Which deer doesn't shed antlers there?

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From the reindeer

Paradise lost

Millennia ago! Where today the headwaters of the Loire, Dordogne, Rhône and Drance to the north, west and south divide with a thunderous thunder and rich vineyards nestle against the sunny heights, back then the icy moss steppes, the hunter's paradise! No fruits from the mild south ripen there at the foot of the immense glacier world. But currants offer their tart red and black berries on low bushes. In the moorland, which the sun could hardly warm up in the span of a human hand, there is a shallow branching raspberry bush that bears the yellow, spicy, sweet cranberries at the summer solstice; The bright bundles of cranberries sit on the moss like corals, the sourish bitter cranberries shine white and deep red; the bogberry ripens, and the black crowberry gives a sweetish dish. White water stars, pink carnations, dark red sweet peas, blue bluebells and bog fox tails bloom and smell around the tents, in which the horde has been camped at the foot of the Gipsberg since they left the winter caves when the foehn storm first came. A pale rose sunbathes on the stone with swamp porst and rosemary silk, and the juniper bush crawls over it, bursting with green berries.

On gorges and slopes, where the midday sun was best able to warm up, almost man-high ancient wood stretches out, often shaken by the blizzard and yet again and again striving towards the light: birch trees and willows in wide, expansive bushes. Bearded lichen hang down from the shaggy crowns of dead pines, on which the flakes of the wool of the marsh grass, sailing in the gentle wind, are caught. At twilight they were fed up with the fog that rose from the moor, and then they dripped in monotonous regularity until the midday sun lay with mild shine over the wide moor, and now the world sinks into a dreamy sleep. Only the alpine lark still starts its song, and now and then a swallow rushes out of its nesting hole in the peat. Otherwise silence, solemn silence all around! Grouse and snow bunting roam in the dry peat sand, flocks of ducks, geese and swans rest quietly on the blanks, the owl blocks with blinking lights in the pasture. Even the tireless raven is silent; Even the insatiable glutton lies curled up between the dry moss heads, comfortably digesting the morning's prey; even the hungry wolf no longer trots around, and the lemming has peace in his hiding place.

Playing children crouch between the tents by a herd of assembled field stones. They dragged dry wood from the willow bushes, which they carried with straps made from Renfell. Our northern game (Rangifer tarandus) is called Ren, the male Reindeer deer, the feminine reindeer. The spelling Runthat Brehm used would find justification in the old Norse »hreinn«. The name, however, corresponds to the Swedish »ren«. English rane, ranedeer, also rein-deer, Anglo-Saxon hrân or hrân-deor = reindeer deer. In America it will caribou called. Its distribution area covers the whole belt of the high northern latitudes, in America from the northern borders of the United States to the Parry Islands. In Russia the distribution area of ​​the wild reindeer reached from Novaya Zemlya down to Kazan, in the Urals even down to the 52nd parallel. had laced around. Now they are blowing hard into the embers and cheering loudly when the flame strikes brightly and the column of smoke rises straight to heaven through the air that trembles over the fire: that means good luck and good catch for the fathers and hunted on the edge of the great river on the moss swamp Brothers.

The children run around naked during this time when the water is open without an ice crust and you can catch the fish by hand. Today the boys and girls practiced diving and grabbed some tight fish that are now wriggling in the net next to the tent. The net is knitted from reindeer tendons, which are frayed with reindeer antler awls and then knotted. Now the mother comes and gives the girls the fish to cook. Each of them scales a fish with a sharp flint scraper and takes it out to hand it to the mother to be roasted on the hot stones. At the command of her mother, the youngest child fetches the birch broom and cleans the place of scales and fish bladders, which she throws into the garbage pit to form broken marrowbones and other leftovers.

Then some fish are eaten and the rest are put on willow sticks and hung up in tents where no cheeky wolverine can steal them. The boys then run out again to catch young ptarmigan. But the girls sit by the fire with grandmother and help her sew warm winter clothes made of bear skin and tanned reindeer blanket. The old woman's eyes are still bright and sharp when she looks into the distance, but the threading of the thin tendon into the eye of the fine needle scraped from reindeer antler does not want to go as quickly as the children do. They watch inquisitively how grandmother fits her armpit into father's new long skirt made of white reindeer calfskin and how she adorns the front lump with otter. Then a woman's skirt made of bear fur, lined with ermine, is admired. In addition, there is the wonderful goose made from glittering seashells. And then your own brand-new little dresses that Mother tailored, and all of which have to be sewn and, if it was wrong, have to be torn open again so that they are soft and comfortable when the snow storm roars around the dark rock grotto again.

There's still a lot to do up there too! Fresh hay must be brought to the storage area and the old rubbish swept out beforehand. Because the Felsensaal should be moved into clean and cozy when the storm forces you to do so in the foggy season. Then a fur is hung in front of the entrance, which only lets in enough air to allow the smoke to escape. Women and girls up there do this service with happy chat. They pile up willow wood in bundles, pour grass hay on the driest parts of the cave floor and look with joy at the beautiful paintings that are attached to the walls with scraped pieces of colored earth. There is a grim bear carved into it, there a reindeer with sixty-six ends, there a long-haired mammoth with curly tusks.

The large jewelry that is hidden in a cave shrine is even more beautiful. Crystals that sparkle like ice in a pitch-black night, gold stone and yellow amber next to blue amethysts and colorful agate. And also spearheads, axes and scrapers made of flint, such as the hunters had dragged together from a great distance or stolen from the wool-headed browns who previously lived in this area, but had to give way when the long-eyed skulls moved in from the north. In her hand the scraper and stone knife became artist tools. They used it to carve wonderful animal heads and other decorations from bones or mammoth teeth, which later served as the starting point for Nordic animal ornamentation. This desire for the performing arts was understandable enough for a people whose creative imagination was so strongly stimulated by the memory of wild dangers that had passed and the struggle with raging forces of nature. The joy of this original art was of course shared with all members of the horde and explains the joyful curiosity of our girls who are busy with cave plastering. After viewing the treasures, the shrine is carefully closed again with the stone slab. Then the sunnier furs are spread over the camp again, and the girls go back to the camp while singing. One of them plays a tune that is now monotonous, melancholy and now shrill on a pipe carved from a bird's bone with holes drilled into it.

Meanwhile, busy life has moved in down by the tents. The men return from the hunt. In front the youths with the shaggy wolf tips, barking the reindeer and bears. Today there was rough work for these loyal companions of the hunters, half dead from tiredness they stretch themselves down next to the tents and sleep, only occasionally getting loud when they remember in the dream of the wild fight with the main bear, who threw stones at his pursuers and how furious he was when he finally had to face himself. A hunter then killed him with the heavy stone ax on the juniper stem. There the six of them are now bringing his venison. Others drag themselves along on poles the reindeer, driven into pitfalls and slain there, whose many-twisted antlers are now stretched over the back and flanks of the game. The day has yielded rich booty, over there in the ice pits blinded with willow branches and moss and when hunting bears on the open moor! The dogs there devoured the entrails and sweat of the bear. Now the Renes are being crushed by the fire, and the skull bowl circles with the fresh, foaming blood as a solemn drink.

Everything about this delicious booty will be used. Even the casings that are dried and twisted to make light ropes. The skin is pegged on the ground and rubbed and tanned with the brain, the tendons are saved for the bows, men and children carve harpoons and fishhooks for catching fish, as well as sharp lance tips from the antlers.

The reindeer is everything to her. Without this game they would starve to death in winter, when fishing is made impossible by ice and snowstorms, or they would have to live like wolverines on the disgusting game of the lemmings. But the hunter perceives this life as the epitome of human bliss. His proud stag is the noble son of a free wilderness and he himself is its mighty ruler. Will there, yes can there ever be a more wonderful wilderness paradise on earth than this one at the foot of the incalculable glaciers? - - -

Millennia have passed. The consequences of the icing have proven to be a great blessing for the country. The glacial deposits have made the soil inexhaustibly fertile. In the valleys that drain to the Gironde and the Mediterranean Sea, the richness of lush grapes sparkles on broad silver ribbons of proud rivers and lives the memory of the richest history and the most beautiful seductive women of mankind, from the scent of jasmine and roses whisper the songs of Bertan de Borne, Raymond of Toulouse and Richard of Poitou. O, prouvenco, pais dei troubaire, toun doux parla pout pas mouri! Has the dream of paradise of beauty and love, of wine and songs been accomplished there, has the kingdom of earthly bliss reached? It doesn't look much like it. In the midst of the abundant wealth of a lavish nature, the madness of distorted lust for peaceful neighbors rises from the starving stomachs of the masses! In the caves of Cro Magnon and Aurignac, however, scholars excavated the bones of the reindeer hunters and marveled at the noble shape of the skulls and the tall stature of this beautiful northern breed, which had to migrate with the warming of the climate because the reindeer, which had become indispensable to it from the annoying heat backed away.

