Village Life Stories

The Calm Ocean Water by Jermaine

There was a year when my father and I would wake up every day exactly at eight o’clock in the morning. We woke up every morning because we wanted to go see how the weather for the day would be, except we wouldn’t check the weather anywhere else but at the west beach. We went to the beach every morning to go see how the ice and ocean looked. It looked the same every day but not literally. One frosty, good, cold morning, my father Alexie, Chris and his father Daniel had went down to the beach ready for a beautiful day once again in the Bering Sea. Agra’s cousin Herby had come down to the beach too to join us on a boating trip to “other side” to go hunting for walrus.

We had set all the stuff we had planned to bring with us along the trip into the boat ready for our use. We had checked the Evinrude to see if it had needed any equipment such as oil. Once we had got done checking the Evinrude, we had decided to push the boat into water so we could then start the Evinrude, so it can be warmed up for the journey. After that, we readied ourselves for the journey ahead. Once we were done, we had started going east toward the mountain, slowly. The sun, as high as it could be, glistened off the ocean like a diamond in the sunlight. The ocean’s water were so calm you could even compare the term ‘pancake’ to about anything, and it wouldn’t even compare it to the sea.

As we were getting around the curve of the mountain, we saw a herd of walrus in the water. We didn’t bother going after them, so we just continued heading east, where the fat of the land sustained herds of sleeping walrus, on ice. Once we had passed those walrus, me and Agra started fooling around. We started to pay more attention to what was going on in the boat than what was going on outside the boat. Once our fathers had realized we were being silly, they scolded us verbally and told us to watch out for something that might catch our eyes. With the frost blinding my vision slightly, the wind chill biting my cheek swiftfully, and the snow intimidating me, I asked myself, “what if there’s something over in that direction?” With a blink of an eye, I had reacted quickly and looked that way and sure enough there was a herd of sleeping walrus on the ice jammed together as if they had been given no choice but to huddle together. Agra’s father, Daniel, had blurted out, “Get ready! We’ll slowly get to them so we can pick out the bulls.” I had reached over for my gun case that kept my pride and joy protected from the weather and other things that might ruin my gun.

Once I had got my gun case into my lap, I had opened it and grinned to myself because I had set my eyes on the prize that motivated me to go hunting that day. I pulled out my 243 Winchester, stainless steel, cocked it, and put it on safety until we gotten to a certain point to shoot the walrus. My dad said, “I’ll get the one on the right” while Takeva said, “I’ll get the one on the left.” I readied my weapon and aimed towards my target. Then, “boo-dugh.”

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

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