Kalak of the Ice
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Kalak of the Ice is one of Jim Kjelgaard's few books that don't center around a dog. This book is, as are all of his, an excellent picture of life in the wilderness. It focuses on the life struggles and amazing world of a female polar bear named Kalak who lives in the far north. Though it is perhaps not as addictively exciting as some of Kjelgaard's other books, and therefore rated only 4 stars, I definitely recommend Kalak of the Ice to any young reader interested in wildlife.
I have hunting equipment to make ready." "Bring Natkus," Chuesandrin directed. Then remembering that Natkus had chased him across the village, he added, "but hold him." Agtuk approached, his hand resting lightly on Natkus' head. "Let the dog come near the meat," Chuesandrin directed, "but not near enough to seize it. I think that the devil will jump out of Natkus into the meat when he smells it. If so, all of you will see the meat move when the devil enters it." The villagers waited tensely.
whose teeth were worn down to stubs. He slapped irritably at the foxes around the whale carcass. They only slid nimbly out of his way. The old bear was too old to move swiftly, and polar bears could not catch foxes anyway. The old bear stayed as far as possible from Kalak. An ill-natured, lonely thing whose usefulness was done, he would have starved to death on the ice had he not found the whale. Never again would he be able to hunt. As the days passed, the loose folds in Kalak's shaggy skin
a quarter of it for himself. The remainder was equally divided among the village. Chuesandrin understood the fairness of that arrangement, but he didn't like it. For, when the hunters chose their portions, invariably they selected the choicest parts for themselves. It had been ten days since Chuesandrin had eaten anything except what somebody else did not want, and such a state of affairs simply could not continue. Chuesandrin liked the tenderest meat and the richest blubber as well as anyone
an effort to discover something else that might be interesting. Kalak remained alert, looking about as though for a visible enemy which might appear at any moment. Suddenly she started across the ice. The cubs followed, trailing at her heels and looking about as though now they, too, had an inkling of something impending. They were only sensing and reflecting their mother's attitude, but that was enough; the cubs were learning the hair-trigger reactions of wild things. Even the male made no
decision was reached. As Agtuk squatted on the small hill he had climbed, and thought about these things, he squinted across the treeless country that rolled away from the hill. There was no game in sight, and Agtuk was worried. If they did not find meat soon the whole village would starve. As it was, they had been able to get just enough to maintain strength. Everybody except the children and the old people were hungry most of the time. Toolah and Nalee came up beside him, laid their spears