The hordes of hunters moved through the area of ​​what is now Belgium and Lower Germany to the Cimbrian and Scandinavian peninsulas, where their bones now lie in the moors with axes and spears made of reindeer antler. Gradually, with the warming brought about by the Gulf Stream, humans found other food there in the fish and mussels of the sea, in eggs and in the game of beach birds, as well as in that of deer, roe deer and wild boar. With the skills already practiced earlier, he created the neo-stone age culture there, which grew into the culture of humanity and reached its peak in the sunny south, his former home - until the enslaved people of the Mediterranean race in their Germanic nobility conquered the last remnants of the again eradicated the advanced ice age race and is now no longer able to control itself.

But the reindeer, which man no longer needs there for a long time, has moved to the iciest frontiers of the northern earth!

In the winter night

The storm cleared the snow from the tall black boulders on the steep bank of the Fish River. Now the most defiant of them wears a living crown of rays. Like a fiery sky snake with pale red scales and fins, a northern light curls up above him in the west on the pale green sky dome. Lighter, ever lighter, it flickers over into a brilliant ruby ​​red and splits into a three-headed monster that spits out bundles of rays. Blood red one, greenish white the other, yellow the middle. Up to the level of the North Star, these sheaves of fire twitch and lick up, then they devour themselves and darken in the crystal-clear winter splendor like gently and quietly trembling silver waves.

It roars like an underground rumble. The lakes thunder through the icy silence, and the increasing cold shatters their shells of frost. An answer booms from afar. All around the earth shudders; and from the sky the Great Bear throws down a blaze of roaring falling stars, leaving the streaks of shining dust behind. Day and night would now be equally dark if the full moon did not move from the night into the day and then again from this into the night, as it glides silently and smiling from the old into the new year. At midday, when it goes so deep that its ring touches the globe, a bright field of light forms in the cut, and as a solemn New Year's greeting a pale, delicate lunar rainbow rises from the damp mist of the wide moss steppe. The mead of dreams thaws down on the sleeping, soundless land. The bear beneath its warmly padded windthrow, the lemming in its cave, blink; and the reindeer, who sit in the thicket of the distant forest, raise their tired heads while ruminating, only to immediately sink into half-sleep again. Over the moonlit snow surface, however, the ice fox loops and starves, happy when it finds the sharp scent of a lemming under the snow. And at the edge of the crippled forest of dwarf birch and creeping willow creeps, crouched deep in the snow, a cheeky rabble. Their furs are dirty white, like old snow covered with sprock and dry leaves. Their step is noiseless, and the eavesdroppers, who are positioned wide forward, listen carefully into the forest to see whether the pack has not heard the suspicious sound.

The Rener doze to themselves, ruminating. If one swallows the porridge, the other burps fresh for the whole meal to savor the flavor of the half-digested lichen once more. The dug-out places next to them and the accumulated slogan show that they have been lying here for a long time with their only grazing, the moss. There are only sparse lichen next to it, which they reach up straight down from the trees. For weeks and months the sip-down and huff-up has been going on in pleasant, leisurely comfort, only occasionally interrupted when one or the other of the sleepy animals gets up, stretches its stiff hump, lifts its frond and lets the bubbling solution fall. Of course, if it is wet, the neighbors will come to life, because this yellow spot is eagerly licked up to the last grain of snow. This then stimulates the desire to fetch fresh lichens, which is only possible in the parade march on the hind legs. Then with every movement of the trunk or even the neck, the barrels crackle like electric batteries. But after a few moments the animals lay down again and the entertaining game starts all over again: Gulp-down, Hupp-up! This secret life in winter hiding makes it understandable that the natives of some areas, especially in Greenland, where the reindeer can be snowed in for lack of other cover, believe that the reindeer falls into hibernation like the bear. And whoever saw them swallow, burp and doze off here, would like to think of them as the most stupid society on God's earth.

Even the old stag, as he now lolls up and strides shakily, with a hanging neck and kinking, crackling fetters, gives the impression of a miserable inhabitant of his desolate monotonous homeland.

But look: what was that? Where did this change come from? He stands there like an ore cast picture full of power and sparkling life, and every head of the pack is raised in tense attention. Has a flickering breeze brought them weak weather from their enemies? Did your incomparably sharp gaze penetrate the gray and white of the birch forest? Has the lead deer's fine hearing heard the she-wolf's quiet step in the loose snow? He stretches up high, his nostrils expanded, eyes sharply ahead. In vain does the rabble push themselves into the snow. A grunting warning call - and the pack is up and away! Through the loose snow it drifts away in high, steep leaps.Not as stiff-legged as fallow deer. But if it doesn't troll, mostly with all four in the air at the same time, high on the head crowned with heavy antlers and pointed high on the frond. Like castanets the fences "ring" brightly through the winter forest; the snow whirls away behind them, the shy game flies over stone and scree, because its loosely connected and far-reaching shells and strongly developed fences make it possible to flee over soft moss and loose snow like on snowshoes. And the ice cover on the blanks in the moss, which would ruin the elk, is used by the reindeer herd as the most beautiful toboggan run. If the smooth stretch is long, it throws itself on its clubs and, while sitting, dashes away as nimble as a sailing sleigh, never to be seen again.

"Waauu - huuh!" Howls the old she-wolf, sitting on her clubs, over to the midday moon. And "Wuuh - aoaah!" Replied an old, no less hungry wolf, who had waited in vain behind a stone on the riverbank for the herd, ringing and rattling. Yes, wuuh - aoaah! Just cry, you old rascal! This time the lead deer has turned from the usual change and has accepted the bare ice in order to bring endless distances between itself and you predatory rabble! Because as soon as the reindeer knows that it is in its winter hiding place, it switches for miles to look for a new shelter.

May the fresh snow erase its trail in the exposed beech of the ice steppe! For the wolves will follow him, steadfastly and indefatigably, and should they trot for days and nights, hundreds of miles. Nowhere is there any open water that could hide the tracks of the fleeing pack! Waauu - huuh! Wuuh - aoaah! Do you hear the others over there on the black rock? Only fresh snow can save the pack or a storm wind that turns the bottom to the top!

When the ice steppe awakens

Winter turn! The northern lights had become increasingly rare in the last few weeks. Now the time of the great dawn has come, the mighty divide between the noon moon and the midnight sun. This serious, impressive northern red is not like the fleeting mood play of southern countries. Only the alpenglow could be compared to it, which, if only for a sublime solemn hour, digs its way deep into the dark night sky in the passionate blaze of flames of the far. But here in the north, like there, heavy inks are not juxtaposed. The bubbling embers melt in the cool pallor of the yellow-green sky in delicate, finest transitions. Like a warning to victorious pride in life, this ray song of eternity proclaims the fulfillment of the divine promise of spring.

The blonde hunter peoples of the Ice Age race have long since given way to these latitudes. The pack ice lies over the land of Thule, which was once their home, or the rushing sea rolls its waves. Far, far the ancient peoples have wandered, some to the inhospitable borders of hot countries, in which their tanned bodies now languish like their souls. But just as in the depths of the shell a longing for the sea home still sounds, so in the legends of all Thule peoples lives the indestructible childhood memory of Aryan mankind of the thirty-day dawn that followed the long winter distress full of gloomy anxiety: Hels long winter night and the The midnight sun were characteristics that made these times hard to remember. The Indian Veda cheerfully praises the dawn even in a land of eternal equinoxes, which the daylight brings about in hasty indifference without solemnity for brown people who, for their part, can no longer blush like their blond ancestors once did. The hunter peoples followed the savages of the old country of Thule, which had to give way to the south when the ice was frozen or, like the mammoth, left its bones and teeth on the icing moss steppe, where a gravel cover washed over them protected and hid them. But part of the ancient flora has remained that was able to adapt to the northern climate. In the middle of the ice moss sprout flat thyme and wormwood, snow primroses and ranunculus, a pale rose blooms, and the forget-me-not speaks of eternal love in the land of the damned among Tungus, Tschuwanzen, Jukahiren and Chukchi! None of these plants can reproduce with seeds because the early winter does not allow the fruit to ripen. But in the desperate struggle for existence these remnants of a milder time have submitted to the inexorable fate and live their dream of blossoming in autumn, which the hard spring has denied them. As in the tropics, there is no spring here at all, only winter and summer. Because the sun, which barely rises above the globe for an hour at noon in April, cannot banish night frosts of 30 degrees. But when the daytime stars dominate in May, the bushes of creeping willows, dwarf birches and larches are green. And as if by magic, plant life is awakened from its hibernation. Then a yellow or pale red flower rises at every exposed point, dares to open its calyx and blooms on it, in order to draw as much as possible of the light of the sun.

