The wolf rolled to his belly.
"Amaroq" she whispered. "I am lost and the sun will not sert for a month. There is no North Star to guide me."
Amaroq did not stir.
"Abd there are no berry bushes here to bend under the polar wind and point to the south. Nor are there any birds I can flollow."She looked up. "Here the birds are butings and longspurs. They do not fly to the sea twice a day likethe
puffins and sandpipers that my father followed."
The wolf groomed his chest with his tongue.
"I never dreamed I could get lost, Amaroq," she wento on, talking out loud to ease her fear. "At home on Nunivak Island whereI was born, the plants and birds pinted the way for wanderes. I thought they did so everywhere..
and so, great black Amaroq, I'm without a compass."
It had been afightening moment when two days ago she realized that the tundra was an ocean of grass on which she was cirlcling around and around.
Now as that fear overcame her again she closed her eyes. Whens he opened them her heart skipped excitedly Amaroq was looking at her!
"Ee-Lie," she called and scrambled to her feet. The wolf arches his neck and narrowed his eyes. He pressed his ears forward. She waved. Hedrew
back his lips and showed his teeth. Frightened by what seemed a snarl, she lay down again. When she was flat on her stomach, Amaroq flattened his ears and wagged his tail once. Then he tossed his head and looked away.
Discouraged, she wriggled backward down the frost heave and arrived at her camp feet first. The heave was between herself and the wolf pack and so she relaxed, stood up,andtook stock of her home. It was a simple affair,
for she had not been able to carry much when she ran away; she took just those things she would need for the journey --- a backpack, food for a week or so, needles to mend clothes, matches, her sleeping skin, and the ground
cloth to go under it, two knives, and a pot.
She had intended to walk to point Hope. There she would meet the North Star,the ship that brings supplies from the States to the towns on the Artic Ocean in August when the ice pack breaks up.
The ship could always use dishwashers or laundresses, she had heard, and so she would work her way to San Francisco where Amy, her pen pal lived. At the end of every letter Amy always wrote: "When are you coming to
San Francisco?" Seven days ago she had been on her way -- on herway to the glittering white, postcard city that sat on hill among trees, those enormous plants she had never seen.
She had the glass buildings, traffic lights, and stores full of fruits: on her way to the harbor that never froze and the golden gate Bridge.
But primarily she was on her way to be rid of Daniel, her terrifying husband.
She kicked the sod at the thought of her marriage; thenshaking her head to forget, she surveyed her camp. It was nice. Upon discovering the wolves, she had settled down to live near them in the hope of sharing their food, until
the sun set and the stars came out to guide her. She had built a house of sod, like the summer homes os the old Eskimos.
Each brick had been cut with her ulo, the half-moon shaped woman's knife, so versatile it can trim ababy's hair, sluce a tough bear, or chip and iceberg.
Her house was not well built for she had never made one before, but it was cozy inside. She had windproofed it by sealing the sod bricks with mud from the pond at her door, and she had made it beautiful
by spreading her caribou ground cloth on the floor. On this she had spread her sleeping skin, a moosehide bad lined with soft white rabbit skins.Next to her bed she had built a low table of sod on which to put her clothes when she splet. To decorate the house she had made three flowers of bird feathers and stuck them in the top od the table. Then she had
built a fireplace outdoors and placed her pot beside it. The pot was empty, for she had not found even a lemming to eat.
Last winter, when she had walked to school in Barrow,...
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