The Orange runner
The Orange runnerThe Orange runner

Chasing Dinner


"Nice deer," said the runner as he slowly approached the deer. "Grumble," said his stomach, so he broke into a jog.


"Patience," the runner said to himself, as the deer fled.

"Grumble," said his stomach in disagreement, so with the speed of a wolf he charged!


With the strength of a bear he leapt!


... directly into the caribou's kick, which caught him just under the chin, sending a symphony through his nervous system and turned his limbs to jelly.

"BONG," said his skull.

"Oof!" said the runner.

"Thud!" said the ground. Stars that were stars but also caribou antlers but also ripples from his rattled skull danced in front of the runner's eyelids.

"Patience!" boomed a voice above and behind him, but the runner had not quite solidified his limbs yet and could not turn around to face the speaker.


"You must convince the Caribou that you have great need of it," the voice told him. "It will take many miles before it will give itself over to you."

The Caribou Mother, one of the oldest Inuit deities, resides in the sky, sort of. Really, she is huge. She is the sky. She is also the earth. The souls of men and caribou crawl across her like lice. When we are born, she plucks a soul from her hide and places it into our body. When a caribou is born, she plucks a soul from her hide and places it into their body. Our souls, however, are tiny and indistinguishable to her, and they often get mixed up. Caribou, therefore, must only be killed in time of great need, as to kill one is to kill your fraternal soul. Practically speaking, overhunting Caribou means fewer Caribou next year, which means fewer hides, tools and meals.

The runner didn't know this; he just knew he was hungry, and that every time he tried to touch the caribou it did him grievous bodily harm, so he had to find a way to kill it without touching it. He had an idea, but his stomach wasn't going to like it. He pushed himself to his elbows.


"Where does that voice go?" the runner wondered aloud.

"Grumble," said his stomach.