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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Shopping for Porcupine  >  Reading Comprehension Questions
Inupiaq Mailman

Essay Summary:  Harry Ticket, the Inupiaq mailman, delivers mail and traditional knowledge to the young Kantner. Harry brings mail and news to the Kantner house during wolf hunting trips. Howie helps Harry after his snowmachine gets stuck, but isn't happy about Harry's wolf kill. Seth reveals his connection and concern for the old hunter. 

Why does Harry deliver the mail, even though that isn't his job? (p. 70)

His house gets too crowded with packages or he has the urge to go hunting.

Why didn't Howie hunt wolves? (p. 71)

He loved them, and valued them in a way that the young Seth didn't understand.

What was Harry's passion? (p. 70)

Hunting wolves.

How did Seth get the Inupiaq name Apakiilik? (p. 72)

An old man in the village gave it to him. The name belonged to an old hunter who lived on the same bluff the Kantners lived.

How were Howie and Erna different in their feelings about the city life? (p. 73)

Erna missed the light and the freedom of cars, Howie "loved the silence" and told "bleak" stories about the city.

Why was Howie displeased with Harry's arrival with the wolf pelt? (p. 75)

Wolf chasing and wolf killing weren't something Howie approved of.

What two careers did Kantner imagine for himself? (p. 75)

A hunter or a professional singer.

Why did Harry share bits of traditional knowledge with Kantner? (p. 76)

He knew the Kantner family had "turned its back" on the world the other Inupiaq kids were embracing.

What happened to the rabid fox outside the Kantners' house? (p. 80)

They killed it and sewed the skin into warm mittens.

Why did the young Kantner try to follow the men on their snowmachines taking Harry away? (p. 81)

He wasn't sure why, perhaps because he spent the night worrying about him and during the night he became more than just the mailman.

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