Village Life Stories

Grandma’s Secret Berry Picking Spot by Sarah

As I looked all over, there were trees like giants in one corner and mountains in the other. “Where are we grandma? I don’t remember this place.”

“That’s because you never been to my secret berry picking place.” she replied smiling. My Grandma was still sitting on her four wheeler with her eyes meeting the ocean, and I decided to start picking. I was filled with hope that I would fill my bucket with berries as big as grapes, just with that thought I smiled and left to look for berries.

As I carried my blue bucket walking along the tundra there was no berry in sight. So I looked harder and harder but there was still no berries to be found. After half an hour of looking I started giving into the fact that there was clearly nothing. How could this be a secret berry picking place if there are clearly no berries at all? So I started to walk up to my Grandma, who was still sitting on her four wheeler but now looking into the trees.

I was finally about to reach my Grandma when suddenly a loud noise took place in the trees near me. “Finally, Mia are you ready to go to my true secret berry picking place now?” Grandma asked.

“Wait this isn’t it?” I asked confused.

“Well I couldn’t risk anyone finding out my spot can I?”

Now I was really confused, I never saw anyone else besides Grandma and I.

Grandma started to lead me to the trees and stopped when an another loud noise occurred, then kept on walking. When we entered the trees it all of a sudden became foggy and the further we went, the thicker the fog became. I was even starting to hear things such as a river of roaring water, chirping birds, and I even heard a wolf howling in the distance, which made me pale as my Grandma likes to say.

When we finally made it out of the trees, we approached a valley and hills that would take your breath away. As I started to look around there were berries everywhere, blueberries, salmonberries, cranberries, blackberries, and more. I was stunned to see all the berries around me. “Aren’t you going to start picking Mia or are you just going to stand there?” Grandma asked and we both quickly started to pick berries, racing each other to see who would fill their buckets first.

My belly started to grumble and I felt like it was going to cause some trouble. I decided to head to my Grandma and ask if she brought food but as I was trying to not step on berries I saw my Grandma already getting the food before I asked. By the time I made it over to her, she had all the food out and was already eating. There were strips, muktuk, and even sandwiches, I didn’t even know how Grandma had fit all the food in her bag.

Soon after that my Grandma said “It’s time to leave.” So we gathered our stuff and were ready to take off.

As we were about to take off I turned around to look at the valley, the hills and the berries one last time and whispered under my breath “Grandma’s secret berry picking spot, save some berries for me.”


This piece was submitted to the Bering Straits School District’s 2019 “Honoring My Culture” Writing Contest.

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