A Fair Trade
With no weapons except the speed of a wolf, the runner charged the Great Bear Spirit.
It took up the entire sky before him. He realized, directly in front of it, that he had no idea what to do.
So he jumped. He found, lacking corporeal form, that he had no use for corporeal survival instinct.
He latched onto the Great Bear Spirit. He held on not for dear life-- he wasn't sure he had one anymore-- but because, lacking corporeal form, he also lacked corporeal reason. Wrestling with the Great Bear Spirit seemed to make spiritual sense, however, so he held on for that.
But the Great Bear Spirit swatted him from its hide.
Getting to his feet, the runner realized he still held the bear. Or the bear's coat, rather.
Some Inuit tell tales of giants that walk on the Arctic Ice in the form of polar bears. When they return to their igloo each night they hang their coat by the fire and assume the form of a man or woman.
The runner looked up to see Nan'nuq, the old man from the bar. His chest was bare, and he wore white trousers and clawed, furry boots. The runner remembered something the old man had told him before his journey began.
"Excuse me sir," the runner began, as politely as possible, "Wanna trade your boots for this coat?" "That seems fair," the old man smiled, "The speed of the wolf, the strength of the bear, you may find your shaman, yet," and took his boots off. They traded: boots for coat.
Nan'nuq put on his coat and turned to walk away, a polar bear with old man feet.
"Wait!" the runner cried, "Now what do I do?"
"The shaman lives across the land, the sky and the sea," the old man told him, again, "and you've already crossed the land and the sky." Which wasn't exactly specific, but it seemed impolite to ask for clarification on mystic advice. Besides, the runner thought, it made spiritual sense, which was enough. There was one more thing he needed help with, though.
"How do I get down?" he asked
"Oh, just take those three stars," Nan'nuq told him, pointing to Orion's belt. In some Inuit tales, those three stars are the stairway to the heavens. In others, they are called "The Runners."
Again, the advice seemed to lack a certain practicality, but the runner had crossed the land and sky, outrun a wolf, and outwrestled a bear, all without practical advice, so he wasn't too worried. With his new boots, he crossed the sky.