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Carey Atchak: Camp Robber

Hi, my name is Carey Atchak

And I’m originally from Stony River, but I’ve lived here in Bethel for a little over 20 years now.

And the story I’m going to share with you all is Camp Robber Story.

And a man that lived in the woods by himself, all alone.

He was off in the wilderness, and he had a small little cabin.

And in the morning time, he’d get up and he’d light his stove, make sure it was warm, and then he’d cook himself breakfast before he’d start his day.

And right before he’d eat, he’d set aside a spoonful on a little tiny saucer.

He’d set aside that amount.

And then he’d walk outside of his house.

In his woodyard, he had a chopping block right in the middle.

He’d put that saucer on that block.

And there was a camp robber that perched right on top of that Christmas tree.

It would wait for him to come and put it out.

Once he’d put it out on the log, he’d go back inside.

He’d glance out his window, and that camp robber would come swoop down, and then it would eat what that guy put on the plate for it.

And he did that for a long time, for many months.

And he one day just got sick, and he was all by himself.

He couldn’t, he couldn’t find the strength enough to get up out of bed to make sure the stove was lit.

That camp robber waited all morning on that Christmas tree for him to bring out that plate of food, but he didn’t come.

And then that camp robber took off from its perch, and then ended up doing its day.

By the time the next serving was to come, the camp robber then perched itself on that spruce tree, waiting and waiting.

It looked at the house and it didn’t see no movement.

There was no candle light, or no light lit.

There, the stove was really faint.

Things of smoke would come up like it hasn’t been lit in a while.

By the time evening came, and then the same thing, nothing, nothing for that bird.

And what that man remembers is his eyes. He’d open his eyes and then they’d close.

His eyes would open, and he’d feel the thing of water to his lips.

And he’d take it and fall back to sleep.

Slowly, day by day, he started gaining more and more, more and more strength, and his eyes stayed open longer.

And when he finally was able to open his eyes enough, he looked

He looked up, and his eyes after they finally got good from being shut for a long time, they weren’t blurry, he looked around.

He looked.

He felt the heat of the stove. His house was warm, and he smelt cooking on the stove.

He glanced over at this one woman in his house.

He looked at her, and his first thought was she was the most beautifulest woman that he has ever seen.

He asked her, "Who are you?"

She wouldn’t answer him.

He said, "Where do you come from?"

She wouldn’t answer him.

And then that night, she made sure he had enough wood and water in his bucket.

And then he, then she got up and then she went out.

And he started moving around more and more by himself.

And she noticed that he was well enough to sit up by himself, to get up to walk himself to the table.

And then he knew too that that was going to be the last time that she’d stop at his house, at his place.

And she dished him a plate of food, put it at the table, and then when he started to eat, she glanced back at him.

She started walking out the door, and then she shut the door behind her.

His house had three steps. There’s one... two...

And then by that time that guy, he jumped off of the table, and he ran to the window ’cause he was curious, "Where did she go?" ’cause he wasn’t seeing no footsteps outside.

And then on the third step, she flew.

She landed in the perch of that tree she waited on when he’d bring food, the plate of food out to her.

So, the moral to this story is that:

When we have respect for other beings, other, our Mother Nature, other creatures, and other people

When we have that amount of respect for something

Then when we need it to be, whatever we need will come back to us in the way that we need it to be.