BNA: Wolverene and the Geese

This story is part of the British North America unit. Story source: Myths and Legends of British North America by Katharine Berry Judson (1917).

Wolverene and the Geese
Eastern Eskimo

WOLVERENE was running along the seashore when he saw many geese, brant, clucks, and loons, playing in the water not far off. Wolverene called to them, "Come here, brothers; I have found a pretty bees' nestl I will give it to you if you will come on shore and have a dance!"

All the birds went on land. Wolverene said, "Now let us have a dance and I will sing. But shut your eyes and do not open them until we have finished dancing."

Wolverene began to sing, A-ho-u-mu-hou-mur-mur-Aam A-ho-u-mu-hou-mur-mur-Aam. So he sang. He sang that last word hum very loud and very often. And every time he sang hum he snipped off the head of a duck.

Now Loon thought it very strange he sang hum so often. He opened his eyes and looked. Then Loon ran to the water shouting, "Our brother is killing us."

Wolverene ran after him, but Loon dived and came up a long way off, shouting very loudly: A-ho-u-mu-hou-mur-mur-Am. He sang that many times.

"Be quiet," shouted Wolverene.


"You shall be red-eyed!" And so Loon is even today.

Then Wolverene returned to the birds and pulled their feathers off and cleaned them. He put them in a pot to boil.

Then Wolverene saw Jay flying about in the woods. Now the Canadian Jay is a great talker. Wolverene threw a firebrand at Jay, shouting, "You'll be telling on me, you long-tongued bird."

And Jay did so. He flew away to some Indians. He said to them, "Wolverene has killed a lot of birds and is cooking them."

Then he added, "I think he is sleeping. I'll show you where he is."

The Indians said at once, "We are hungry. We will go."

And they went. Now Wolverene was asleep beside the pot. Then the Indians pulled out all the birds and ate them all. Only the bones they put back in the pot. After a long time, Wolverene awakened. He said, "Now I shall have my dinner."

He poured it all out into his eating dish. Behold! There were only the bones of the birds, and the broth. Wolverene said, "I must have been asleep a long while. The meat is all boiled away."

Now Jay was flying about in the woods. He said, "The Indians ate it all up. I told them where it was."

Wolverene said, "You stupid bird! I was keeping a big piece for you!"

But he wasn't. This is the end.

(400 words)

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