Hungry

           Upstairs, Geioq was setting food out on the table for her. It wasn’t much, just a bowl of watery soup and a small plate of cold bread. Geioq scowled as Nalai came into the room.
           “You’re lucky we have even this much left over from our meal,” she grumped. “Kiuktuk is more generous with you than you deserve sometimes.” She looked at Iquiuk, who wagged her tail expectantly. “Don’t think you’re getting anything, mongrel.
           The tone told Iquiuk all she needed to know; her ears drooped and she slunk over to a corner where she laid down with her head on her paws.
           When Geioq had her back turned, Nalai slipped a few pieces of bread into her parka to give to Iquiuk later. It wasn’t much but it would keep the hungry dog until the next day when she could get more food and possibly even hunt when they went out to gather.
           The soup was cold and tasteless and there wasn’t much of it, but it helped fill her belly and meant she wouldn’t go to bed hungry. It wouldn’t be long before she got hungry again, but she was so exhausted from her gathering that she figured that she would be asleep fairly quickly. While she ate, she was barely aware of Geioq’s constant grumbling about having to shelter the town outcast, whining about how useless Nalai was.
           She thanked Geioq for the soup and hurried into her room with Iquiuk close on her heels before the older woman could berate her any more. Once inside, she stripped off her clothes, put on some dry clothing, and crawled into bed.
           Iquiuk had seen her slip the bread into the parka. She went over and found it, wolfing it down before climbing up onto the bed, curling up beside Nalai as she did every night.
            Soon enough, they were both asleep.