offended by the use of the word but others are.
Eskimo, the original name for a northern native is derived from the Native American word “Esquimantsik” which translates to “eater of raw meat”, and originally it was intended to be pejorative by tribes who wandered into overlapping hunting grounds.”
Celeste didn’t expect this much details, but she was loving the knowledge of the American Indians in Alaska. She stayed quiet, wanting to hear more of his story. For over two hours Jack spilled his beans about his Alaskan Heritage. Celeste had to stop him, due to the late hour and getting sleepy. “Come, Aklaq, it’s time we sleep. I want to hear more of your story, but can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Go in the tent Jack, rest until morning.” Jack got up and limped to the tent. “Good-night, Nujalik.”
Celeste gave the old man an odd look, wondering what Nujalik meant. She would ask him later, but for now she was ready to crash and burn. Instead of waiting in the morning she heard Jack give her the answer before going inside the tent. ” Nujalik is the goddess of hunting on land. She is the opposite of the goddess of sea, Sedna.” She watched the man entered her large tent, then looked up into the crisp dark sky, ready to fall asleep, when Wolf came back and laid down beside her. In no time at all, the pair fell asleep, snuggling into each others warm.
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