Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

driver squatting down in the bottom. As it is, moreover, provided with a keel, it will be pretty clear that it is about as easily managed as a boat on land.

You will wonder why the Lapps use this primitive, and, as it seems, awkward vehicle, which would seem to 5 show that reindeer driving was an invention of yesterday; and it is common for one who uses it for the first time

[graphic]

to make all sorts of suggestions for its improvement. But experience teaches that the Lapps know best what suits their needs, and that the pulk ought to remain as it is. 10 What is most annoying to the stranger is that the pulk does not, like the sleigh, travel on runners, but on a little keel, and capsizes, in consequence, at the slightest bump or want of balance on the part of the driver, and that it is drawn by a single trace, and not by shafts. It 15

follows that the reindeer cannot hold it back when going downhill, and this fact often causes the traveler to come down rather more swiftly than he might wish. Finally. the driver uses only one rein, and therefore has not com5 plete control over the deer.

There are, however, very good reasons why the Lapps prefer their own methods. A sleigh would, for instance, sink far deeper into the loose snow, and be knocked to pieces over rough ground, as they drove through forests 10 and across mountains. The sleigh would capsize quicker than the pulk, strange as it may seem, for the latter only capsizes in the hands of an inexperienced driver. The expert has it completely in his power, and understands how to keep it straight by balancing it with the weight of 15 his body in places where a sleigh would be hopelessly upset. Furthermore, a sleigh would become entangled in the branches and underbrush of the forest. The pulk, being wedge-shaped, can follow wherever the reindeer can get through, for there is nothing at the sides to offer any 20 resistance.

The eight fur-clad men, of whom I was one, were ready at last. It was to be my first drive in a pulk. At the last moment somebody kindly gave me a few hints as to the placing of my body. I got inside, wound the reins 25 around my wrist, and before I had even time to think or look ahead, the whole caravan shot forward, and off we went in the wildest manner, without order, right and

left, the pulks swaying to and fro, and seesawing by way of variety on their keels. As the ground was but scantily covered with snow, the movements of the pulk reminded me most vividly of a boat in a heavy sea. At one moment two or three pulks jolted against each other with 5 the most alarming cracking noise, and at the next they were yards apart.

I knew enough to understand that the secret of driving was to stick to the vehicle. I therefore let reindeer be reindeer, and did my best to accommodate myself to the 10 pitchings of the pulk by all the arts of balancing Although I am at a loss to understand how, I managed to keep my seat, and when the first surprise was past, I began to look around me.

We were speeding along in the most reckless manner 15 and at a terrific rate. I never rode a horse in a steeplechase, but from my slight knowledge of the sport I am prepared to wager that the dangers are as nothing to this daring flight over fields and meadows, uphill, downhill, over bowlders, logs, and streams, without, as it seemed, 20 aim or object. There was no question of guiding — the reindeer appears to select its own course, without the slightest regard for either man or pulk. It is, in fact, even for the most expert Lapp driver, only possible to make the reindeer follow a general course; it chooses the 25 road for itself.

After about two hours' driving, which was the most

interesting and exciting journey I ever undertook, we arrived at the place where the Lapp families had settled with their herd. A column of smoke and the barking of a couple of dogs welcomed us to the abode of the Lapp 5 nomads.

[ocr errors]

SOPHUS TROMHOLT: Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis.

con struc'tion, the way a thing is made; a dapt'ed, fitted, suited; per pen dic'u lar, straight up and down; prim'i tive, very old; ex'pert, skillful person; steeple-chase, a race on horseback, over all obstacles, to some distant object, originally, to a steeple; nom'ads, wandering tribes.

1. Judging from the first paragraph, in what part of the world is this? Why is there only a faint streak of light at noon here? During what part of the year does the sun not shine? Would you rather visit this part of the world in December or June? Why? 2. Find Lapland on your maps. How far north of your own home is it? 3. Make a drawing of a pulk from the description given. 4. Describe the peculiarities of traveling with reindeer.

Pronouns.-1. Write three sentences about the Laplanders, using a different pronoun in each in place of their name.

2. Write three sentences about the Laplander's sleigh or pulk, using a different pronoun in each instead of the word pulk.

3. Write three sentences about yourself, using a different pronoun in each in place of your own name.

4. What pronouns can you use in speaking of yourself? In speaking of other people? In speaking of things?

5. Copy the following sentences, and fill in the blanks with pro nouns that you might use in speaking to another person: (1) must wake and call me early. (2) Where treasure is, there will (3) Be just before are generous. (4) Hesitate not to perform

duty.

[ocr errors]

heart be also.

Fill in the following blanks with pronouns that you might use

in speaking of some person or thing.

(1) The village master taught

(2) A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying needle and thread.

[ocr errors]

little school.

(3) I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise
(4) The evil that men do lives after
(5) All men are at some time masters of
(6) Money is a good servant, but

[ocr errors]

fate.

is a bad master.

76

A VISIT TO A REINDEER CAMP (Concluded)

THE "dwelling" of the mountain Lapp has not much in common with what civilized beings mean by this term. There is no question of building, rooms, or roof. The mountain Lapp lives, summer and winter, in snow and sunshine, in his tent. A simple structure of a few long 5 logs raised on end, over these a cover of coarse woolen stuff, or a rough canvas, this is home.

The tent is conical in shape, and the diameter varies from twelve to sixteen feet. The height is eight to ten feet. At the top is an opening which is window, chim- 1c ney, and ventilator all in one. Immediately below it is the hearth — always lighted, — on which the food is cooked and by which the tent is warmed. On one side of the tent is a small opening, which may be closed with a door made of canvas.

16

« ZurückWeiter »