Episode 4 - Wolverine and the geese

Two versions are presented here. See the version collected by Lucien Turner below.

Told by John Peastitute of Kawawachikamach and Joseph, Edward and Charlotte Rich of Sheshatshiu. Translated by Joseph Peastitute of Kawawachikamach and Matthew Rich of Sheshatshiu. Ref. Peter Desbarats (ed.). 1969. What they used to tell about. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

There were many geese near the shore.  The wolverine said, “My brothers, I want something from you.”


 “I want your feathers.”

 The old goose said, “Let us give our feathers to our brother.”

 Each goose gave a feather to the wolverine.  He made wings and put htem along his arms.  Then he put some feathers in his ass to make a bird tail.   Then he flew up.  He was flying around in the sky.

 “I am going to like this,” said the wolverine to himself.   “All this time I’ve been running around.  Now I can fly where I want.”

 The old goose said, “We are going to fly up.  Far. If you want to come with us, you can come.”

 The wolverine said, “Yes, I am going to go with you.”

 When they were flying, the old goose said, “There are people where we want to fly.  If they see us, they will call to us.  Close your eyes and do not open them.  If you open them, you are going to fall.”

 “Yes, my brother,” the wolverine said.

 As they were flying, the wolverine sang a song.  He sang: “My brothers are coming with me.”  Everybody heard that.  The people heard them coming.

 “Is that the wolverine?” the people wondered.  “He is always doing something.”

 The wolverine came, singing, and the people called.  He closed his eyes.  But then he opened his eyes.  He saw some tents standing below him.  Then he fell.

 “That was the wolverine,” said one of the people.  “Let’s go and get him.”

 They saw him on the ground.  He was not dead but he was lying down still.

 “Shit on him,” the people said.  “When you want to shit, get at him.”

 There were two old women who wanted to.  One said to the other, “We’ve never shit on a wolverine.   Let’s go to him.”

 Those women were crazy.

 “What are you doing?” the wolverine said.

 One old woman said, “We are going to shit on you.”

 “Yes, but you don’t have a roasting stick,” said the wolverine.

 “Anyone who wants to shit on me has to hold on to a roasting stick.”

 The old women got the sticks and returned to the wolverine.

 “Stand here,” said the wolverine.  “Stick your sticks on each side of me.”

 The wolverine was still lying down when he said, “Where do you want to shit on me?”

 When he knew that the women were ready to shit on him, he took the stick on one old woman and plugged it into her ass.  Then he took the other one and did the same thing.

 Then the wolverine went away.  He did not like those two women. He said, “They did not like me.”

 The people thought that the two women were shitting too much.  One of them said, “Go and get those two women.”

 They found them with the sticks stuck in their asses.  They had been killed by the wolverine.

 “He was doing jokes on us.”

That's what the people said.

Turner, Lucien M. 1979 [1894]. Indians and Eskimos in the Quebec-Labrador Peninsula Ethnology of the Ungava District. Quebec, Presses COMEDITEX. p.163.

Turner worked in the Fort Chimo area, Ungava Bay, in the early 1880s.

Story of the wolverene and the brant
(note spelling of wolverine in this text)

A wolverene (sic) calling all the birds together addressed them thus "Do you not know that I am your brother? Come to me and I will dress you in feathers." After having dressed them up he made wings for himself and said "Now, brothers, let us fly." The brant told the wolverine, "You must not look below while we are flying over the point of land when you hear a noise below. Take a turn when we take a turn."

The first turn they took the wolverene did not look below, but at the second turn they took, when they came over the point of land, the animal looked below when he heard the noise of the shouting Indians and down he came like a bundle of rags [footnote 1].

All the Indians ran up to him and exclaimed "There is a brant fallen down." One of the old Indian women got hold of him and began to pluck his feathers off, then to disembowel him. She of course smelled the horrible stench and exclaimed, "This goose is not fit to eat as it is already rotten!" She gave the carcass to one of the children to throw away. Another old woman came up and inquired, "Where did you throw the brant goose to? How could it be rotten? It is not long since it was killed." The former old woman replied to her, "go and see, if you do not believe." She went and found nothing but the dead wolverene."

Footnote 1. When the Indians perceive a flock of these brant they make a loud clamor, which frightens the birds so much that they lose their senses, fall to the ground and are thus killed. These birds are only seen in the spring migrations and then in great multitudes, while in the fall it is rare to see even a single individual, as they have a different return route than in spring.

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