The Man Who Stabbed His Wife In The Leg

: Eskimo Folktales

There was once a man whose name was Neruvkaq, and his wife was named

Navarana, and she was of the tunerssuit, the inland-dwellers. She had

many brothers, and was herself their only sister. And they lived at

Natsivilik, the place where there is a great stone on which men lay

out meat.

But Neruvkaq was cruel to his wife; he would stab her in the leg with

an awl, and when the point reached her shinbone, she
ould snivel

with pain.

"Do not touch me; I have many brothers," she said to her husband.

And as he did not cease from ill-treating her, she ran away to those

brothers at last. And they were of the tunerssuit, the inland-dwellers.

Now all these many brothers moved down to Natsivilik, and when they

reached the place, they sprang upon the roof of Neruvkaq's house and

began to trample on it. One of them thrust his foot through the roof,

and Neruvkaq's brother cut it off at the joint.

"He has cut off my leg," they heard him say. And then he hopped about

on one leg until all the blood was gone from him and he died.

But Neruvkaq hastened to put on his tunic, and this was a tunic he

had worn as a little child, and it had been made larger from time

to time. Also it was covered with pieces of walrus tusk, sewn all

about. None could kill him as long as he wore that.

And now he wanted to get out of the house. He put the sealskin coat

on his dog, and thrust it out. Those outside thought it was Neruvkaq

himself, and stabbed the dog to death.

Neruvkaq came close on the heels of the dog, and jumped up to the great

stone that is used to set out meat on. So strongly did he jump that his

footmarks are seen on the stone to this day. Then he took his arrows

all barbed with walrus tusk, and began shooting his enemies down.

His mother gave him strength by magic means.

Soon there were but few of his enemies left, and these fled away. They

fled away to the southward, and fled and fled without stopping until

they had gone a great way.

But Navarana, who was now afraid of her husband, crept in under the

bench and hid herself there. And as she would not come out again,

her husband thrust in a great piece of walrus meat, and she chewed

and gnawed at it to her heart's content.

"Come out, come out, for I will never hurt you any more," he said. But

she had grown so afraid of him that she never came out any more,

and so she died where she was at last--the old sneak!