The Two Jeebi
There lived a hunter in the North, who had a wife and one child. His lodge stood far off in the forest, several days' journey from any other. He spent his days in hunting, and his evenings in relating to his wife the incidents that had befallen him. As game was very abundant, he found no difficulty in killing as much as they wanted. Just in all his acts, he lived a peaceful and happy life.
One evening during the winter season, it chanced that he remained out longer than usual, and his wife began to fear that some accident had befallen him. It was already dark. She listened attentively, and at last heard the sound of approaching footsteps.
Not doubting that it was her husband, she went to the door and beheld two strange females. She bade them enter, and invited them to remain. She observed that they were total strangers in the country. There was something so peculiar in their looks, air and manner, that she was disturbed by their presence. They would not come near to the fire. They sat in a remote part of the lodge, shy and taciturn, and drew their garments about them in such a manner as nearly to hide their faces. So far as she could judge, they were pale, hollow-eyed, and long-visaged, very thin and emaciated.
There was but little light in the lodge, as the fire was low, and its fitful flashes, by disclosing their white faces and then dropping them in sudden darkness, served rather to increase than to dispel her fears.
"Merciful Spirit!" cried a voice from the opposite part of the lodge; "there are two corpses clothed with garments!"
The hunter's wife turned around, but seeing nobody save her little child, staring across from under his blanket, she said to herself, "The boy can not speak; the sounds were but the gusts of wind." She trembled, and was ready to sink to the earth.
Her husband at this moment entered, and in some measure relieved her alarm. He threw down the carcass of a large fat deer.
"Behold what a fine and fat animal!" cried the mysterious females; and they immediately ran and pulled off pieces of the whitest fat, which they greedily devoured.