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The Spirit Lakalak


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n Inuit was tired of having to live in half-darkness and cold. He went to the spirit Lakalak, who hung like a huge grey veil in front of Greenland's sun, called to him and brought forth his complaint: "It is all so cold and dark - why don't you separate day from night? Why do you keep me from the light?" "What do you want me to do?", - asked the spirit. "Send me to the land of light so that I don't die of torment!"

An enormous iceberg burst far away making a dreadful noise; the seals began to bark hoarsely, the polar bears growled fiercely and the whales beat the water so violently with their tails that it rained lumps of ice. Then a heavy fog descended, enveloping the complaining Inuit. The spirit led him away.

The sounds of his homeland no longer resounded in the ears of the departing man: no more gentle footsteps of moving reindeer herds, no more crackling of hearth fires - he soon no longer even heard the crunching of his fur-bound sandals in the show. His spirits gradually began to fall. But when, after a long journey, warm rays of light at last penetrated through the fog, he was full of expectations.

Green fields and blue skies became visible; birds twittered, colourful flowers lined both sides of the path, and behind him shone the light of the sun. But as he made to raise his arms in order to greet the land of his longing, he hesitated. The frightening shadow Ahead of him on the path, as if in warning, there walked a dark monster. It was his own shadow, which he now saw for the first time in his life. Panic stricken, he turned round on the spot and ran back, always pursued by the monster, from which he tried to escape.

And so he returned to Greenland, reached for his comforting pipe and took a good drink of fish oil to strengthen himself.

The spirit Lakalak was hanging as always in front of the sun, pretending to know nothing about anything.