Mink’s Graveyard

Mink liked blue jay, who was a widow. He married her, but one day he became sick. “where are you going to put me when I die?” mink asked the people, one place was suggested, but mink said that was not where he wanted to be. Another place, a really nice spot, was suggested, but still that was not good enough for mink. The men were taking turns standing up and suggesting where mink should be put when he died.


Finally, a small child stood up and said, “why don’t we put him on Kwikwemkwenim? *this is a tiny, rocky island known today as mink’s graveyard, at the southwest entrance to White Rock passage.+” “Yes,” agree mink, “that is a good place to put me. There are lots of sea urchins there.”


Mink died, the people prepared him for burial, remembering what he had told them before he died, “don’t nail the coffin down, leave the lid loose-everyone once in a while I would like to look at the water.” Then they took him out to Kwikwemkwenim. His wife put a few rocks on the coffin lid, but it was not nailed down, just as mink had asked. As they were all returning home, leaving mink alone on the tiny island, BluJay sang a mourning song for her dead husband.


The next day, mink pushed up the lid of his coffin and looked around. Nobody was in sight. He jumped out of the coffin, dove into the water, and gathered many sea urchins. Thus, mink had a big feast, leaving the empty shells scattered around the coffin. Then he laid down to sleep in his coffin. On the second day, mink’s wife came again to Kwikwenkwenim. Again, she sang her mourning song. But when she saw all the empty sea urchin shells around her husband’s coffin, she wondered, “who has come around here and made fun of my dead husband?”
On the third day, she returned again, and the same thing happened. Mink’s wife didn’t know who was making fun of her husband by eating near his coffin again, she threw the empty shells into the sea.


But on the fourth day, as blue jay walked to the shore of the tiny island to throw away the empty sea urchin shells from around her husband’s coffin, mink called out to her, “who are you living with now?” he also mocked her rose cheeks.
BluJay turned around and looked straight at mink, “who do you think I am with? It is your uncle, raccoon, that’s who!” mink replied, “do you think I am lying here dead so that you can run around with Raccoon?