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(short story of 2071 words)

Esquimaux

Historical Fiction Literary

by Lillian Aldus


A young couple are taken on a life-changing journey. A story based on real events. "Captain Parker took us aboard his ship in 1847. That winter, the Caribou did not arrive and the seals had come late. Many of our people had eaten their dogs and twenty had died of starvation. When Captain Parker gave up his store of whale fins and flippers there was much fighting, but our elders made sure all had their share. The captain and the ship’s doctor had learned Inuktitut and conversed with the elders of our tribe. When he spoke of taking some of us to show to his people, my father offered me and I was accepted by the captain as I was young and healthy. He promised my father that he would tell his people of the plight of our tribe. He said we would bring back many riches and the goodwill of great people. They would send men to build settlements and we would be helped by them, just as the Inuits of the East were helped by the Danes. The captain wanted to take a female too, and after inspecting some of our younger girls he chose Uckaluk. He said it would be proper for us to be married before the journey. The weather was becoming unfavourable for setting out to sea, he had to hasten the start of the voyage, so we began our life as man and wife without the blessings and customs of our people. Captain Parker performed his own marriage ceremony on board the ship. Home was far away only minutes after the Truelove set sail for the land called England. The sea was wide and long..."
 

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