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Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Two Old Women  >  Reading Comprehension Questions
Chapter 3 - Recalling Old Skills

 Chapter Summary: The two old women rekindle the skills they once used. They make snowshoes, and tend to another rabbit they have snared. They also recall a place where the resources were once abundant and decide to begin the journey to this place

Where did the women go to recall the skills they once had? (p. 31)

Answer: They went back in time, revisiting their memories of childhood.

What important item did the women need to travel in winter that they would have to make? (p. 31)

Answer: Snowshoes.

What did they construct the snowshoes out of? (p. 31)

Answer: Young birch.

When was the wood for snowshoes normally collected? (p. 31)

Answer: In late spring and early summer wood was collected.

How do the old women feel about the second rabbit they snare and why? (p. 32)

Answer: They feel superstitious about their good luck because The People had just tried catching the rabbits with no luck.

Why do the women choose to leave their camp? What are the three reasons? (p. 33)

Answer: There are not enough animals to last the winter and they are afraid of enemies coming upon them. They also distrust their own band.

Why would people turn into cannibals, according to the stories from the old women? (p. 32)

Answer: In order to survive, people became cannibals.

Where do the two old women decide to go and who remembered the place? (p. 32)

Answer: Ch’idzigyaak recalls a place the band used to travel to that had a healthy fish population.

What do the two old women use to make a sled? (p. 33)

Answer: They use the skins from the tent and wrap their possessions inside.

Which direction do they turn the hides to make the sled slide in the snow? (p. 33)

Answer: With the fur facing the snow, the sled glides well.

What keeps the women warm while they travel, despite the bitter cold? (p. 36)

Answer: Their fur skin and clothing keeps them warm.

How do the women camp when they don’t set their tents up? (p. 36)

Answer: They burrow down into the snow, making a snow cave, with spruce boughs on the bottom.

Why are the women in such pain when they wake up? (p. 36)

Answer: They are not used to traveling so far and doing so much work. (They are out of shape!)

Why do the women continue to only cook the squirrel in snow water and only drink the broth? (p. 36)

Answer: They are trying to preserve the food and make their food store goes as far as possible.

Why would the women remember that one day as the longest and hardest? (p. 37)

Answer: They kept falling down and were extremely fatigued.

Why does the sun only appear for a short while? (p. 37)

Answer: It’s winter in Alaska, and the two old women are so far north the sun only makes a brief appearance.

What do the two old women worry about freezing? (p. 38)

Answer: Lungs.

Why do the two old women worry about freezing their lungs? And what do they do to prevent this from happening? (p. 38)

Answer: The two old women try not to work too hard, and when they have to work hard they cover their faces with a protective covering.

How did the two old women pull their sleds? (p. 38)

Answer: They wrapped the ropes around their chests.

Why did the two old women choose to sleep beneath the snow in the snow pits? (p. 39)

Answer: The snow pits were as warm as any shelter above ground.

How did the skins and furs protect them from the cold? (p. 39)

Answer: The skins and furs held in their body heat.

What does Sa’ realize the two old women left behind at their camp that they no longer need? (p. 40)

Answer: They left their walking sticks.

What meat, besides the squirrel, have the women carefully rationed? (p. 41)

Answer: The rabbits.

What clouded the judgment of the two women as they tried to find their way? (p. 42)

Answer: Fatigue clouded their judgment.

On what night did the women find the slough they were hoping to find?

Answer: The fourth night is when they almost stumbled upon the slough.

What happens to those animals and people who don’t follow the rules of the land? (p.43)

Answer: Quick and nonjudgmental death can fall upon the careless and unworthy.

The author shows the readers how to identify dangerous ice. What are some of the clues that ice might not be safe to walk on? (p. 44)

Answer: Swishing undercurrents erode ice and make it thin. Steam rising from cracks and cracking ice hints at danger.

Why did the women have to be so careful on the ice? (p. 44)

Answer: To fall through and get wet could mean certain death. In extremely cold weather, there is nothing more dangerous than getting wet.

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