Other creatures rightly sing in billions of fine voices, exulting from the spring of the moss-steppe: the mosquitoes! As soon as the sun appears in March or April for fleeting midday visits, they stand in black columns above all areas of the moss steppe, protected from rough winds, on all the edges of the forest and bushes. There is then no other remedy for the natives against their clouds, which darken the air, than the thick, bitter smoke from fallen leaves, moss and damp wood. Under his protection, the grazing horses gather on the Yakut tundra, the herd of the tame Samoyed and Tungus reindeer encamp and the Eskimo's sled dogs find peace on the great fish river and the children of the rabbit Indian on Mackenzie and Great Bear Lakes from the bloodthirsty tormentors.

On the other hand, it is precisely these evil nuisances that lure spring to the ice moss steppe. If not that of plant life, then that of the feathered singers. Without the mosquitoes, mayflies, hair-winged birds, springtails, bumblebees, parasitic wasps and their brood, the birds would be just as unable to survive as the numerous fish in the streams.

In the Mackenzie river basin there is another lure for those who have moved away in autumn, which calls them back to their summer homeland northwards. In the south, the sun broke the ice band of the roaring river early on. Now the river goes down to the valley full to the brim with the breaking and crashing clods. Soon, however, the ice piles up to form a wall and weir and damming the water tremendously until the wall gives way to the rising pressure and the freed stream now thunders on with doubled fury, the ice cover in front of it breaks, but finally again and again resistance finds. This gigantic, gigantic battle is continued in repeated battles until in the flatter north, which still rests in solid winter bands, the whole flood comes to a standstill and pours slowly over the lowlands. Wailing and wailing, the neighboring residents see their houses and belongings sinking into the quiet but unstoppable tide, until this dam also breaks and the rushing water gurgles and rattles away from the fields covered with ice floes and snow mud, which in their cracks and scrapes from the tell the regular recurrence of these spring battles.

"Wat den eenen sin Uhl is, is den annern sin nightingale!" Goack, gock, gaaock! exclaims the old snow goose, who at the head of her flight heads towards this sweet Wadden Sea with comforting pleasure on a bright full moon night. She couldn't have wished for a more beautiful return from the swamps in the warm country beyond the high mountains. Now she has peace and quiet for an unpredictable distance, at least from the four-legged troublemakers. And how beautiful it is for the goose to nest and moult for the ganter! Goack, gaaack, gaaodt; it is good to be here.

Kaaak, paaak, paaak, kaaak! The canvas and harlequin ducks, the golden-eyed ducks, ring-necked ducks and long-necked ducks and others of their branched clan, the railings and snipes, sandpipers and plovers are of the same opinion. With flapping wings, the whooper swans strive back to their breeding sites in the reed beds of the Great Bear Lake, and night after night bright cries in high air announce the return of the Trumpeter Swans. At every step the "Barren Grounds" show again in the cracks of the golden eagle and the smoky footbuzzard, how the hair of the collar lemmings in the vault of the snowy owl, whose cities in the rock and in the peat edges of the undulating moss steppe are now populating again. The Renmoos converts their fertility into nutritious food for the kings and princes of the air and the shrub knights from the Krüppelbusche. The ice aficionado must not worry about food for their rear end, and the wolverine - well, they never like the disgusting clan with their stench of rancid urine released in their fear of death! He really has better things to do now. With funny arcs and somersaults, he rolls over the snow towards the Jägerschlucht, where he climbs with difficulty onto a low boulder and, nestled against the stone, lurks.

He doesn't have to wait too long: the Renes are on the move. Already at the end of March, after having thrown off their antlers shortly before, the animals left the beech forests in order to move over the wide moss steppes to the large lakes, even to the islands on the bay-rich Arctic Ocean, where they want to put their calves. There on the stony high fields you will find peace from bloodthirsty mosquitoes and cheeky rabble. In last year's grass, dried by the north wind, you will find tasty hay, which, in addition to the lichen that grows in all drying areas, offers a welcome grazing until the May sun lures out the foliage of the dwarf birch trees and the herbs of the alpine plants. The deer don't follow the animals until one to two weeks later, and the stragglers are still on the march.

Your path leads over barren rocky plains and over ice sheets of moaning lakes, through deep, chapped gaps in which the spring water thunders down, over spongy moss and through sparse, leaf-free forests. Clouds of mist and thick snowstorms obscure their path. But straight ahead, like the honey-laden bee flies to its tree, the reindeer path goes along; mostly the same year in and year out, people and predatory game well known. Only the fords in which they cross the raging brooks and rivers do they change almost every time; for they know well that the greatest danger threatens them there. You can only land where the far bank has a flat bank; therefore they often plunge violently from this world into the deep stream, which they swim through powerfully.

At such fords the Indians lie in wait for them in the autumn. But now that their skin, pierced by grubs, is worthless and their venison is inedible, let them roam freely. Nevertheless, they like to choose night or foggy days to switch between the worst fords. Nothing can then be seen in the narrow valley except here and there, at most, a single protruding rock spur. Nothing can be heard but the rustling and roaring of the waterfalls falling from all sides, which often hurl large pieces of rock with them, and the howling of the storm between the canyon walls.

But one of them can hear the patter of the approaching Rener through all the uproar of this roaring wilderness in the far distance. The short, straight-haired tail twitches softly. The pack is already approaching. The lead deer secures for a moment; then he throws himself into the wild vortex. Him after the second and third. When the fifth and sixth follow, they believe they have heard the brief gurgling cry of a companion. But they cannot look around; they have to go through this roaring water, over smooth round blocks, until the soft gravel crunches under their crackling runs. The following are horrified to smell the sweat of their brother, who is rustling under the wolverine's gnawing bites. But they too must go through and follow the others, forwards, forwards, away from this wilderness of night and fog! Below, far out, lies the bare, widely overlooked high steppe. But at every obstacle that they still have to take to get there, the fang eats one of their companions. Wolves break into their ranks on the river of gold; As they traverse the sparse birch forest, a lynx tears a strong stag, and the lead deer struggles to escape the crony of the cheeky robber, who ultimately falls victim to a straggler. The next day the lead deer and three pieces that follow him get into a pit, where a bear finds him and tears him apart. Scattered and leaderless, the pack joins another who moves up behind him and finally, after further accidents and losses, reaches the longed-for summer grazing sites on the "Barren Grounds", heavily cleared.

Nowhere peace!

The midnight sun! When it sinks coldly to the edge of the sky, the light does not rest, but the earth falls asleep tired. For a few short hours. Then snow bunting and alpine lark greet the new day with thin twittering and tireling, and the birds rise from the moor banks and lakes in a wild bubbling. Screeching seagulls hunt up, and drakes, swans and ganders run chattering and flapping their wings over the water, from which they are now unable to rise at the moulting time. Not long before a deep tiredness drifts over the leaden ice bog; the sun ball means it all too well. It heats up to 18 degrees at midday. Then gander and swans crouch with their heads hidden under their wings on one leg in a damp place that does not provide any shade, but provides a cooling breath of air.

This is the time when the Chippeways and Rabbit Indians celebrate their great goose battles. Armed with clubs, women and children then rush over, drive the moulting dogs down from the bare with their pointed dogs, and then kill them with a club blow. Since the wild game cannot escape now, it tries to hide or plays dead by stretching its neck and legs rigidly from itself and lying there as if slain. But that doesn't help him. What the dogs do not strangle, the club hits. Because the Indian thinks: double blows don't hurt. In this mass murder, the children precede the elderly in agility; the heavily loaded horses are hardly able to carry the burden of the prey. But what does this number mean compared to the one who is now devouring the predatory game? No matter: when evening approaches, the boiling, chattering, paaken and gaaken rise again outside on the lakes, as if nothing had happened. In the wigwam, however, the squaws prepare the breast meat of the swans for drying without taking the stub pipe out of their wide mouth with acrid willow rotten wood - as some of these royal birds like the flashing waters of the moss steppe as their home and home Greeted youth country with a happy "Klong, klong!" Up here, more than anywhere else, the eternal struggle between creation and annihilation prevails. What the sun makes to bloom during the day, the frost destroys that same night. Those who carried messages to the far south with a rustling swing of their wings of the bird paradise of the north, they now lie like clumsy toads beaten to death with clubs. - -

Outside, far out on the bare steppe, the packs of Renes have now pulled apart. The old animals have put their neat little calves there. None of the animals has more than one calf. This is carefully guarded and, when it sucks, licks. The old animal now only walks with a strong deer, while the cricket and young deer stick together in small packs. The winter coat had long since become shaggy and in this condition resembled the dark rocky ground or moors covered with melt snow. Now, at the beginning of July, the last winter color is falling, the new hair is soft and supple and will only become taut again when autumn approaches. It is darker and resembles the summer surroundings in its reddish gray-brown. Only when the awns increase in thickness do they no longer lie smoothly, but stand tightly against the skin and then repel the dark hair tips. The white of the blanket then resembles the snow and ice against whose influence its six centimeter thick hair armor protects the reindeer in winter.

