The award-winning team of Michael Kusugak and Vladyana Langer Krykorka are back with a new tale about how mountains were actually moved during the Yukon gold rush.
Little Mountain is happy. All about her, there are big mountains, birds and forest life. She speaks to the world through the breeze and invites all to come and live with her. People come. Animals come. Birds come. And life is good.
Old Joe the prospector also comes. He has a pick, a shovel and a pan, and he is looking for gold and silver. Old Joe wants to be rich, very rich. When Joe finds a golden nugget he makes the mistake of announcing his find at the top of his lungs! “Gold!” he yells. And then a long line of prospectors arrives from all over the world hoping to find gold for themselves. They chip away at the mountains surrounding Little Mountain. They lay claims and mine for riches. Little Mountain watches sadly as North Mountain is reduced to rubble. And then another mountain is brought down, and another.
Poor Old Joe watches those around him get rich every time he yells, “Gold!” But he still hasn’t found wealth. Finally he climbs Little Mountain and, to keep the others away, decides to play a trick. “Rocks!” he yells. Well, no one wants rocks, so they leave Joe and Little Mountain alone. Then Joe climbs Big Mountain to the east of Little Mountain and yells “Rocks!” again. Once more, the prospectors stay away. The trick has worked.
Feeling sad that he has never struck it rich, Joe sits down and looks across to Little Mountain. Suddenly, he realizes that he has indeed found the riches he has been looking for his whole life: before him is an incredible sight. Birds, rabbits, trees, cool streams, fresh air and the sounds of nature surround him, and he is happy. Both Little Mountain and Old Joe sigh, “Thank God for Rocks.”
Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak is a storyteller and a Canadian children’s writer, who tells stories about Arctic and Inuit culture. He was born April 27, 1948 in Repulse Bay, Nunavut, where he spent much of his childhood.
Vladyana Langer Krykorka is the award-winning illustrator of Michael Kusugak’s stories and other picture books for children. She resides in Toronto.