Grade Level: 
9, 10, 11, 12
Character Education: Respect
Generosity of Spirit
North America
An Inuit Tale: A man shows respect for the needs of the animals and in turn he is repaid with good portion.

Tell me a story...

There was a man named Tiggak whose only son drowned in the sea. And such a powerful grief came to the old man that he set up his hut right next to his son’s grave. The very first night he was awakened by noises. An ice-bear, a walrus, a hare, and a fox were busy removing the stones from the grave. Tiggak was furious and threatened them with his spear.

“But how do you think that we get our teeth?” said the fox.

“How do you think that we got our whiskers?” the walrus said.

“And how do you think we got our (vital organs)?” the hare said.

“We must perforce steal from the dead,” declared the ice-bear.

Whereupon Tiggak allowed them to take whatever they wanted from his son. The grateful animals repaid his kindness many times over, for there wasn’t a day after that when he didn’t have good hunting.


Millman, Lawrence. A Kayak Full of Ghosts: Eskimo Tales. Santa Barbara: Capra Press, ©1987. p. 184.

Used with permission of Lawrence Millman.