By Jack London
BeeOasis Step 2
The father of Keesh had been a brave man. But he had died hunting for food. Keesh was his only son. Keesh lived with his mother, Ira.
One night, the village council gathered for a meeting. They were in the big ice house (called an igloo) of Kwan, the chief. Keesh was there with the others. He listened, then waited for silence.
He said, “It is true that you give us some meat. But it is often old and tough meat. And it has many bones.”
The hunters were surprised. This was a child speaking against them. A child talking like a grown man!
Keesh said, “My father, Bok, was a great hunter. It is said that Bok brought home more meat than any of the two best hunters. And he divided the meat so that all got an equal share.”
“No! No!” the hunters cried. “Put the child out! Send him to bed. He should not talk to elders this way!”
Keesh waited until the noise stopped.
“You have a wife, Gluk,” he said. “And you speak for her. My mother has no one but me. So I speak. As I say, my father Bok hunted greatly, but is now dead. My father gave much to this tribe. My mother and I should have meat when the tribe has meat. This is only fair. I, the son of Bok, have spoken.”
Again, there was a great noise in the igloo. The council ordered Keesh to bed. They even talked of giving him no food.
Keesh jumped to his feet.
“Hear me!” he cried. “Never shall I speak in the council igloo again. I shall go hunt meat like my father, Bok.”
There was much laughter when Keesh spoke of hunting. The laughter followed Keesh as he left the council meeting.
This story was adapted from public domain content at voaspecialenglish.com.