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Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Two Old Women  >  Reading Comprehension Questions
Chapter 2 - Let Us Die Trying

 Chapter Summary: The two old women survive the first night. Sa’ kills a squirrel, and they realize they might have a chance at survival. They also realize why The People chose to leave them behind; they have become helpless and useless to the band.

Who “listened to the silence that The People left behind?” (p. 17)

Answer: Ch’idzigyaak sat and listened to the silence left after The People were gone.

Since they don’t have firewood, what do the two women use to keep their fires going? (p. 18)

Answer: They use fungus that grows on cottonwood trees.

How would the old women start their fire again after they traveled? (p. 18)

Answer: They would wrap the hot coals in hardened mooseskin sacks or birchbark containers filled with ash.

What did the old women use the babiche for first? (p. 18)

Answer: They used the moosehide string to create rabbit snares.

Following the book, where do you find a rabbit trail? (p. 19)

Answer: The best place to find a rabbit trail is beneath the trees and arching willows.

How did the two old women make the rabbit snare? (p. 19)

Answer: They made a noose with the babiche, and tied it to a long thick willow branch and placed it across one of the trails. Then they made a fence of willows and spruce boughs that would force the rabbit through the snare.

What is the first animal the two old women hunt for food, and what do they use? (p. 20)

Answer: Sa’ hits a squirrel with the hatchet.

How do the women prepare the squirrel for dinner? (p. 21)

Answer: They boiled the meat in snow water and only drink the broth.

How do the women conserve their food? (p. 21)

Answer: They save the meat and only eat and drink what they need to survive and have enough energy to keep living.

What items and tools do the old women have? (p. 21)

Answer: They have tent, pots, babiche, hatchet, furs.

What is the tent made of? (p. 21)

Answer: It is made of two large caribou hides wrapped around three long sticks shaped in a triangle.

The old women suspected the chief of what “act of kindness?” (p. 22)

Answer: The People left them with all their possessions.

What is the “cry” that awakens the two women? (p. 22)

Answer: A rabbit caught in the snare wakes them.

Why do the women rush to the rabbit snare? (p. 23)

Answer: They are afraid that a predator might get the rabbit before they do.

How does Sa’ quickly finish off the rabbit? (p. 23)

Answer: She squeezes its neck until she can no longer feel a pulse.

Why doesn’t their first morning alone have any light? (p. 23)

Answer: The story is set in winter in the far north, and the sun won’t rise until later in the day.

What has accumulated on the inside of their tent during the night? (p. 23)

Answer: Frost from their breath accumulated.

Why does Ch’idzigyaak take the caribou hides off and brush the frost off? (p. 24)

Answer: She does this to keep the water from dripping on them and getting the inside of their tent all wet.

What does Ch’idzigyaak realize as she has to take care of herself that first morning? (p. 24)

Answer: She realizes that all the work was done for them and that they might not be able to do the tasks on their own since they have become so used to being taken care of.

Why does Ch’idzigyaak make a big deal about Sa’ being younger than her? (p. 26)

Answer: She’s feeling sorry for herself, and because someone has always taken care of her.

Sa’ and Ch’idzigyaak make an important statement about themselves and their attitudes. Who do they compare themselves to? (p. 26)

Answer: They compare themselves to helpless babies.

What do the women realize about themselves? (p. 26)

Answer: They have learned much during their lives.

Why had the women stopped being productive members of the tribe? (p. 26)

Answer: They thought they had “done their share in life.”

The old women have a revelation about why the younger people left them behind. What is the revelation? (p. 27)

Answer: They realize that they just complained and were never satisfied. They always talked about how good it was back in their younger days and didn’t realize that it was any better than they had it. They spent so many years convincing the people they were helpless that they finally believed it.

Sa’ says that something waits to take them. What is she talking about? (p. 28)

Answer: Death.

Who does Sa’ want to prove wrong? (p. 28)

Answer: Sa’ wants to prove The People wrong.

What kind of death does Sa’ fear more than anything? (p. 28)

Answer: She fears dying weak.

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