During the calf season, the reindeer not only eats moss and lichen, but mainly the juicy leaves of the dwarf birch, creeping willow, snow anunculus, fescue, buttercups, reindeer campers and other plants of this far north that produce good milk. In the early morning hours and cool evening hours, it is mainly about the grazing.At night there is a slight half-sleep in which it never completely loses its attention to possible danger, likewise it rests at noon, namely to compensate for the annoying summer warmth, on ice rinks or in shallow water banks.

At this time the deer leave their animals, even though they are in need of their protection right now, and stroll around in the company of other deer until the rutting season divides them into discord and anger. In the meantime none of them are too far apart, even in summer, so that the vast pastures often appear to be "covered" by a single "herd" grazing in a scattered manner.

As soon as the calf can stand firmly on its legs, it will prefer to follow its mother into clear lakes and streams and will soon become a passionate swimmer. It is precisely this that is often enough to ruin him. The wolverine is waiting for him on the bank, cleaning up the calves devastatingly at this time and reducing the already weak increase in herds even more. His Wolverene now also has two or three young Eternal Eaters to feed, and the old people are therefore even more cheeky and greedy than usual. The old woman drags the rest of her prey to the youngsters in the burrow, at whose entrance she furiously cuts off the wolverine . Because she is a good mother and does not trust him across the board. The young have only just started to see and - wolverine remains wolverine! - -

August brings a long-awaited festival in the Indian camp. For eight days, the women have been renewing the weather-damaged obstacles on a well-known reindeer change, which lead like the wings of a fishing net through a narrow gate into a circular room, which is also enclosed with wickerwork. Slowly and carefully, the reindeer are now driven towards this catch under the guidance of experienced men. The kettle draws ever closer together, but the driver line precedes silently and as invisibly as possible. Every cover is used; it is enough that the wind gives the savage the scent of the red skins. At first the encircled hesitate, but soon they try to break out there or there. Then the Indian, hidden behind a boulder, lets them come very close and only jumps up shortly before them, whereupon they rebound in wild confusion, and finally stop at a loss in the middle of the cauldron, which is tightening around them, but also more and more invisibly. The women and children scurry from stone to stone like snakes in the grass, using every little cover. The lead deer is cautiously drawn forward and trolls down the wing hurdle at short intervals. In front of him the open door, behind which no obstacle can be seen, because the rear escape fence is covered by high stone blocks. The deer finally decides to switch to this only remaining gap and trustingly the next animals follow him. Then the drivers advance, push everything that has antlers into the hurdle, and the hideous slaughter begins. Hidden behind the wattle of the fence, the hunters throw spears into the side of the nearest deer and animals and drive the reindeer into the greatest fear and dismay. In their confusion, the deer get caught in their antlers, and the animals run up and down helplessly, the yummy stretched out from the rattling glasses. Then finally the most skilled hunters break in over the fence and complete the bloody slaughter with ax and spear.

The hunted pieces are then folded up and the women crouch down by them, caressing the dead and begging for forgiveness.

If this hunt is canceled, your comfort in the next winter depends mainly on it. Because as soon as the reindeer's antlers are ripe and streaked and in September when the rutting season approaches, the large packs pull together again, it is difficult to drive the reindeer into hurdles. In addition, the venison of the deer already has the sharp goat taste. And, what remains the main thing for the Indians, the skin of the calves has already exchanged its delicate, soft and smooth hair for the tight winter hair, which is far less useful for clothes.

The deer 's neck, called "dépouilleé" by the Canadians, is best before the rutting season. It then has a pale red color and a delicate aroma as it spoils during the rut. The animals are less fat at this time, in August, especially when they are leading calves; Their game is then very unsavory and not very popular.

As soon as the women are allowed to approach, they carefully suck the sweat from the fresh wounds of the hunted game. The most delicious refreshment, however, remains the marrow of the running bones. These are opened by the majority of the hunted pieces as soon as they are brought down. And men, women and children sip this still warm delicacy with delight. The game is set off at home in the camp so that not a drop of the delicious content is lost. There, the sweat that is caught is whisked into a pulp with fish meal. Part of the meat is melted over fire and kneaded with chopped venison to form "pemmican", then dried and frozen. "Ssuihawgan" is made from minced venison and dried fish roe. The tenderest parts of the back and the shortcrust meat, however, are freshly roasted on a skewer and eaten immediately. Especially valued as dessert are the still soft tips of the cob antlers, the thin walls of the abomasum and the contents of herbs and lichens that are found in the stomach and, mixed with the gastric juices, are considered the finest of all rare dishes.

If all of this brings work in abundance for women, it is also in store for men. The hides have to be tanned, partly on both sides and partly only on the inside. For this purpose, they are first freed from the thin membranes with the sharpness of the split bone of a reindeer shin and then rubbed with the brain of the game until they are soft and durable. They are then cooked completely over a smoke fire made from damp willow wood and then colored red-brown with bark juice. They can then get wet without breaking when they dry out - which one certainly cannot say about leather from some factories. But all of this has to be done. So it will be a matter of moving all hands in the next few days. Men and women alike now do their work in silence and with dignity. The prey is placed on the loops that form the wagon: two long, thin, elastic birch poles, which run at an acute angle at the front and rest there with their ends on the saddle of the horse, while the splayed rear ends drag on the ground. In the middle, these bars are connected by three crossbars, on which the game is now attached. Then it goes in a long line to one in a silent march towards the red man's camp.

Wherever this train goes, where it leaves its broad trail of sweat, the greedy wolverine follows it in arcs and somersaults, and the reindeer drift apart. They stare in horror from afar, from the height of a rocky hill, after the worst of all predators, whose fang is more dangerous than all wolves, lynxes and wolverines put together.

And what about the person himself? Like the reindeer and elk of his hunting grounds, the Indian disappears from the soil of his homeland. The six great nations that ruled the country in ancient times have been destroyed or scattered to the winds because they warred, slaughtered and scalped each other in incessant feuds.

What if the great hunt fails? What if the reindeer break out and immediately wander far and wide? When fishing fails? When all food runs out and the whole tribe, warriors, women and children starve and starve? When the last emaciated dog has been slaughtered and there is no prospect or hope of finding prey in the vast wasteland of the icy moss steppe?

Then this poor people, already decrepit in the far north due to the dwindling wild life, proves that they still have the highest of all virtues of their fathers: to be able to die with calm equanimity in quiet grandeur. Then men, women and children wrap themselves in their brightly colored holiday clothes made of reindeer calfskin and wait earnestly and in silence for death, which will lead them over to Manitus' eternal and inexhaustible hunting grounds.

During the rutting season

Indian summer! With a cool freshness it disguises the great dying of the golden-colored forest. In a roaring spray, the Peace River rushes between narrow gorge walls and dark fir slopes over wild rock on the eastern slope of the rocky mountains to the opening of the valley, where countless streams join it, which spring from narrow rock crevices or small bogs made of dark fir trees.

The mountain sheep stands on the peaks and ridges of the steep mountains, which cut into the metallic blue of the sky in fine lines, and the beaver swims in the clear streams. The black and grizzly bears now have plenty of food from the salmon dying in the river, and the raccoon searches the wild apple trees for ripe fruit in open spots to the south.

