Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Baby with the Big Mouth

*Another Eskimo Story told to children. In my opinion, it was told to them to scare them into always listening to what elders told them.

Once there was a young couple, a mother, father, and brother and sister. They also had a baby who was just under 10 months old. They were always told to make sure to put seal oil on the baby's lips before bed. No one asked why, they just listened, and always put seal oil on the lips at bedtime.

The family was out one fall night enjoying Eskimo games and playing football. They enjoyed dancing and fellowship. They were all tired when they went home, and forgot to put seal oil on the baby's lips.

in the middle of the night, the brother heard something that sounded like something chewing. Chomp, crunch, chomp, crunch.

He tried to go back to sleep, but continued to hear the sound.

Chomp, crunch, chomp, crunch.

He looked up, horrified to see the baby was chewing on the mother's body. His mouth had grown from ear to ear and was filled with sharp razor like teeth.

He scanned the one room home and saw that the baby had eaten the sister and father as well. Running as quickly as possible, he jumped up the hole out of the house.

(Old time Eskimo houses used to have a sort of tunnel that lead up away from the earth as a doorway.)

He tried to shut the baby in the house, but he burst through the door and crawled toward him.

Running away, he yelled to the other villagers to get out of their houses because of the baby.

The chief of the village ran outside with his family and yelled for the villagers to follow him across the log bridge above the river. (All rivers are considered to have "mermaids" in them...I know I NEVER swam in a river unless I was told!)

The villagers ran across the bridge with him, and the chief realized that he had dropped his jade knife somewhere. The brother said to the chief he would go back and get it, but to be ready to push the log bridge into the river when he ran back.

Running back to the chiefs house, the brother found the knife, and grabbed it. Just then, the baby with the big mouth crawled into the chief's house and crawled toward the brother. The brother jumped back and forth with the baby to get by him, eventually jumping out of the doorway.

Running toward the river, the brother yelled at the villagers to be ready to push the logs into the water. With the baby close behind him, he ran across the log bridge.

The villagers pushed the bridge into the water, watching as the baby fell into the river and was whisked away by the mermaids below, never to be seen again.

The End.

* Moral of the story: Always listen to your elders, no matter WHAT they say.


Tasha said...

If I remember correctly, Sedna the mermaid rescued the baby. She rose up from the water and scolded the villagers for not sharing their bounty (seal oil) with every member of the village. She turned the baby into a pike and he still swims in the stream today.

Cate said...

Holy crap! I have heard a version of this story I think from St. Lawrence Island in which it's a worm that a childless mother adopted and fed and raised as her baby, but then the worm got too big and started to eat everyone. Then the villagers did something as they ran away that caused it to burst, and then it made all the little tundra ponds. I would like to check that story again, but it burned in the Hooper School fire.

arlie willie said...

In the version i heard. It was akatuk that they made for a celebration and everyone was supposed to get a taste n they forgot the baby. And it woukd bounce on its diaper with a mouth fm ear to ear. They crossed the lagoon to the other side and the chief forgot his jade knife n sent someone to get it with the promis of marrying his daughter. So the orpahn went across on a log and got the knife. The baby followed him back and sedna took the child and turned him into a pike.