My mother told me to keep quiet and listen for gunshots. We could hear gunshots but we couldnt see the hunters. We could see the caribou going in the direction where the hunters were hiding and taking their shots. Only an hour had passed when we sighted the first skidoo returning with fresh kill.
The women of the camp searched for butcher knives to skin the caribou, shouting in frustrated tones about where they had left their knives and files. Of course, I had used the file earlier to sharpen my skates. Id forgot where Id put it last. One of my siblings told my mother that I was the last one who had used the file. Only after she turned everything upside down did the file and the knife turn up. The kill was skinned and the cooking pots and teapots were made ready.
It was in the late evening when my father and the others showed up. They slit the throats of the caribou theyd killed so the meat would not spoil overnight. They talked on into the night, and I listened to the conversations of my father and uncle about the kill and what they needed for the winter. The next morning the real work began. The hunters quickly built a rafter to store the frozen meat for the winter and hauled the carcasses in.
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