The Arctic Prairies By Ernest Thompson Seton


















































































































































 -  It furnishes a staple of food to all wild things, birds
and beasts, including Foxes, Martens, and Coyotes; it is - Page 75
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It Furnishes A Staple Of Food To All Wild Things, Birds And Beasts, Including Foxes, Martens, And Coyotes; It Is

One of the most abundant of the forest products, and not one hundred yards from the fort are solid patches

As big as farms, and yet when I brought in a spray to sketch it one day several of the Hudson's Bay officers said: "Where in the world did you get that? It must be very rare, for I never yet saw it in this country." A similar remark was made about a phoebe-bird. "It was never before seen in the country"; and yet there is a pair nesting every quarter of a mile from Athabaska Landing to Great Slave Lake.

Fort Smith, being the place of my longest stay, was the scene of my largest medical practice.

One of my distinguished patients here was Jacob McKay, a half-breed born on Red River in 1840. He left there in 1859 to live 3 years at Rat Portage. Then he went to Norway House, and after 3 years moved to Athabaska in 1865. In 1887 he headed a special government expedition into the Barren Grounds to get some baby Musk-ox skins. He left Fort Rae, April 25, 1887, and, travelling due north with Dogrib Indians some 65 miles, found Musk-ox on May 10, and later saw many hundreds. They killed 16 calves for their pelts, but no old ones. McKay had to use all his influence to keep the Indians from slaughtering wholesale; indeed, it was to restrain them that he was sent.

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