Harkening back to Old Norse societies through the second and eighth centuries, a primarily agricultural period, a tribe or family could count their wealth and status by how many heads of cattle they owned. It makes sense because cattle were and still are an incredibly versatile asset to the farmer and paying customers, by supplying meat, milk, leather for shoes and clothes, as well as being able to pull plows and heavy carts. They also happen to be a portable asset, physically and financially, so it can be driven in a herd to another location and can also be sold or traded.
Fireweed is the follower of boreal forest fires and is the official flower of the Yukon. It grows in blazing-magenta abundance all over the territory and throughout the rest of Canada and Alaska as well. Fireweed is tremendously hardy—as an example, one year after the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state, 81% of all seedlings present on the mountainside were fireweed. The most prominent plant visible after any boreal forest fire is almost always fireweed. The fruit of the fireweed can contain as many as five hundred seeds and a single plant can produce as man as 80,000 seeds per year. Despite its high seed production, fireweed propagates most successfully through its rhizomes, or spreading root system. It also helps stabilize the soil and reduces erosion while the burn area regenerates.