Here above the secretly rustling fir forests is the border where elk and wood reindeer sometimes meet. Through the tangle of fallen and rotting trunks, the plaintive cry of the giant among the deer now booms on clear September evenings. And on the wet and scabrous bog, the edge of a clear and deep little lake is clouded every morning by the fresh traces of a pack of reindeer that has stood here all night and drifted around in circles by the deer. Sometimes the strong fifty-man announces with a short, rough scream in the early morning. The sound, standing between grunts and barks, crosses over to the moose's wedding fights. Angrily he sharpened the already swept antlers on a damp stone, then he raised his richly crowned head, leaned the antlers on the back of his neck, stretched out his shaggy-maned white neck and shouted again in briefly broken tails at a rival who stood up to the strong one Pack approaches. The approaching opponent is not much smaller; but its antlers are not yet finished. The bast still hangs down from the ends of the crown like gray knots. But defiantly he attacks, and the antlers clash against each other. They push and wrestle, move apart and back together again without one being tired. Snorting angrily, the top dog rises to hit the opponent with the bowls; but just as violently the latter pays back the blows. Then they wrestle again with the clattering antlers until they are fought. Only after a long and tiring struggle do they get away from each other and then stand incapacitated, with a hanging treat, facing each other. In the meantime, a small stag, whom the site master had always scornfully kept away, has come up to the pack and drives a severed monster around impetuously. When he finally brought it to a standstill and licked it tenderly, the top dog, who had been watching him for a long time and only drew his breath and gathered fresh energy, angrily ran at him and got him going. Then he returns to the monster, caresses it, licking it, stretches his neck and scab, blows his nostrils and lips, closes them again, and in the process lets out his grunting quills. Then he bends down in his back cuffs, sits up and then quickly sniffs the shoe with a sneeze.

The same process takes place a hundred paces further, where the rival of the top dog has joined a friendly animal.

Suddenly the warning call of an old animal resounds, and in quick leaps the whole pack chases away over the splashing moor into the protective fir thicket.

When they have disappeared, a hunter appears behind a high stone in a brown, loose and slightly falling jacket. He looks carefully at the trampled battlefield and the wide trail that the pack has left behind in the snow. Then he checks the wind and looks at the position of the sun. There is no point in trying to find the trail in this tangle of cracks and snow-covered trunks. It is far better to pear down the slope in the afternoon when the wind is blowing uphill. Perhaps that in the evening the stag will report again or that the patter of the pack will be audible.

In the meantime the hunter is crouching a few thousand paces further behind a fallen giant tree on a cushion of moss that is a little drier than the others around, and waits to hear the ringing of the barking of the reindeer alternating or perhaps a furtive trencher of a moose. Meanwhile he quietly lights his pipe. Why not? After all, it keeps the mosquitos off a little and tells him at every moment how the flickering wind is now. Superstition that you shouldn't smoke on the seat! Before the game distinguishes smoke as tobacco smoke, it will certainly smell the fore at the same distance his fine nose unbearable predatory stench of humans themselves. Nothing can weather that, but at best mellow windfall from the wild apple trees and - the rutting smell of a reindeer deer.

The prospect of getting a shot at a good reindeer at such a location is slim. But many a petz just strolling by shot at such an opportunity, and many hours of happy forest solitude filled hunters' hearts and lifted them up. How could it be otherwise here, where from every height there is a distant view of wide green moss mats, rugged gorges and wild, rugged rocky mountains, often covered with soft snow? At the feet of the hunter the silver ribbons of the lakes, the roaring brooks, the rushing forest and in this divine solitude a wealth of wonderful game! Anyone who wants to understand the serious, reserved, pensive and melancholy manner of the ancient Indian peoples only needs to hunt in these mountains. But he will also understand the sudden approach of the red man here!

Listen! Over on the other side of the hill, covering the boggy ground, a soft, unmistakable noise. A reindeer, slowly changing through the forest, pulls the broad bowls of watery peat, chatting; there are probably two or more. And there, listen, a short rattle - the whole pack continues uphill there. The smoke of the pipe drifts over the hunter's right shoulder: onward, then, what the bones can twist! The soft rubber soles of the Birsch shoes are good in this stony mire; and if they go to hell in the wild hunt over hill and dale, what does it matter? Just forward, fast and yet carefully approach. Down into the stream of the side valley; its noise is just right! Beyond the ridge over the main stream, up the mountain. But be careful and quiet up there!

Nothing to see; the whole valley appears empty! Nothing to be heard but the bright call of small brown cranes, which migrate in the far distance to the warmer swamps south. All senses are tense. The hunter starts slightly when not far from him a gray squirrel cackles up the tree. Then, pressed against the trunk of an old spruce, he turns back to the valley with a smile. He calmly keeps an eye on every tree, every stone on the other side of the hill. Now finally: over there something was stirring on the cloudy snow. No doubt: it is the pack! The wind pulls up the stream. From the trunk of the single old fir tree down there on the right, the shot could succeed if the deer were released! The hunter cautiously creeps back and then, using trunk after trunk as cover, down. Now head straight for the well-covering fir tree! But over there is nothing more to be seen than the mirror of an animal disappearing over the ridge. Beyond the intersection, the ground is boggy, the forest low and sparse. Lots of logs and branches will lie in the thin cripple poles - no matter how much, go forward! Across the stream, slowly up the mountain: up there the wind flickers a little, but it doesn't pull over the ridge. When the hunter carefully looks over, the whole pack lies in front of him in the poles and chews again. Gulp down, huff up! The old stag has just picked up a clump of moss. Now he lifts his neck. A whistle from the hunter; the stag gets high. There he has the ball, and the pack flees in hasty leaps over the humped moor and fallen wood.

The next day the forty-two-man, chopped off by the top dog yesterday, stands with the pack and whets the last bits of bast from his antlers in fine brook gravel and snow-covered moss. He's finally got it shiny and smooth. Then he winds up the tree and lets out a short scream. Now is he Herr vom Platz.

His days will soon be numbered too! Over there, in British Columbia, not far from Stewart, gold has been found, and the feverish hunt for the red ore of the quartz reefs, which stretch for miles with rich gold veins, lures wild people into the country. As up on Klondyke and in Dawson City, Satan's litter box will cause a hell of a spectacle here too.Soon the pounding machines will roar, and the gold-digging towns will be teeming with adventurers of all colors, with honest and dishonest fortune-hunters, with outlets with the usual border trades: shiny buttons and cheap jewelry for Indians, flashing revolvers, rifles and loads for them the heroes of the camp.

And soon the copper-colored lads in lederhosen and bead-embroidered moccasins, who are now wearing an old top hat on their shiny black braids as a single symbol of civilization, will get to know the latest improvements and let them speak. And what they spare, the army of cowboys pouring in from the Alberta cattle districts will collapse to deliver the venison to the gold rush camps. In Alaska, before the gold diggers immigrated, there were strong packs of reners all along the coast of the Bering Sea. Today the remnants are back to twenty, twenty-five geographic miles. On the Kenai Peninsula, white and colored commercial hunters have almost wiped out the once so numerous populations and the international crowd of "sportsmen" who flood the famous hunting grounds in increasing numbers every year would devour the rest of the stately game if the legislation did not prevent this would have provided their protection.

Hopefully British Columbia and the provinces east of the Rocky Mountains will ensure adequate wildlife protection is carried out with the same determination as Alaska did when it recognized - late, but not too late - the impending danger of its wildlife being extinct!

At Athabaska

Earlier than usual, the frost put an end to the steamers' traffic on the lake and the lower reaches of the rivers, and the vast country, which was still untouched by the "white conquest," as the Yankees call the immigration of whites, nestles now again in the arms of the strong white conqueror, who silently envelops it in ice and snow. The moor steppe-Renes do not fear him. Their rutting season is not over yet, and the first cold does not drive them straight into their winter stalls. You are now in the best of health and very happy that the frost has finally freed you of mosquitoes and black flies. Every day they now receive influx of packs that are slowly returning from the coast in the far north, where the animals have put their calves. The deer of some of these packs had not followed their animals to the sea at all, but only now meet with them again on their return on the great stony moors that stretch for thousands of miles east of the great prairie and north of the Peace River and Lake Athaba . In particular, the part between the small slave lake and the Athabaska is now a real rendezvous for the Renes.

