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Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Two Old Women  >  Reading Comprehension Questions
Chapter 5 - Saving a Cache of Fish

 Chapter Summary: In this chapter the two women begin their spring and summer season, which means serious work to catch and preserve enough game and fish to survive the coming winter. They catch fish and muskrats and Sa’ misses an opportunity to kill a moose. They survive the summer and have a vast store of food, but as winter approaches, they fear the darkness and solitude.

What is a cache of fish? (p. 77)

Answer: A cache is a place to store food; a cache of fish is an accumulation of stored fish.

Spring brought a diet of what two animals to the two old women? (p.77)

Answer: Grouse and squirrels.

They also began making nets and traps to catch what small water creature? (p.77)

Answer: Muskrats.

What did the women use to make muskrat nets out of? (p. 78)

Answer: They made nets of willow branches and thin strips of moose leather.

How did the women prepare the muskrats and beavers? (p. 79)

Answer: They smoke-dried them.

Why did the women quit hunting muskrats and beavers, even though they were still having success? (p. 79)

Answer: They decided they had already caught more than their fair share.

How did the women feel about the younger generation, now that they had survived? (p. 80)

Answer: They felt defenseless and had lost trust.

Why were the old women suspicious of others? (p. 80)

Answer: They didn’t want anyone to come and take their food.

Why did they move their camp to an inhospitable place full of mosquitoes? (p. 80)

Answer: They wanted to make sure no one found them and that their food caches would be safe.

What did the old women do to keep the mosquitoes away? (p. 80)

Answer: They sat beside a smoky fire.

What signs did the women worry about leaving at the old camp? (p. 81)

Answer: They worried about the places where they had removed the birch bark from the trees.

What did the women use to keep “sharp nosed” predators away from their food cache? (p. 81)

Answer: Traps.

Other than smoky fire, what other methods did the two old women use to protect themselves from the blood thirsty swarms of mosquitoes? (p. 82)

Answer: They hung leather tassels around their face, covered their skin with muskrat grease, and wore their thick clothing.

Why did the women have to move closer to the creek? (p. 82)

Answer: They were catching a lot of fish.

Who started stealing their fish? (p. 82)

Answer: A bear.

What did they do to make an agreement with the bear? (p. 82)

Answer: They put the fish guts in a place the bear could easily get them.

What was a sign of fall’s approach? (p. 83)

Answer: The sun sitting orange and cool on the evening horizon indicated the coming fall.

What did the women use the fish intestines and fish skins for? (p. 83)

Answer: They used salmon skins for holding water and the skins were turned into round bags to hold dried fish.

If the bear didn’t eat the fish innards, who did? (p. 83)

Answer: The ravens ate fish innards, too.

What problem did the women have once they collected so much fish? (p. 84)

Answer: They needed to keep the small animals away to protect the food.

How did they keep the small animals away from their fish caches? (p. 84)

Answer: They made standing caches and put brush and thorns beneath the caches.

The surplus of food allowed Sa’ time to explore. Where did she go? (p. 84)

Answer: She traveled to a nearby hill to see what might lie on that hill or around it.

How did Sa’ feel during her trip to the hill? (p. 85)

Answer: She felt better than she had in years. She felt like a kid again.

What did Sa’ find on the hill? (p. 85)

Answer: Berries and a moose.

When is a bull moose dangerous? (p. 86)

Answer: During the fall rut a moose isn’t afraid of anything that stands in its way.

What excited Sa’ about finding the moose? (p. 86)

Answer: She imagined having moose meat for the long winter.

What happened when Sa’ shot her arrow at it? (p. 87)

Answer: The moose moved and the arrow landed on the ground.

When the moose ran off, Sa’ decided to do what? (p. 87)

Answer: She decided to follow it.

Why couldn’t Sa’ catch up with the moose? (p. 87)

Answer: A moose can walk and run far faster than a person can travel.

How does a moose normally react to a predator? (p. 87)

Answer: A moose will run as far away as he can from a predator.

Why was Ch’idzigyaak angry with Sa’? (p. 88)

Answer: She was mad at Sa’ for being gone so long.

What did the women use to make bowls to collect the berries Sa’ found? (p. 89)

Answer: Birch bark baskets were woven to hold the berries.

How many berries did the women collect? (p. 89)

Answer: As much as they could carry back to their camp.

Why did the days seem easier to the women? (p. 90)

Answer: They were prepared for winter with their stores of food and wood.

Why didn’t the women think much about what had happened to them? (p. 90)

Answer: They were too busy to think about what happened.

What did the women do to fill the long winter days? (p. 91)

Answer: The women worked to take up time; they made many articles of clothing of rabbit fur, such as hats, mittens, and face coverings.

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