Turtle Goes Hunting

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told by Gwen Bear (.wav, 1.2 mb)

Winter Scene

The following winter, when the snow covered the ground and the time was good for hunting moose all the Chief’s sons were making snowshoes. Koluskap said, “Uncle Turtle, go and make snowshoes to go with them.” Turtle asked how big he should make the snowshoes and Koluskap replied, “Seven times the span of your palm.”


Turtle then went and told the Chief, “I will make proper fine mesh snowshoes to accompany you hunting.” Not liking Turtle very much, the Chief’s wife said, “He won’t keep up to you. He’ll get snowed under.” The Chief disagreed, saying, “Remember, he brought a whale home on his back.”


They finished the snowshoes and started out. Turtle soon trailed behind because he kept falling down, finally becoming so sore he could barely walk. Disgusted, the Chief’s sons said, “What good are you? You can’t even snowshoe. You are just a bother to us.” One brother said, “We told you not to come.” Another said, “Put him on the toboggan. He can look after it when we get back. That’s about all he’s good for.”

Winter Scene

Next morning they set out for moose and Turtle insisted on going along much to the annoyance of the Chief’s sons. They came to a yard and one of the sons said, “The moose have started,” and Turtle was instructed to follow the hunters. They all started after the moose but immediately Turtle fell down, the others tramping over him with their snowshoes. Turtle found himself buried under the snow and had difficulty regaining his feet. Koluskap, who had been observing all of this, thought it was time his Uncle did better. So Turtle struck out again, jumping over the low trees instead of going around them. He passed by the Chief’s sons but they did not recognize him because he was going so fast. They couldn’t even follow his trail as his steps were so far apart.

Caribou Hunt

When the Chief’s sons finally caught up, Turtle had killed and skinned the moose, and had even cooked dinner. The Chief’s sons felt very ashamed of the way they had treated Turtle earlier. After the meal, they went back for their toboggans and loaded two quarters of moose each, but there remained two moose. Turtle piled it all on his toboggan but one brother remarked sarcastically, “He can’t haul that much.” Turtle once again used the power given by Koluskap and finding a short cut, arrived ahead of the others. Seeing how far ahead Turtle was, one of the Chief’s sons said to the others, “He is still going. We have to keep going or he will say how weak we are.”

Caribou Hunt

During the night, the Chief woke up and went to get wood for the fire. Hearing the sound of a toboggan on snow, he saw Turtle coming with the load of moose meat. The Chief said to his wife, “Turtle is coming with moose meat.” But she replied, “Do you suppose Turtle could haul all of that? It is our sons.” The Chief woke his daughter anyway, telling her to get some food ready for her husband. Soon Turtle appeared, and the Chief said to his wife, “See, he has two moose in one load.” The Chief’s sons did not arrive until the next morning, utterly exhausted. Koluskap then went to see his Uncle and praised him for his great hunting feat.