Turtle Plays Football

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told by Gwen Bear (.wav, 820k)


One day Koluskap said to his Uncle Turtle, “Your wife’s brothers, those young caribous, are going to play football and you should go with them. Afterward they are going to have some races.” The group went off to a field near the Chief’s camp and there they played. Turtle, in the shape of a man, performed excellently and Koluskap thought, “Hmmm, Turtle seems to be getting a little too proud. Let my uncle fall down.” Turtle fell down as Koluskap willed and the caribous tramped over him.

Caribou Hide Moccasins

In the afternoon following the football game, they were going to have a foot race with the finish post near the Chief’s camp. When Turtle reached the crowd, the caribous said to him, “How can you run? You can barely walk! You better go back and not run as you will shame us all.” But as all the contestants lined up, Turtle was with them. He sprang into the lead immediately and when he got near the winning post, he leaped right over the Chief’s wigwam. Turtle did this a few more times, yelling with each jump. Koluskap, who had been watching the whole time, thought to himself, “Uncle, the next time you jump you’ll be caught in one of the poles of the wigwam.” And it happened just as Koluskap had thought. Turtle got stuck on one of the wigwam poles and turned back into a turtle. There he was, stretching his legs, trying to get loose, and feeling very embarrassed.

Koluskap's Fire

Koluskap, now inside the wigwam, pretended not to notice the silly turtle struggling above him. Instead, Koluskap picked up a poker and stirred the fire, making sparks and smoke fly out the top of the wigwam into Turtle’s face. Choking, Turtle yelled, “Stop poking the fire!” Looking up, Koluskap saw Turtle and shaking his head said, “What are you doing up there, Uncle? You always want to do more than the other men, and now you are caught.”