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Main > Native American folktales > Fairy tale "The Tornit"

The Tornit

Every little while they would steal a boat from the Inuit, who did not dare fight for their property because the thieves were so much stronger.

This rankled in the hearts of the Inuit and they would talk among themselves and threaten to take vengeance on the robbers. They debated what they should do either to get rid of the Tornit or to make them cease their depredations. This state of affairs had gone on till the Inuit were at fever heat, when one day a young Tornit took the boat of a young Inuit without asking, and in sealing with it, he ran it into some blocks of floating ice which stove in the bottom. The owner nursed his wrath until night, and then when the thief was asleep he slipped into the tent and thrust his knife into the Tornit's neck.

The Tornit tribe had been aware of the growing dislike, and when at last one of the Inuit took revenge, they feared that others might do the same and in similar secret fashion; so they decided to leave the country. In order to deceive their neighbors, they cut off the tails of their long coats and tied their hair in bunches that stuck out behind to look like a strange people as they fled.

Then they stole away, and the Inuit were so glad they were gone that they made no effort to pursue them.

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