Alaska: The Wolves and the Deer

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

The Wolves and the Deer


NOW the Wolves had a feast on a prairie at the mouth of Skeena River. Then invited the Wolves to the feast all the Deer chiefs. At once came the invited Deer. At once they sat down on the prairie face to face with the Wolves.

Then said the Wolves to the Deer, "Laugh on the other side."

"No," thus said the Deer to the Wolves, "you first laugh."

"Well," said the Wolves at once, "then we will laugh. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Go on, you also. You also, on the other side, laugh."

"Well," said the Deer. Then they laughed, "Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm! Again also you must laugh."

"Well." At once again laughed the Wolves: "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"

At once the Deer were much afraid when they saw the great teeth of the Wolves.

Then again said also the Wolves, "Go on! Laugh again, you on the other side. Keep not your mouths closed when you laugh. Not so does anyone laugh. Open wide your mouths when you laugh." Thus said the Wolves.

"Now, laugh!" At once then laughed the Deer: "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!" Thus laughed the Deer, opening their mouths. But they had no teeth.

Then the Wolves saw that the Deer had no teeth. At once they attacked them. At once the Wolves bit them all over. At once they ate the Deer. Only a few escaped. Therefore now are the Deer afraid of Wolves.

(300 words)

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