Saturday, February 13, 2016
The Hyperborean Mythos Land of the Forbidding (Out of Haunting Wild of Minnesota and the Arctic Regions)
In the deep twilight when snow covered shrubs look like ghosts, and wandering deer look like monsters, beyond the cities and the farmlands, the farthest regions of Minnesota forests, and to the Canadian Arctic, nothing seems to appear in its right perspective; everything is too large, too tall, too wild, too ugly, too far, too near, too fierce, thus one never sleeps at ease in the wild of winter nights in the land of gray strangeness, in the land of the forbidding.
When the northern lights appear, never are they the same, they, like the cold forest wavers and shimmers like the crossbones on a black flagged ship at sea. The Inuits know the land and its old legends. Its ghosts, death, for death is common in this place, should you make the wrong, move, turn, step, choice, you must live with its results.
With a bottle of whisky, which is common in these out of the way places, and an odd warmth comes to the blood and unknowingly you slip away, the spirit leaves its long dwelling and is no longer cold or hungry, but you are dead all the same.
This strange land that points to the North Pole, wicked demigods battle for who will take the form of the bear, the wolf, who will enter them to possess their spirits, after twilight. With them they bring sickness, death to the living. The spirit demigods are concealed in wedges, have good knowledge of the area. They sit on rocks and wait. Foolish they may be, but there they wait, chewing on seal skins, as they choose to pass the time.
The wolves know more than any book will ever tell of the wild. To the wolf, darkness or light of day, one and all are the same. They howl through the valleys and the polar bear, thank God he can swim, avoid the packs of wolves. The caribou, astray, are a quick mark for a pack of hungry wolves.
. . .
At such a twilight a thing accrued, a great wolf fell into a pit, one an Inuit dug, covered with twigs and moss, he had several stakes embedded into the bottom soil, however, somehow the wolf landed twisted all around the stakes, unhurt on the floor of the pit, but escape was impossible.
As I implied, death is common and the news of this wolf defeating death became a big news for the little Inuit fragment of a tribe of fifteen inhabitant, without showing its astonishment or giving comment to the beast, they freed him, they might have known some evil could befall them, but it didn’t occur to Kayak (who was named for his love for the water).
What creature survives without the demon in him? Did not God send him to Kayak’s pit for its execution? So a wise man from a nearby village had said to his pupils.
It was the evening of the second day of the wolf’s freedom that one of the fifteen inhabitants of Kayak’s tribe had died, left were the marks of fangs coming from a stray wolf. Then the following day, another youth died, wife of one of the inhabitants of Kayak’s tribe, her body lay lucid and ripped apart as she lay on a pile of skins she evidently had been working with; her throat ripped to its windpipe.
On the third day, a new born was fond with its limbs chewed to its bones, and left for dead, thus, the tribe was now twelve.
The wolf-devil, was a virile active creature, huge in size. Never did such a beast have such sturdy legs, and strong spine, “He will die in day,” said Kayak to his tribesmen, “I will slay him with my spear!”
And alone in the wilderness, that very night, he sensed the dark eyes of the wolf fall upon his back, and in a moments thrust, he was chewing through kayak’s elbow, disconnecting the upper and lower parts, and accordingly he dropped to the ground, prayed to his guardian spirit, that his little son would survive.
The beast bent down lower as if to listen to his last words, his eyes appeared very wide to Kayak, and the wolf, with a human voice laughed. This fact no longer surprised Kayak, then suddenly, lightening hit the wolf, and its pelt was burnt to a rough brittle, and the animal sniffed his own hide, and died alongside of the Inuit. But before either one’s last breath, Kayak heard the beast say, —as Kayak bent his ear close to the mouth of the wolf, and through the lips of the beast the demon whispered: “The bear is on its way.”
It was said a bear killed every member of kayak’s tribe but one, whom this story comes from, it was Kayak’s son, and the old man of the nearby village, told his pupils: “The devil and the wolf have grown up together they both like blood. Let them die together as they are playmates, do not disturb nature’s plan!”
Copyright © by Dennis L. Siluk 2-2016