Two Old Women
Two old women dragging along at the end of the wandering group of Artic nomads, The People, don’t do much but complain and take up the time and valuable resources of the others. The winter grows colder; The People grow hungry. Finally, the chief and his council arrive at a decision. The women must be left behind.
The tribe moves on. The women, stunned, sit alone. The daughter of one runs back to leave her mother a thickly stripped moose hide. Her son, the old woman’s grandson, risks the chief’s anger by leaving his valuable weapon, a hatchet. Left alone with meager supplies and a small fire, the women have nothing to look forward to but death. Based on an Athabascan legend passed along from mother to daughter for many generations in Alaska, this is the tragic and shocking story of two elderly women abandoned by a migrating tribe. This story of survival is displays the empowerment of women, the graying of America, and Native American culture.
“Yes, in their own way they have condemned us to die! They think that we are too old and useless. They forget that we, too, have earned the right to live! So I say if we are going to die, my friend, let us die trying, not sitting.” Page 16