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Ujurak

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"I will be with you every step of the way home."
— Ujurak in Spirits in the Stars, page 273
Ujurak

Ujurak possibly

Species
Grizzly Bear (Shape-shifter)
Family
Ursa (Mother)
Book Appearances
Death
Killed by an avalanche[1]
Aliases
The Little Bear (by the Seeker bears)
Uj'rak (by Kissimi)


Ujurak (oo-joo-rak) is a shape-shifting[2] grizzly bear. When in grizzly form, he has shaggy fur,[3] large,[4] dark, round[5] brown eyes,[6] long claws,[7] shaggy,[8] sturdy, round paws,[9] small, round, furry ears,[10] a stumpy tail,[11] a black nose,[12] and a soft furry snout.[13]

History



The Original Series

The Quest Begins

Ujurak is saved by Toklo when he is cornered by some humans who try to hunt him. That night, Ujurak shape- shifts into a flat-face, and then back into a bear later. Toklo finds it hard to believe that they were the same creature.
After the incident, Toklo and Ujurak start to travel together and follow the Pathway Star. During the trip, he turns into a bird and a salmon on accident, but when they were hunting a mountain goat, he purposely turned into an eagle to catch it.
One incident caused Toklo to leave him, but Toklo came back in the end. After eating the mountain goat, Ujurak accidentally turns into a hare and is almost eaten by Lusa, but Toklo saves him.

Great Bear Lake

After Lusa joins him and Toklo they quickly become friends. Ujurak tells the group which way to go throughout their journey, first telling them to go along the Sky Ridge. When wolves chase him and his friends down the mountainside, Ujurak turns into a mule deer to lead them away. He succeeded in leading the wolves away and eventually managed to get away from them himself and get back to Toklo and Lusa in the form of a bear. He told them that while he was a deer he could think like one too. He had thought that every small noise was a flat-face hunter, and that all the water was sick. When they had to cross a river, he was shown to be a good swimmer.
When the group reached some bogs Ujurak turned into a goose so he could find a way for Toklo not to have to cross the river. While he was flying he saw a flat-face bridge they could cross the bog on. While they are traveling over the bridge, he is hit by a large firebeast and was injured. Lusa found some herbs to help his wounds, and they began traveling again the next day. When they reach the lake gathering Ujurak says that this is where the signs he had been reading led to. He is very interested in hearing the stories of the older bears and seeing the ceremonies for the Longest Day.
He sees Lusa talking to Toklo on Paw Print Island and flies over to it as a bird. Once Toklo tells him what is happening, he agrees to help. He accompanies Kallik in the form of a white bear to try and convince Salik and his gang not to steal from the black bears. When a fight breaks out, he changes back into the form of a grizzly bear to help with the fighting. After the battle, he has no problem with Kallik and Taqqiq joining them on their journey.

Smoke Mountain

Ujurak is still traveling with Toklo, Lusa, Kallik, and Taqqiq. Like the whole group, except for Kallik, he does not get along with Taqqiq. Ujurak shows them a path to follow through rocks and mountains and Taqqiq tells everyone else to go the opposite direction, into a lush forest. Toklo is angered when Ujurak agrees and goes off path to the forest. The group meets a strange bear who tells him about Smoke Mountain which is beyond a raging river. They can either cross the river or cross Smoke Mountain, the group decides the River is safer than the mountain. The old bear tells them a legend of a giant Flat Face who burns bears and eats them. He also says the river is very dangerous but there is a place to cross beyond a flat face denning area.
The bear soon dies, as he is very old and frail. Ujurak helps bury him with the rest of the group.Taqqiq thinks its ridiculous that they are following the old bears advice to travel to the Great Wilderness and leaves the group to find new friends. They reach the river at nightfall and Ujurak turns into a gull to help guide the other bears across. There are several small islands in the river and the bears use them for rest. All four bears reach the other side. When traveling over Smoke Mountain, Lusa is hit by a Firebeast and he helps Toklo carry Lusa away from the flat-faces. He heals Lusa with herbs and when she wakes up from being unconscious, Lusa tells Ujurak about a voice telling her to "save the wild".
He says that he has had the same dream, but does not say anything else. The bears pass a Flat Face den and see bear skins on the roof, most likely drying them for further use. The bears are frightened by this, they believed Flat Faces only killed to eat like other animals but this is not true. They run from the sight, but he Flat Faces follow and chase the bears through the mountains. Toklo and the rest of the gang tell Ujurak to fly over a waterfall when they have to cross to get away from the flat faces, but he refuses. The hunters find the bears again and chase them, shooting at the bears and hitting Lusa's shoulder. Ujurak turns into a snowy owl when Toklo tells him to. It is very clear Ujurak does not like turning into other animals to make life easier for himself when his friend's can't. They escape the flat faces when Toklo is captured and the fire beast he rides in crashes into a river, flooding it. Toklo almost drowns but is saved by the group. Finally, Ujurak leads the group to the Last Great Wilderness.

