Aluki – Written by Matthew Burger – Illustrated by Daniela BurgerIn On The Page
Written by Matthew Burger – Illustrated by Daniela Burger
Aluki was a young boy who lived in an igloo in the arctic regions of Canada. He loved to read, especially legends. His favourite one was about an arctic seal that could talk whenever it struck midnight on Christmas Eve. Aluki strongly believed in that legend and he was desperate to see the special arctic seal with his own eyes.
Christmas was approaching once again and Aluki found himself waking up on the morning of Christmas Eve exploding with excitement. He leapt from his bed of fur to the breakfast table and asked his dad, “Can I use your boat today?”
“What for?” replied Dad suspiciously.
“Erm… to fish…?” said Aluki looking up at the ceiling.
“You’re not still wanting to go after that talking seal again, are you? Come on now, son, we have this nonsense every year,” sighed Dad.
“I don’t want to hear another word on the subject. You’re not taking the boat and that’s that,” concluded Dad.
Aluki patiently waited until it was time to go searching. He, shoved some food in his bag, crept around to the back of the igloo, untied the boat and rowed away.
Aluki kept track of the time as he feasted on a fish eye. “Five minutes to twelve, four minutes to twelve, three minutes, two, one…” Aluki counted down with excitement as he searched around for a talking Arctic seal.
However, he leaned too far over the side of the boat without realising how much he was weighing down the side. The boat capsized throwing Aluki and all of his belongings into the cold icy sea. Worst of all, the oars were nowhere to be seen. Using all his determination and pushing ever so hard, he managed to turn the boat the right way up.
Suddenly, without any warning, a seal came shooting out of the sea and landed in the boat. He had Aluki’s bag around his neck.
Aluki was speechless, “Are you…?” he just about managed to mutter before fainting.
When Aluki came to his senses, he found his boat was moving along by itself. Even with the oars gone. It was the seal! He was pushing the boat all the way to the shore.
Aluki decided to ask his companion a question to see if he was indeed the legendary talking seal.
“What’s your name?” he ventured.
The seal replied, “Archy.”
“Wow,” replied Aluki, amazed to find that the seal could indeed talk. “My name’s Aluki.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” said the seal.
“Pleasure to meet you too. And thanks so much for helping me.”
As the boat approached Aluki’s home, he knew their adventure was coming to an end.
“Will I ever see you again?” he asked.
Archy replied, “You never know!” And with that, the mysterious seal slid back into the water and swam away.
Aluki waved farewell, turned towards home and walked thoughtfully along the snow, back to his igloo. Everyone was asleep, so he tiptoed quietly back to his bed and lay down reflecting on the amazing experience he’d had. He wouldn’t tell anyone about Archy though. Humans would only want to take over. Archy deserved to be left alone in the wild.
From that day on, Aluki returned to the spot where he had once met Archy, but months went by and he never saw him. Every time he rowed his boat out, he would stop and call: “Archy, Archy, if you’re out there somewhere, I just want you to know that I miss you lots and I’ll never forget you.”