On the banks of the small rivulets that arise from these undulating moors, Master Biber plays the dike captain and still delivers his precious fur to the Chippeways, which in bartering at the Hudson Bay factories is a coin unit, although the beaver is already being exterminated here going towards. The redskins have long since bought good Remingtons and Winchester multi-loaders for this value knife from the surreptitious dealers, with which they track the reners by name. - - -

In sullen silence the old Indian rises from his bed of dry moss behind the black stone, where he had waited two hours for Rener to change. The wind has changed and is blowing his neck with unequivocal sharpness. The old man climbs to the next hill and looks around. He ducks quickly; because he saw Rener over there. He sneaks up in a curve to get under the wind. But from the last large stone that he can reach as cover, it is still far too far to shoot. No matter, it doesn't do any harm during this time! The Indian understands the reputation. He clenches his cupped hands into a shell and barks into it in deceptive imitation of the short, rough scream of a reindeer. Immediately life comes to those over there. They stare curiously into the area from which the scream came. Then they all, probably a dozen or more, move towards the strange-looking place. Annoying not being able to perceive anything there, they try to catch the wind, but come closer and closer to the black star. There: a light steam rises, a sharp bang can be heard across the moor, and before the dismayed riders jumping back and forth know what has happened, the second piece is already lying next to the lead deer, which has become so strangely quiet. Another bang, a third piece folds the frond, sways and collapses. Only now does the pack roll away fearfully, stopping every few hundred passages and looking at the dead companions.

Only when the Indian gets up and sneaks up to the fallen does a terrible horror seize the survivors; and in wild escapes they sit over stones and moss until they have put miles between themselves and their enemy.

The old Indian is dragging the three pieces together. He lightly throws one on his shoulder and carries it over to the main stag and then fetches the third one. The reindeer of the "Barren Grounds" almost reaches the weight of the forest reindeer in the mountains, whose stags in their good times weigh 200, even 250 kilograms.

It doesn't matter, the horses will have enough to carry or to drag on the loop called "travaille". Because the ground is hunched as hell out here, and the wide hooves of the reindeer are necessary to be able to roll over it!

In Newfoundland

Outside, over the rugged fjords and over the banks, whose abundance of fish is Newfoundland's only source of food besides the seal hatch, the notorious fog created by the clash of the icy polar drifts with the hot Gulf Stream still lies. But the prevailing westerly wind drives these steaming mist, which create the horror of the seafarers, over the herring pond and thus makes the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland happy to the point of whimsy. Inland, however, unless the south-west to south-west brings rain of the worst kind, the old sailor's phrase applies: "The land eats the fog."

It eats him and laughs at it. Outside, over the fjord, the a thousand damned gray clouds boil and billow; But over the broad green-red rock masses of the plateau in the interior, from which individual chains and pinnacles rise bare and lonely, lies the bright sunshine of the Indian summer. And the Indians enjoyed this late summer for two centuries all the more uninhibitedly as they, of their hundred or so, owned the whole interior of the wild and fur-rich island, while the poor fishing people on the coasts led an existence deep below Dog and monkey stood. The immeasurable wealth of game on the island only served the needs of these, incidentally, needless and very decent redskins from the Mik-Mak tribe, who immigrated from New Scotland and killed Schawnaditith, the last survivors of the old Bethuks, the extinct indigenous population of this country. They well knew why they were doing this. For every fruit from the bosom of these last of their tribe would have turned against the people of the Father in endless, vengeful hatred. It was better that way: Schawnaditith died and the Mik-Maks ruled alone over Newfoundland's forests with their innumerable herds of reindeer, their abundance of fur of bears, wolves, beavers, otters, silver and black fox, ermine, mink and muskrat, with theirs immeasurable abundance of game birds and fish.

Never a mighty tribe has lived such a splendid hunter's life as these hundred redskins who had undisputedly acquired the right to the interior of all of Newfoundland, which is far larger than Ireland, which is suffocating in its population. They looked down with contempt at the sons of St. Patrick's and at the Canadians who lived in St. Jones and in the other coastal towns from the catching and drying of the stinky stockfish and from the smell of the even more disgusting stinking "white-skinned" young seals, and who nonetheless lived on Wintertime suffered miserably from hunger. At that time, thousands upon thousands of reindeer wandered around, often crossing over ice to the mainland in winter. Their regular migrations, southwards at the onset of the rough season and northwards in May, gave the Indians a welcome opportunity for rich prey. But it speaks for these redskins that the Newfoundland caribou had remained the most familiar of all the wild reindeer in the world. This trust was ruined when at the turn of the last century a railway was built from St. John to Port aux Basques to develop the country. She has the land Not opened up. St. Jones has remained the indescribable Tranloch that it was, and the coastal population still sees, to the disaster, fishing for cod and sealing as their only occupation. The rail line, however, has disastrously narrowed the Renern's hikes and urged them to make certain forced changes, where they would have long since been shot if they weren't allowed a legal grace period for the main hiking season from October 1st to October 20th. In addition, the shooting is limited by law. The third class hunting license, which is usually obtained, permits the shooting of five deer and two animals for a fee of 320 marks.

The twenty-day closed season is all the more valuable as the rut takes place in October, during which the deer are senselessly inattentive and the effortless prey of every little son, allowing Papa's means to travel to Newfoundland and line up at the railroad crossing. - -

What can the poor stag of Newfoundland do with this "opening up" of his lonely homeland? If he's smart, he'll give up walking beyond the railroad. Unfortunately, the old memories of the rutting season pull him south. Shrewd "still hunters" therefore prefer to lurk in the south before the first and after the twentieth October. Perhaps the game will become wise through damage and will stay in the north in the seclusion of its "Barren Grounds"!

Hunters now and then follow him there; but they are of a different kind than the butchers and flayers in the south. Every day of the hunt becomes an inner experience for them, and with a light heart they forego all number peaks, happy when they can listen to the rustling of the forests and mountain water on an icy northern night, the glistening stars of the Lord God and in their hearts the safe guiding star of real hunter's sense, the one in creatures honors its creator!

One of these guilds doesn't wield a weapon at all on this hunt. His rifle is this Photo cameraand his agreement hurts no savage. Behind an umbrella made of fir trees, he waits for his game at the change. Sometimes, of course, he also shoots past, e.g. B. when a branch comes between the lens and his game just at the moment of snapping. In general, it is much easier to hit a hundred paces with a rifle than with a camera! The greater the joy when a proud stag is caught on the plate in the midst of pulsating life! Can the most splendid main adornment of a reindeer deer, but defenseless towards the hunter, even remotely outweigh the satisfaction that an image gives this game in the midst of its lonely home and in all the glory of its wild freedom?


Between the lower reaches of the Indigirka and the Kolyma, the deserted, stony Siberian moss-steppe stretches like an immense cemetery with all the horrors of cold and hunger. Ice-covered rocks delimit the blue-gray circle of the sky. The bones of the lost animal world of prehistoric times rise up from the ground of the gruesome wasteland: mammoth bones and the remains of the tufted-haired rhinoceros. This gigantic grave has also found its hyenas, who crawl shyly and starved out of miserable caves and scrape at the bones: Yakuhiren, encouraged by the clever traders in Srjedne-Kolymsk and Yakutsk, dug for the precious ivory, and show it now here, now there left splinters that they saw off the damaged edges of the mammoth teeth that were found. Large burial mounds also tower up. Formerly, before the Russians came across the Lena for the wealth of fur in this lonely region, the numerous tribes of the Omoki lived here, who built these hills for their dead. Like the Chukchi, they owned large herds of reindeer and lived in solid log houses, from which they followed their animals across the wide tundra, wandering and grazing.

In the fighting with the Russians, the reindeer herds and the Omoki were wiped out, and the Chukchi withdrew with the scanty remains of their herds to the northeastern tip of Asia, where they pitched their seal and walrus-skinned tents between the Tschaun River and the Vankarem in which an inner chamber has been made out of thick reindeer skins, in which they walk naked even in the harshest winter.

The abundance of fur at the drains of the Stanowai Mountains was soon greatly diminished, if not entirely exhausted, by the ruthless exploitation. The bear and the sable, the fox and sometimes the snow tiger still dwell in the forests and ravines, and through the tundra wolves and stone foxes follow the immense flights of swans and geese that lie there on blanks and bog ponds. Ptarmigan and woodcock breed here, followed by the royal eagle, like the snowy owl and the skua.

The houses of the small population who have remained on the lower reaches of the rivers indicate the type of trade that this environment creates by itself: fishing and hunting. Everywhere next to the house, and especially on the flat roof covered with lawn, there are high racks for drying nets and wild skins, inaccessible to fox and wolverine. The clothes also clearly show what people are doing. The soft blanket of the reindeer calf provides them with the material for the "shirt," which is worn with the hair side in and is open at the front. The outside is tanned red with alder bark. The hems are trimmed with beaver fur and otter fur. The trousers of men and women, which come down to the ankles, are also made of Renhaut. The outer garment is made of strong, tanned reindeer leather, closed at the front and back and has a snow hood. The shoes made of black buckskin or horse leather are sewn to shafts made of rough reindeer skin and are tied crosswise to the trousers with straps. A weathercoat made of double reindeer fur with a similar hood and mittens is worn over this leisure suit for going out. In addition, stockings made of reindeer calfskin and large boots that defy the worst of the cold.