The Last Wilderness

Ujurak is very happy that they have made it to their journey's end, but a voice that has been guiding him since his journey's beginning keeps telling him that their journey is not done yet and he must save the wild. Ujurak tries to block it out of his head, but is still confused on what it means.
One day, he is hunting with his friends and Toklo tries to get him to turn into a goose and then get into the middle of the flock and turns back into a bear to hunt them, but Ujurak forgets that he is a bear and he flies away from his friends. When he stops to eat, he eats a fish hook that is covered in sea weed and he starts to die.
When his friends find him, they tell him to turn into a flat-face then bring him to a flat-face healer who knows that he is a bear, but helps him. Later, other flat-faces come and take him away to an oil town hospital. There, Ujurak finds out about oil and what to flat-faces will to to get it. He gets mad and changes back into a bear.
His friends find him and they try to leave, but they are spotted by flat-faces and Ujurak turns back into a flat-face and talks to a girl named Maria who helps them hide from flat-faces and then she shows them how to get back to the forest.
When they go to where Maria told them to go, they don't know where to go so Ujurak goes up as an snowy owl and looks around, but keeps turning into animals who are affected from the flat-faces and he tells his friends that they must save the wild.
Toklo gets mad at him, but later calms down when they see the Aurora Borealis (northen nights) and take that as a sign that they must go onto the ice.

Fire in the Sky

During Fire in the Sky, Ujurak understands he must let Kallik lead them across the ice. He seems to read the signs of whorls and bubbles under the ice as he would with the signs on land, after Kallik tells him they are the spirits of dead polar bears. After he and Lusa try to prevent a fight over Kallik and Toklo after Kallik fails to catch a seal, Toklo falls in to the ice a littel ways off so Ujurak transforms into a beluga whale to save Toklo. He manages to flick Toklo out of the water with his powerful tail, but naturally felt the beluga whale's draw to the ocean, and almost forgets about turning back into a brown bear. While underwater, he finds an underwater firebeast, which was spilling gritty black stuff in the water which reminded him of oil. He is then saved by a Beluga whale named Uglu, who is searching for Pukak, her calf.
She refers to the firebeast as a 'Poisonbeast' and takes him back to her pod. He spends the night there as a whale. After hunting with them in the morning, Ujurak realizes they have many problems they cannot fix, and remembers he is a bear. He then reaches to the surface, while constantly reminding himself not to forget, then reaches the ice, and returns to his friends. He is very scared of what will happen when he transforms again, and stubbornly refuses. He later has a dream of his mother, Ursa, who turns out to be the bear spirit in the pathway star. He is guilty of forgetting about her, and in the dream he is able to remember her and the first time he transformed into another animal, a mouse, when a mouse snuck into their den and stole a berry then he turned into one and had some berries; but his mother told him that he is a bear and he must never forget that. His friends were visited too, although Kallik believes it was Silaluk, Lusa believes it was Arcturus, and
Toklo believes it was the lone bear so he tells him it was his mother.
He tries to protest when Toklo announces he and Lusa had to return to the land, but is unable to stop them, and stays with Kallik. He once almost transforms into a white bear while fighting a walrus, but restrains himself. He also helps Kallik build a den for a bear named Iniq, who is going to have cubs, but they have to leave Iniq after a firebeast cracks the ice, and Kallik catches her a seal. After that, he reads a sign in a streak in the sky, which tells him they must find Toklo and Lusa. Once Ujurak and Kallik find Toklo, Kallik and Toklo tell him he must turn into a flat-face to save Lusa from the flat-faces who are keeping her after she falls into the oil spill. He refuses, until they convince him enough. This time, he turns into a sixteen-year-old, rather than a little boy, with no real trouble remembering he is a bear. Before going into their tent, he snatches some clothing, or pelts, as the bears call it, and then works with the animal protectors, Craig and Sally. On the second night, he sneaks in to free Lusa. Sally finds him, and he admits freeing her, and says Lusa is his friend. While she is shocked, he transforms back into a bear, escaping, although guilty. He then finds his friends, and they continue their journey under the Northern Lights.

