The Great Liar
This liar would do anything to get out of hunting,
even trample his kayak, and put ice in his clothes,
then hammer his own testicles with a stone.
This is the trouble a liar will go to
when he wants his wife to believe he's been victim of an iceberg.
This liar would do anything to get out of hunting.
When he heard of a child's death, he went to her parents to say
he had a daughter by the same name. The grieving parents
wanted their daughter's soul to go into the liar's child's
so they gave him food and her pearls, a cooking pot.
The liar was rich until the mourning family learned
the liar had no child at all. They demanded he give the food back.
They demanded he apologize to the spirit of their dead daughter.
The liar couldn't sleep at night, the lies in his head
crawling over one another like so many lice.
His wife was ashamed. His friend had had enough of him
when he claimed he caught a whale that turned out to be a stone.
He led one faulty expedition after another.
Any number of people could have been the one who killed him,
down beyond the cliff where that dead whale should have been.
THE GREAT LIAR is from the East Greenland Inuit tale Qasiagssaq, the Great Liar.