1906: 1st colt born in Alaska

Among the animals we’re told understood Chinuk Wawa, we’ve seen the Thunderbird, dogs, and wood rats


Coincidence? The Tanana and Fairbanks Stage (image credit: Wisconsin Historical Society)

The newest entry to that zoological census is the first baby horse born in Alaska:


THE first colt born in Alaska was lately brought down to civilization from the Tanana district. It is notable from the fact that it was reared on condensed milk and fodder costing 15 cents a pound, on a bet that its owner owner could not raise it. It cost him $10,000, but he won the bet. The colt does not understand English and “Geddap!” has no meaning to him, but “Hyack,” “Klatawah,” of the classic Chinook, or “Mush it” of the local vernacular, makes him prance along gaily. 

— from the Olympia (WA) Washington Standard of October 19, 1906, page 2, column 6

Naturally this was in the Tanana area, indeed known to have used Chinuk Wawa at the time.

I have to argue that “Geddap!” was good Chinook. Hmmm.

“Mush” was not, but it was a Métis French word marche! widely used in the north to get dog teams or horses to get moving. (Which makes it a cousin of Jargon’s másh ‘leave, send, throw’.)

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?