Historical Events

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A dream of meat instead of fish is met with the killing of a moose. "Our chief diet had been fish. We never used salt or potatoes. It was meat we were longing for.

September 1, 1926

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The Land of Feast and Famine - Portage

Man The Fat Hunter
Human Predatory Pattern
Facultative Carnivore
Carnivore Diet

Our chief diet in the past had been fish. We cast out our lines each day, and, as a rule, we were able to catch enough for both ourselves and the dogs. But with boiled fish for breakfast, fried fish for lunch, and boiled fish again for dinner, in the long run meal-time began to lose something of its glamour for us. We never used salt; potatoes belonged to a bygone day. In short, we experienced no pleasure, sitting down to that sooty kettle of ours. It was meat we were longing for. Of course, we could hunt, but that required leisure. So we got along with simply dreaming about meat. 


Then one day our dream became reality. We were paddling along a narrow stream which joined two lakes together. Wild ducks were splashing about in the water, and as I came paddling along behind Dale, I took a pot-shot at them. I brought down two, but to find them was not an easy task, for the reeds were so thick that the canoe could hardly move. I was pawing around in search of my game and had just found one mangled duck, when two shots echoed across the water. The only thing which occurred to me was that Dale, impatient over the delay, had fired his gun as a signal for me to hurry along. So I picked up my paddle and moved on. 


Reaching the lake, I caught sight of his canoe way off under the opposite bank. What under Heaven was he doing way over there? As I approached, my astonishment increased to see him splashing about in water up to his knees. Peevish because Dale's uncalled-for behavior had obliged me to abandon that other duck of mine, I halted some distance away and asked disagreeably just what he had meant by it. "Come on and help me skin this moose!" cried Dale. — It lay where he had shot it, in three feet of water. 


We began by devouring the heart. To be on the safe side, we took care of the tongue and kidneys in the same manner. After this we quartered the moose and loaded the meat into our already overladen canoe. In the bow we found a place for the head, with its mighty crown of antlers. The effect was decorative indeed. Then we paddled on till we found an attractive camp-site at the edge of a small river, and, with a sense of inner well-being, we spent the remainder of the evening puffing on our pipes and discussing the unbelievable good fortune which had suddenly come our way. But we didn't see Lion, Nagger, and Spike(the dogs) again until the following morning. At the place where the moose had been slain, they had stuffed themselves so full of meat that they had been unable to budge from the spot. 


It was not difficult for us to wait with patience the three days necessary to make dried meat of the carcass. Since leaving Slave Lake we had scarcely paused for breath, and all our clothes were badly in need of repairing before it would be too late. We cut the meat into large slices and hung it from a tripod, under which we kept a low smoky fire burning constantly. On striking camp we were able to crowd most of the smoked meat into four dog-packs, so greatly had it shrunk during the drying process.