Chapter Summary: The two old women rekindle the skills they
once used. They make snowshoes, and tend to another rabbit they have snared.
They also recall a place where the resources were once abundant and decide to
begin the journey to this place
Where did the women go to recall the skills they once
had? (p. 31)
Answer: They went back in time, revisiting their memories of
What important item did the women need to travel in
winter that they would have to make? (p. 31)
What did they construct the snowshoes out of? (p. 31)
Answer: Young birch.
When was the wood for snowshoes normally collected? (p.
Answer: In late spring and early summer wood was collected.
How do the old women feel about the second rabbit they
snare and why? (p. 32)
Answer: They feel superstitious about their good luck
because The People had just tried catching the rabbits with no luck.
Why do the women choose to leave their camp? What are the
three reasons? (p. 33)
Answer: There are not enough animals to last the winter and
they are afraid of enemies coming upon them. They also distrust their own band.
Why would people turn into cannibals, according to the
stories from the old women? (p. 32)
Answer: In order to survive, people became cannibals.
Where do the two old women decide to go and who
remembered the place? (p. 32)
Answer: Ch’idzigyaak recalls a place the band used to travel
to that had a healthy fish population.
What do the two old women use to make a sled? (p. 33)
Answer: They use the skins from the tent and wrap their
Which direction do they turn the hides to make the sled
slide in the snow? (p. 33)
Answer: With the fur facing the snow, the sled glides well.
What keeps the women warm while they travel, despite the
bitter cold? (p. 36)
Answer: Their fur skin and clothing keeps them warm.
How do the women camp when they don’t set their tents up?
Answer: They burrow down into the snow, making a snow cave,
with spruce boughs on the bottom.
Why are the women in such pain when they wake up? (p. 36)
Answer: They are not used to traveling so far and doing so
much work. (They are out of shape!)
Why do the women continue to only cook the squirrel in
snow water and only drink the broth? (p. 36)
Answer: They are trying to preserve the food and make their
food store goes as far as possible.
Why would the women remember that one day as the longest
and hardest? (p. 37)
Answer: They kept falling down and were extremely fatigued.
Why does the sun only appear for a short while? (p. 37)
Answer: It’s winter in Alaska, and the two old women are so
far north the sun only makes a brief appearance.
What do the two old women worry about freezing? (p. 38)
Why do the two old women worry about freezing their
lungs? And what do they do to prevent this from happening? (p. 38)
Answer: The two old women try not to work too hard, and when
they have to work hard they cover their faces with a protective covering.
How did the two old women pull their sleds? (p. 38)
Answer: They wrapped the ropes around their chests.
Why did the two old women choose to sleep beneath the
snow in the snow pits? (p. 39)
Answer: The snow pits were as warm as any shelter above
How did the skins and furs protect them from the cold? (p.
Answer: The skins and furs held in their body heat.
What does Sa’ realize the two old women left behind at
their camp that they no longer need? (p. 40)
Answer: They left their walking sticks.
What meat, besides the squirrel, have the women carefully
rationed? (p. 41)
Answer: The rabbits.
What clouded the judgment of the two women as they tried
to find their way? (p. 42)
Answer: Fatigue clouded their judgment.
On what night did the women find the slough they were
hoping to find?
Answer: The fourth night is when they almost stumbled upon
What happens to those animals and people who don’t follow
the rules of the land? (p.43)
Answer: Quick and nonjudgmental death can fall upon the
careless and unworthy.
The author shows the readers how to identify dangerous
ice. What are some of the clues that ice might not be safe to walk on? (p. 44)
Answer: Swishing undercurrents erode ice and make it
thin. Steam rising from cracks and
cracking ice hints at danger.
Why did the women have to be so careful on the ice? (p.
Answer: To fall through and get wet could mean certain
death. In extremely cold weather,
there is nothing more dangerous than getting wet.