Portage Lake We Set a Net
And I remember that long ago when she [my grandmother] would go to set the net, I'd go with her. It was there at Portage Lake, on the other side, where another lake joins it. That's where we went. We used a wooden boat. She rowed. That's where she went in the evening to set the net. Well, if she just left her net there, it was stolen from her. She caught tullibees there. She said, "The tullibees are bigger there." That's where she strung her net across. It wasn't cold although it was getting to be fall. It wasn't very cold so we lay down there on the shore where she could watch the net and I scratched her back as we lay there; she always had me scratch her back. Then she started to tell stories. Sometimes when it was really clear, she told me about how the stars hang in constellations. I don't remember what she told me about the way the stars hang. "Orion's Belt," she told me, "the three that hang together, and the North Star, the great star. Long ago they never got lost at night." And so she told me about how the stars hang in constellations. Maybe I fell asleep while she talked, and early in the morning she woke me up, pulled in her net, and we rowed home.
Maude Kegg, Portage Lake: Memories of an Ojibwe Childhood, ed. John D. Nichols (Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Press, 1991), 81-83.