Spirits in the Stars

The travelling bears soon make it to Star Island, where they meet many polar bears, struggling to deal with a sickness that has been spreading.Ujurak learns that the water is poisoned, making the seals the polar bears eat sick. Ujurak formulates a plan to move the seals to clean waters to save the polar bears that rely on them for prey.
Ujurak finds special herbs to make the sick bears throw up the sick food in their stomachs and has Lusa tell their leader, Aga, as she seems to think Lusa is very special. Ujurak tends to the sick bears, then goes to move the seals.
Ujurak shape-shifts into a seal to convince them to leave the waters, and though they initially don't want to leave, he finally comes up with a new idea. Ujurak becomes an orca to scare away the seals, and gets them to clean water.
Ujurak has a dream telling him to find a man who can tranform into a raven, and he meets Tulugaq, an old man who has the spirit of a raven. They fly to a human structure and Tulugaq tells him he must destroy it.
When Ujurak comes back to the bears one day and tell them they need to destroy a human building polluting the wild, the bears form a new plan. When the time comes to carry out the plan, Ujurak dies when there in an avalanche.

Return to the Wild

Island of Shadows

Ujurak is missed by Toklo while traveling. Ujurak visits the bears in dreams and helps Lusa when they save Toklo from the tunnels and he visits her in a dream to get herbs for Toklo. Nanulak dosen't care about Ujurak, saying that he was just a dead bear.

The Melting Sea

Ujurak appears in dreams to the bears, and is talked about, he also helps Lusa when she gets lost, and when she goes to get flat face food from cans but is attacked by dogs, and Ujurak comes to her in the form of a dog and helps her.

River of Lost Bears

Ujurak comes to Lusa in a dream; he shows Toklo and Tobi as cubs playing together. 
When the bears are trying to rescue the trees from the flat-faces, Ujurak comes as a moose
and helps free the trees.
Coming Soon

Trivia

  • Erin Hunter has revealed that Ujurak's name means "rock", meaning he is strong and unchangeable, even though he can shape-shift.[14]
  • Ujurak may have had a crush on Sally.[15]

Ujurak's Star

Even before Ujurak met Toklo, he had been following a star in the sky which he had a very special connection to. He followed it whenever he could, and could even sense where it was during the day. Toklo did not like Ujurak's connection to it, because he felt it was his star and that it was unfair that Ujurak had such a great connection to it. Lusa also had a similar star. Later in the series, Ujurak surpisingly finds out that the star is his mother.


Ujurak's Shape-Shifting

Many times during the books Ujurak turns into different animals on accident, though very rarely he can chose what he turns into. Normally when an animal scares or excites him, he may turn into it. Although he has shifted into many animals, he is still considered a grizzly bear. Sometimes, though, he forgets that he is a bear. He has shifted into:

Quotes

"Toklo, it's you who are wrong. You should leave Nanulak here, where he belongs."
—Ujurak talking to Toklo about Nanulak, Island of Shadows, page 209 (hardcover)


Lusa: "Come with me. Kallik and Toklo will be so happy to see you!"
Ujurak: "No, not like this. I am with you, always. Remember that."
—Lusa after Ujurak-dog saved her, The Melting Sea, page 94 (hardcover)

Family Tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
 
Ursa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ujurak


    = Male

    = Female

    = Gender Unknown


References

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  4. Revealed in Smoke Mountain, page 35
  5. Revealed in The Quest Begins, page 217
  6. Revealed in The Quest Begins, page 242
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  8. Revealed in The Quest Begins, page 271
  9. Revealed in The Quest Begins, page 290
  10. Revealed in Great Bear Lake, page 4
  11. Revealed in Great Bear Lake, page 6
  12. Revealed in Smoke Mountain, page 13
  13. Revealed in Forest of Wolves, page 80
  14. [1]
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  16. Revealed in Fire in the Sky, page 122
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  30. Revealed in The Last Wilderness, page 69
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