The name Alaska is probably an abbreviation of Unalaska, derived from the original Aleut word agunalaksh, which means "the shores where the sea breaks its back." The war between water and land is never-ending. Waves shatter themselves in spent fury against the rocky bulwarks of the coast; giant tides eat away the sand beaches and alter the entire contour of an island overnight; williwaw winds pour down the side of a volcano like snow sliding off a roof, building to a hundred-mile velocity in a matter of minutes and churning the ocean into a maelstrom where the stoutest vessels founder.
When a doting person gets down on all fours and plays with the dog's rubber mouse, it only confuses the puppy and gives him a sense of insecurity. He gets the impression that the world is unstable and wonders whether he is supposed to walk on his hind legs and smoke cigars.