|The Eskimo Twins|
|by Lucy Fitch Perkins|
|Share the adventures of Menie and Monnie, 5 year-old twins in an Eskimo village, where the villagers have to provide for all their own needs. Their father, Kesshoo, is a brave fisherman and strong hunter and their mother Koolee is clever in making clothing and shoes out of the skins of the animals which he brings home. We watch the twins as they spot a polar bear while coasting on their sleds, then join with the villagers in the sharing of the meat and the feasting afterwards. Among the other activities they enjoy are ice fishing, building a snow house, hunting for seals, and traveling by boat to their summering ground where they catch salmon to dry for the winter. Children are captivated by the humor and playfulness in this community where the winter night lasts for four long months! Ages 6-8 |
THE ESKIMO TWINS
HIS is the true story of Menie and Monnie and their two little
dogs, Nip and Tup.
Menie and Monnie are twins, and they live far away in the North,
near the very edge.
They are five years old.
Menie is the boy, and Monnie is the girl. But you cannot tell
which is Menie and which is Monnie,—not even if you look ever
so hard at their pictures!
That is because they dress alike.
When they are a little way off even their own mother can't always
tell. And if she can't, who can?
Sometimes the twins almost get mixed up about it themselves. And
then it is very hard to know which is Nip and which is Tup,
because the little dogs are twins too.
 Nobody was surprised that the little dogs were twins, because
dogs often are.
But everybody in the whole village where Menie
and Monnie live was simply astonished to see twin
They had never known of any before in their whole lives.
Old Akla, the Angakok, or Medicine Man of the village, shook his
head when he heard about them. He said, "Such a thing never
happened here before. Seals and human beings never have twins!
There's magic in this."
The name of the twins' father was Kesshoo. If you say it fast it
sounds just like a sneeze.
Their mother's name was Koolee. Kesshoo and Koolee, and Menie and
Monnie, and Nip and Tup, all live together in the cold Arctic
winter in a little stone hut, called an "igloo."
In the summer they live in a tent, which they call a "tupik." The
winters are very long and cold, and what do you think! They have
one night there that is four whole months long!
 For four long months, while we are having Thanksgiving, and
Christmas, and even Lincoln's Birthday, the twins never once see
But at last one day in early spring the sun comes up again out of
the sea, looks at the world for a little while, and then goes out
of sight again. Each day he stays for a longer time until after a
while he doesn't go out of sight at all!
Then there are four long months of daylight when there is never
any bedtime. Menie and Monnie just go to sleep whenever they feel
Although many Eskimos think twins bring bad luck, Kesshoo and
Koolee were very glad to have two babies.
They would have liked it better still if Monnie had been a boy,
too, because boys grow up to hunt and fish and help get food for
But Kesshoo was the best hunter and the best kyak man in the
whole village. So he said to Koolee, "I suppose there must be
 girls in the world. It is no worse for us than for others."
So because Kesshoo was a brave fisherman and strong hunter, and
because Koolee was clever in making clothing and shoes out of the
skins of the animals which he brought home, the twins had the
very best time that little Eskimo children can have.
And that is quite a good time, as you will see if you read all
about it in this book.
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