Friday, September 29, 2006


As I stood in class, minding my own business.
Maybe teaching.

There was a knock at the door.
One of the administration staff was peering in my classroom window. She waved me over.

I opened the door and slipped out. Escaping for a moment from the hellions inside and braced for whatever extra work or bad news that awaited me.

In her hand was a bowl.
In the bowl was maktak.

That means whale. Pickled pieces of whales blubber and skin. The skin is a good inch thick and an inch of blubber was stuck fast to it.

There was a strong whale-y odor mixed with the pungent smell of pickling.

“It’s your initiation,” she said simply with a smile.

I popped the little morsel into my mouth and chewed.
And chewed.
And chewed.

Whale tastes a bit like pickled mushrooms.

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