But all these glories and other things that delight the heart of a Yakuhir, such as tobacco and shiny knives, can only be obtained if the hunt is good and the fishing is worthwhile. With innumerable traps he chases the foxes and sables and with poison the squirrels, but sometimes the yield is already quite low. He is reluctant to tie up with the bear. For even if an intrepid man may have succeeded in stealing a good bear blanket two or three times, the fourth Mishka has certainly given him a lesson that he will never forget if he has not lost his mind forever. The sale of bear camps has not yet become commonplace here, as the well-paying Schwermer from Moscow and Berlin are still missing. The hunt for Argali sheep in the rocky mountains is more attractive than rewarding. And the population of moose is already declining here, far from all the big city shooters. After all, bad weapons are also the dredge's death.

The streams are still rich in salmon, herring, trout, and other fish rising from the sea; but often the Jakuhiren do not even have nets, but try to eke out their lives by setting up fish traps, into which fish can only enter when the weather and winds are favorable.

So their main source of food remains reindeer hunting. They operate this with disastrous success when the Narst, the crusty snow, forms in the spring; because every pack they find is handed down to them down to the last piece. Countless Rener victims also fall victim to the autumn hikes. Partly in loops and pitfalls, but especially at the fords. But the times are over when these trains had thousands of reners in packs of 200 to 300 pieces moving across the tundra in widths of 50 to 100 werst. The increase in reindeer is too small to be able to replace the continued ruthless extermination by offspring.

In the north of European Russia, thanks to this constant persecution, the wonderful game soon became a rarity. On the Onego, where it stood a few years ago, it has been destroyed. In Siberia, too, the end is dawning.In the Tobolsk region, packs of 20 were already considered strong in 1913, and east of the Lena and Indigirka, the reindeer still lived in good numbers, but thanks to the continued persecution they had become restless and unpredictable.

This prompted the government of the time to urge the Syrians, Samoyeds and Yakuts to reintroduce the breeding of tame Renes. But the coastal population has not yet been able to be educated in this wholesome way of farming. She relies on fishing and hunting. The easier-to-feed dogs are sufficient to cover her sledges.

In reality, the ineradicable tendency to hunt may also contribute to spoiling them for keeping tame herds of reindeer. Nevertheless, this insecurity of livelihood often enough leads them into bitter need, which they by no means know how to defy with the quiet equanimity of the Indians. - -

At all fords and observation posts, men and women longingly await the great autumn procession. Finally, on September 10th, the news came that a large train from the tundra was approaching a seldom used ford on the Berezova. A heavy autumn fog lays over the stony bank. Within a few hours it is teeming with Yakuhiren who hope that a productive hunt will end their hunger and all misery. Everything is kept ready to receive the train of the Rener successfully: boats and spears. But when the first pack trudges up, the lead animal pauses. Here and there it hears, smells or sees one of the careless hunters who did not know how to hide. With a grunting sound of shock, it breaks back and leads its pack into the mountains in order to take another change to the south from there. The first pack is followed by the second and this is followed by the whole of the following pack.

With looks of horror and despair, the crowd of hunters and their wives, crawling out of their cover on the riverbank, stares after the packs submerged in the fog, with which you vanish all hope of satisfying the gnawing hunger and surviving the coming hardship of winter. Dull and bewildered, some stare into the empty distance; others wring their hands howling. The women screeching and pulling their hair or throwing themselves stunned in the snow. Some pray, others talk crazy.

"Be quiet!" Shouts the old Russian Serjoschka, who gazes ecstatically into the distance on a block on the bank. "God will not forsake us!" "God will help, father!" A couple of women answer him. And tall men hug each other! "God will not forsake us!"

"He will not! Other people will come, thousands, I tell you! Here's where they came in when I was young. I see them in front of me in the fog. I hear them patter. I hear them crowd. At first the old lead block did not want to go into the river. He carried his head like a maral deer, the proud one! But now he's in! Brother and sister, now it's going to be fun! They all push themselves into the river, juchhei! A hundred, a thousand, what do I know? Antlers over antlers! And now in the little barge and knocked down what the Pokoljuga wants to hold, the dear, good, short spear! Always in the thickest pile! The dead swim downstream, you get. But the best, hehe, I only wound them so they can reach the bank. They are mine! Catch them all for me! Oh, dear little god, one must be careful not to be bitten by the wild animals and not hit by the kicking ones! Watch out, brother and sister! Now you can salt and dry and smoke and freeze, juchhei! Watch out and catch them all, the mats, the terminally ill. Don't let anyone go! Always on with the Pokoljuga! Do you hear their antlers clatter? Do you see how the blood stains the water? Hey there, little brothers and sisters, now it's going to be fun! "

The old man stares into the mist, clucking and dancing, fooling him into images from days long past and sinking closer and closer. Only the outlines of the next stone blocks emerge from it and the figures of the people crouching on the ground, moaning from fear of death and agony of hunger.

In defiant anger, Etukini, a stocky Jakuhire, holds his fist in front of the madman's nose and yells at him: "Hey, you, what are you talking about? Has God still not left you? "

Others intrude on the blasphemer to calm him down. Still other, savage journeymen and desolate women, stand by this and thus only irritate the anger of the believers even more. Sticks are swung. The blood and groans of the dejected completely increase the anger of the senseless crowd. Nobody recognizes friend and foe in the fog. It is a fight like that of gigantic ghost figures. They hit each other's throats, the blows fall hail-tight. And the spears that were taken to stab the reindeer hit indiscriminately and blindly roaring men, desperate women and screaming children.

The delighted old man dances and clicks on the black stone on the bank and screams into the now senseless pile of foggy ghosts: “Now it's going to be fun! Heidioh, little brother and sister! That's right, always on with the Pokoljuga! Always having fun! «- -

Eight days later the whole company is fishing together, having fun fishing: the ice holds and the pots have been laid out. The autumn fish go upstream. The catch is good, and there is roasting and drying to leave work for a week. Humans and dogs devour each other well. And all hardship is forgotten.

Siberian reindeer breed

The hot July sun broods over the Yakut jungle and drives the thermometer, which was twenty degrees below zero in January, up to eighteen degrees at midday. In the shady valleys of the streams flowing to the Aldan and Lena rivers, the fruit-laden mountain ash stands on the edge of beautiful white birch stands, and the silver fir rises up in splendid groups next to larches, willows, dwarf cedars and aspens, whose leaves are already beginning to turn yellow. Where the dense forest allows a view, the high, wildly jagged mountains tower up, and at the end of the valleys the fertile pastures of the Yakuts stretch out, interrupted by small fields on which the wheat is cut and the summer rye ripens. In 1819 the parish clerk Andrejewitsch Bolkashin made the first attempts at cultivation on this soil, which until then was considered pure ice soil. Today grain cultivation is a source of inexhaustible blessings for the Yakutsk and Verkhoyansk districts. One grows the twentieth grain of wheat and the eightieth of millet. The only secret is to be able to plant summer rye in the last days of April and barley and wheat in the first days of May. Because the transition from spring to summer is surprisingly fast here, and as soon as the May sun warms the ground, the meadows are already shining in the most glorious green, and everywhere a splendor of numerous red lilies, asters, carnations and the mountain violet laughs, which in size and Color resembles the blue pansy. The whole country offers nutritious pastures for the persistent and fiery horses and cattle of the steppe breed as well as the imported Mongolian yack. The Yakuts also keep goats and all kinds of poultry, and reindeer breeding has been practiced for a long time. While the reindeer is extremely small on the large tundras on the Kolyma and in the Chukchi country, that of the Yakuts and Russians in the Yakutsk and Verkhoyansk districts is the heaviest and strongest migration breed. The herds are also kept in smaller packs to protect them from devastating epidemics , especially the anthrax that occurs so often. And both Russians and Yakuts provide protection against overly wild blizzards and mosquitoes by installing protective roofs and smoke points. In winter the whole herd is often driven into fences and fed there. It is not surprising that under these circumstances there are differences in color and that there are even piebald pieces. The Yakut is insightful enough to recognize the dangers that lie in this overbreeding. He therefore likes to see a wild stag occasionally in autumn join his herd animals and refresh their blood.

