The Story of Keesh

by Jack London

Eskimo hunter

THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR when things get lively hereabouts. All through the day, but mostly early in the morning and late in the afternoon, off in the distance somewhere you’ll hear a pop or a boom or sometimes two or three in a row. Like big, heavy firecrackers.

It’s hunting season.

The dove hunters always lead off around Labor Day, and every year that opening-day morning dawns like some invasion has just been launched. As soon as it’s light enough to see, things start popping.

Mr. Green loves to tell about the morning in 1994 when he woke to the familiar sound of shooting going on. Dove season again. He looked out the window to admire the ice storm we’d had the night before. Man, look at all that ice! —Man, those dove guys are really gettin’ with it out there!

Wait … this is February—

He happened just then to be looking at a pine tree in the edge of the woods that was doubled over with ice, when suddenly another gun went off. The pine jerked upward like a man who’s been shot … and the whole top third of it fell heavily to the ground, leaving a jagged stump sticking up instead. Then the same thing happened to one next to it. And a then a big limb popped loudly in two and dropped … and it dawned on him what all the shooting was.

When the rest of us joined him, we stared in amazement. Dazzled by the beauty; fascinated by the phenomenon; distressed by the devastation to the trees, we felt excited, but helpless to stop the damage. We were without power for over a week and learned a little about roughing it. Folks around these parts still talk about the ice storm of ’94.

But I digress…

Right now we’re in the middle of the deer hunters’ turn—and we’ve got the possibility of ice and snow this weekend.

So I thought I’d post this story about an Eskimo hunter.

(See how I glided into that?)

You’ve really got to listen to this story. The ending will slay you. So to speak.

Stay warm!
. . . . . . . . . .

Go to the story.