The Accident by Jasmine Keogak
The following story was inspired by a 2500 year old polar bear canine tooth that was uncovered at the Lagoon site on Banks Island and is now kept at Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife. The tooth is unworked, but it may have been a personal keepsake.
One day a large mother bear was teaching her cubs how to hunt, so they went looking for some food to hunt. After about 3 hours of looking, they finally found a seal, the mother told the cubs to stay there and watch. The mother smelled something that wasn’t seal and she stood up. Crouching behind a knoll was a man and his dog slowly making their way towards the seal. The mother bear snuck up to them but the man heard her and turned around just in time, because the bear was right next to his face. “Leave!” She roared full of anger. The man was horrified, he had never heard a bear talk before. He stood his ground, “where do you come from?” The man said. The bear was getting annoyed with the man, “I said leave before I kill you!” The man’s face paled and he gulped, saying, “No! My name is Keetan. Can we please make a deal?” Keetan was practically begging, he didn’t want to die. “I am Nala and my cubs over there are Silaya and Angik. We need that seal for our food, so would you please leave!”Nala yelled again. “My family is starving! I need this seal!” Keetan yelled back at Nala. “I will bring you some caribou tonight but my cubs need to learn how to hunt seal!” She yelled. “Do you promise that you’ll stay to your word?” Keetan said uncertainly, “I promise.” So that night there was a knock on the door, Keetan’s wife answered it and screamed. “Keetan!” she said and he ran to the door with his spear. “Keetan here is your food.” Staying true to her word, there was the bear with caribou in her mouth. She left it at the door and walked away. When skinning, they found one of the bear’s teeth.