At night, the Yakut reindeer are guarded by children who are armed with ring rattle sticks and rattles to scare away the wolves. Apparently, this reindeer attitude is already approaching a complete acclimatization of the game as a pet. It develops into a remarkable size and weight and abundant milk supply. The Renes from the Verkhoyansk, Wiluisk and Jakutsk districts reach a height of 92 centimeters and deliver tasty venison and six centimeters high beef. With careful care, the reindeer get used to their Russian or Yakut masters, as do cows and horses. Very often the reindeer calf is allowed to take its place at the fireplace next to the riding horse. From an early age he is offered all kinds of food, he learns to feel like a member of the family and as a result sheds the stormy irritability that the Tungus reindeer so often shows. In the Olekna district this breeding is particularly beneficial in that the Russian, Yakut and Tungus owners bring their reindeer to the gold mines, where the animals haul wood and beams and bring all kinds of supplies. The Yakut's reindeer can be easily distinguished from the Tungus reindeer after its track, but the trail of the wild reindeer is even easier to distinguish from both. It is less clumsy and sloppy, but broad and round, and the fences are clearer than those of the tame Renes in the trail. -

The old Charlampij looks after his summer jarte, the lightly built reindeer sledge with high, snowshoe-like runners. Then he takes a noose to catch two dear reindeer. But first he goes to a hill, carefully looks around anxiously to make sure nobody sees him, and then - now the Yakut has a moment in the early morning when he wants to be alone with his lust and torment! But no sooner did Charlampij feel some relief with a groan than his dear Rener rushes over in a wild hurry and a forest of threatening clattering antlers drove him in high escapes from his quiet tranquility. Laughing, the old man buckles his waist strap and throws the noose over the antlers of the intrusive troublemaker who is just licking up the last remnant of the morning gift. Not as a punishment, but because the three-year-old stag is the best runner. He does his 15 to 20 wererst an hour in front of the sledge. But you have to be careful because he eats everything: fish and old leather that he can get! He even catches lemmings: it's fun to watch. He probably likes them because of the smell of urine. He also licks oil. But his dearest thing is in the morning - well, everyone has his favorite dishes! The Chinese over in Manchuria eat rotten eggs, the Russians rotten milk (cheese) and the Yakuts eat rotten fish. The lazier the better! Well, why shouldn't the lovely reindeer have his delicacies too?

Bww - wwrr - rupp! The noose whizzes once more, and a second reindeer, just as it struggles, kicks, and lifts, is fetched. Then Charlampij pulls them both to his "Balagan", the square hut with roof-shaped sloping side walls and a flat ceiling. His boy takes the one reindeer from him there and helps put on the harness, a chest strap and a pull strap for each reindeer, which are movably attached to the circular timber of the front part of the sled. Charlampij is very proud of his tension. This is different from the Tchukchi bedding, which consists of an immovable strap that is attached to the saddle girth and that goes through the Rene between the hind legs! The Renians scrape and stamp impatiently in their harnesses. Charlampij quickly takes a seat. The whip touches the stag, and as swift as an arrow the sledge rushes on its thin, wide runners over the sandy path and then over the wide brown Hümpelmoor to the large moor lake, where Charlampij has laid his traps, in which he has the thick ones , ten-pound crucian carp. Should a person try to get over the nonsense and swampy moor without these sleds and this team! Well -

Of course, the Tunguse makes this even easier. He straps his snowshoes under his feet, grabs the reindeer's pull strap in his left hand and the walking stick in his right hand, and rushes off.

And, as soon as the ground is firm, he puts the saddle on the strongest stag in his herd and jumps into it. Stirrups do not have this wooden frame and may not have them either. Because the Tunguse and especially his wife use snowshoes to get into the saddle. A reindeer skin is placed over the saddle frame, and sometimes a child is tied to it, with the sleeves sewn up on the hands. It blares as if it's mad. But the fat mother sits indifferently behind him. Her snowshoes brush the surface on the deep snow, and she has to balance harder on her ship in the icy bog than the Kabyle on his camel. And yet no Russian Freiligrath, no Lermontov and no Turgenev has sung about them.

In Lapland

Bog, swamp and moraine debris, colorless heather. Gray-curtained spruce trees, high, high above Norway's fjords. And above blue lakes, the water of which rushes down in wild torrents to the sea that thunders against the rocky bays. High up under the snow-bearing mountains, the shining, deep, deep loneliness. Only broken by the incessant, monotonous, terrible singing of the mosquitoes. Lapland!

Over at the lake, the Berglappen camp. There is "peace" in the country; H. no wolf to be felt. The reindeer let themselves be leisurely driven to the milking parlor, where girls and boys throw the bast sling over them and then cause them to stand still with a blow of the flat of the hand on the udder. Cup after cup fills up with milk. Then the animals slowly move away again and the guards follow them. Midnight is slowly approaching. Then the dogs start up furiously, the Rener people huddle together in a tight knot, hunted back and forth in confusion until they smell the greedy enemies. Then they bounce apart in horror and drift away. The call "Wolf in the herd!" Goes up. Everyone jumps up from the camp and pursues the refugees and their persecutors on snowshoes.

The Lapp doesn't like being asked the head count of his flock and never gives it right. Because he fears fate. A moment ago he was a rich man and owned hundreds of animals - who knows how many he will have tomorrow! Because what the wolf does not tear will be scattered. Perhaps, who knows, it will come off graciously; maybe he will only see the third part again!

Some of the scattered people may run across the meadows of the "settlers", people who have come here and who set up their settlements in places that the Lapp must inevitably touch with his flock in May on the journey to the sea, where the animals place their calves . Countless troubles are the result of such a clash. The Lapp in particular shuns nothing so much as the long journeys to the court and the endless waiting and chatting there, which always comes down to: the nomad is wrong! He avoids the settler in a curve, if only because he is not allowed to separate from his herd for a day. Because it is this that determines his path. For her sake, in mosquito season he has to go up to the icy heights of the fjeld, where there is no wood for a fire. If she takes him too far from his supplies, he will starve or feed on larch bark. Degenerated in the dirt, never washed and lousy - "seldom only the dead (the comb) pulls the living from the forest!" - he is completely dependent on the poor reindeer who has come down and makes him unsteady and fleeting on earth. And yet he does not want to give this dog life for any other. He looks down pityingly at the fishermen's rags and with disgust at the people who have been forgotten about honor and who have humiliated themselves to serve the Normans. And when his gaze looks over the surging "sea", the antlers of his grazing flock, he imagines himself, as the only free person on earth, in earthly paradise, like the hunters of the Ice Age at the foot of the Maritime Alps.

In the ice steppe

Winter has come over the tundra again. November chased with snowstorms, which no living creature except the reindeer could withstand on the icy bare. And Christmas brought the usual terrible frost. Again the moon shows the broad Dunstring with a cross-shaped appearance. Again in the north the fine snakes of the northern lights lick up. Again at midday, deep in the south, the gleam of the sun creeps along like the promise of a blossom that will never be fulfilled in this land of eternal annihilation. The solemn marble beauty of the Nordic landscape shows itself in its hostile coldness.

A silent caravan moves across the shadowless white of the eternal shroud. Yakuts are on small, weather-resistant horses.Wrapped in thick, stiff furs from head to toe, the riders can barely move from one feed store to another during the ten-hour day trip. Only now and then does someone look surreptitiously out of the thick-tyred bear hood to look at the hooves of his little horse, which easily burst in this cold weather. A cloud of thick haze flows from horses and riders. Even the wolf, shyly following the caravan at a measured distance, in order to greedily pick up the horse's dung, even the hoarse, quacking, ice-gray raven, which sweeps slowly over the land of white death, leave behind fine columns of vapor as traces of their lonely procession. The horses' hair is staring with rough ice needles, and their nostrils are clogged with thick icicles that make it difficult for them to breathe. They are happy when they reach the distant rest hut without a sudden fall in the weather or storm!

Only the dog, this eternal citizen of all latitudes, mocks even this cold. Nothing can spoil his indestructible good mood than envy of his rough fellows. But as soon as the biting is over, they all dig their beds in the snow in the evening and keep good companionship and a faithful watch. All personal quarrels are forgotten if a bear or a wolf dares to sneak around a rest hut, which is guarded by the dogs of the five to six groups of twelve travelers! And is there a more reliable friend of man than the lead dog in front of a Jukahiren sleigh? How does he keep his eleven train mates in order and obedience, and what trouble he often has with the uneducated mutt who bounce behind every fox track and miss the right path in the process! Which lists must he use to lure her suddenly to the right and barking violently on a supposed new trail of wild animals that leads back to the direction in which the next "Powarna", that made of Noah wood "Noah wood" is made of driftwood prehistoric times, when the tundra was still the bottom of the sea.