Canadian Ctories

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Location: Eastern Townships, Quebec, Canada

I'm a father, a seakayaker, a guitarist, a writer, a geocacher and a lover of all things arctic. I try to dream big, journey far, kayak well, and above all, cherish my family and friends. I believe in self-sponsorship, Team Zero and being as carbon neutral as I can.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ilatsiak - 63 - First Child

Qayaq and Maneejaq walked David back to the tent. That night Qayaq took David’s hand and pulled it down and across her belly. No longer flat and muscular, it was rounded like a wave worn rock. “We’ll be having a child when the snow comes, David.” Qayaq had another reason to welcome David home. When she discovered she was pregnant shortly after he had disappeared, she feared for the future, an uncertain time ahead that as time went by she dreaded more and more. Now all that had suddenly miraculously changed.
What remained of the summer passed quickly and with little out of the ordinary occuring. Hunting and fishing went on at the usual hurried pace. Food was cached in the usual places in preparation of another winter coming. David and Agayuq again went caribou hunting, this time at the crossing point between King William Island and the Adelaide. For the first time, David was able to use his stored kayak to chase the escaping animals out into the water to retrieve the wounded. This increased their catch considerably so that they had meat and skins to share among others in the camp. Both enjoyed a few weeks of high prestige among their fellows all the while pretending they didn’t deserve it, but had just been luckier than usual.
By the time Qayaq was ready to give birth, both familes were living back on the east coast a bit south of the Matty Islands. David and Agayuq had both gone out hunting and it happened that the baby chose to be born while they were out. Maneejaq came running out of the tent with the news as soon as she heard their voices coming across the newly formed sea ice. “Hurry, hurry!” She yelled at them and for a moment they assumed something bad had occurred, but after running a bit they could see Maneejaq’s face beaming and both knew what her news must be. Once in the tent, they got to hold the baby, a son, born only a few hours before their arrival. It was a proud moment for the whole family, everyone crowding around oo’ing and aaa’ing as parents do everywhere.
In the weeks that followed, they were both anxious to show off the baby boy that Qayaq had given birth to. David was still a bit shocked to think he was a father, something he never imagined he would become. “Tulukaq, a good name,” he proclaimed to all those who visited their tent to see the baby. “He will fly high and travel far. He will know everything!” They were proud words, but David was in a boasting mood, so thrilled was he with the news of Tulukaq’s birth. They began to plan for their trip south to the Fish River in the spring so that Qayaq’s parents would see the newborn as well.