Friday, November 23, 2012

Tuka, Part 3

When Tuka reached the outskirts of Winter Camp he staked, fed & bedded down his tired, scrappy dog team. Tuka would have preferred to bed down with his team, as he does on the trail, but dogs are forbidden from Winter Camp. The elder women of the camp spearheaded by his mother, Niki, stopped dog teams from barrelling into town last year. You were allowed to have dogs as family pets as long as you cleaned up after them. Sled dogs must not enter. Tuka decided the reason this stupid law passed was nobody mushed now that everyone ran noisy, gas guzzling snow go's instead. The old ways were dissappering rapidly & Tuka was a dying breed.

As he walked towards the camp his cousin Roy roared out to pick him up on his sno go. His mother wasn't patiently waiting to see him & he knew why.

"Dale!" Tuka's mother exclaimed when she saw her wayward son. "What is this I hear you are going by your father's (God rest his soul) name that he gave you at birth? Your birth certificate has your true name & that is what I will call you!" Niki spoke English but with her strong overbearing Russian influence.

"I mean no disrespect to you, mother." Tuka quietly explained. "My father's name suits me more than Dale does. When you told me my father named me Tuka, meaning Keeper of the Mountains, I feel that is my name & that is what I will go by & answer to."

"Dale!" His mother mimicked "Why are you so old fashion? Your Viking father left when you were young & showed you nothing of the old ways yet you insist on hanging on to them. Life is easier for our people now. We don't have to mush, make our own tools, hunt for food, trap for clothing, chop wood for fuel or be in the dark for months. Look at us. We have electricity! We have internet! We have satellite TV! Why won't you grasp it & make the most of it like the rest of us? I will never understand you like I never understood your father. It has got to be the Viking in you!"

Taku had to laugh at her last statement. It was the first time she had admitted he was indeed a Viking. More Viking than Russian & that he could not change.

"I have built your own gertee over by your cousin Roy's. Come with me & I will show you your new home. Sally helped me decorate it for you. You really should thank her & invite her to live with you." Niki was proud of her gertee making skills & loved to show anyone how to build & decorate them warmly.

For once Tuka liked his mother's plan for him. But what about his dogs? It was like his mother had read his mind when she said "Goldie can stay in camp with you. Your other mutts can be adopted out."

There was some warmth towards dogs in his mother's cold Russian heart.

Next week: Surprise


Niki Raapana said...

oh Kath I love it! It's got great charachter names too! lol huge hugs!

Anonymous said...

Love the bright colors of the Gertees and the midnight sun.

I'm enjoying the story Kathy, you have pulled me in.