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Winds, a Legend From the Lower Yukon
by Armen Marasli
Search Amazon for other books by or about Armen Marasli.

Reviewed by: John L. Hoh, Jr.

This book is part of a series called World Legends for Kids. Various legends from various peoples are collected, translated, and rewritten for children. This helps in learning about other cultures.

In this book children learn of a quasi-creation story told by the Eskimos of the Lower Yukon. This includes parts of British Columbia, Alaska, and the Northwest Territories.

A couple are childless and yearn for a son. Both state what each would do if they had a son. One night the woman has a dream where she is told to make a blanket from feathers. When the blanket is finished, she has another vision. She is taken by dog sled to a solitary tree and told to carve a doll from the trunk. Her dream ends before the instructions are finished, but she gets her husband to find the tree and bring back the trunk. He obediently does and she carves a boy, the man carves a spear from what is left of the wood, and the woman makes clothes and dresses the wooden doll.

The next morning the couple awakes to find their doll has come alive!

The following morning he has disappeared. The couple is distraught. The townsfolk all try to help by carving wooden dolls themselves.

Meanwhile, the unnamed boy had wandered off and followed the same path his "father" had traveled. He comes to a place where there are four holes in the sky, each covered with a cloth. With his spear the boy opens and closes each piece of cloth. From each a different wind, and corresponding animals, escape. No, this isn't the doom of the winds of Ullyses. Rather, the animals are welcomed by the people as they provide sustenance to the town.

The boy returns to a hero's welcome.

Children will enjoy this tale even if disbelief needs to be suspended. No age range is given.

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