Alaska: Tricks of the Fox

This story is part of the Alaskan Legends unit. Story source: Myths and Legends of Alaska, edited by Katharine Berry Judson (1911).

Tricks of the Fox
Koryak (Siberia)


ONE day Fox said to his children, "I am going to get some eggs." He went to the woods and saw Eagle's nest high up in a tree. He put some grass stalks into his ears, knocked with them on the tree, and said to Eagle, "Throw me down an egg. If you don't, I will knock the tree over with these stalks and break it."

Eagle became frightened and threw down an egg. "Throw down another," said Fox.

"That's enough," said Eagle. "I will not throw down any more."

Fox said, "Throw it down. If I knock down the tree, I'll take them all."

Eagle was frightened and threw down another egg. Then Fox laughed and said, "I fooled you nicely. How could I have knocked down a whole tree with these small grass stalks?"

Eagle became angry. He threw himself upon Fox, grasped him with his talons, lifted him high in the air, flew far out to sea and threw him down upon a lonely island. Fox remained on that island. He lived there and thought to himself, "Am I really going to die on this island?"

Fox began to sing shamans' songs. Seals, walrus, and whales appeared near the island.

"What are you singing about?" they asked Fox.

"This is what I was singing about," said Fox. "Are there more animals in the waters of the sea or on the dry land?"

"Certainly there are more in the waters of the sea," so the Sea People replied.

"Well, let us see," said Fox. "Come up to the surface of the water and form a raft from this island to the land. Then I will take a walk over you and count you all."

The Sea People all came up to the surface of the water and formed a raft. Fox ran over their backs, pretending to count them. But as soon as he reached land, he jumped ashore and went home. That's all.

(300 words)

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