Aino Folk-Tales
by Basil Hall Chamberlain
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[Transcriber's Note:

The substitution [= ] have been used in this version of the text. When used, it indicates that the vowel it surrounds is a long vowel with a macron (dash) above it.]




Privately Printed FOR THE FOLK-LORE SOCIETY. 1888. XXII.

List of Officers of the Society. 1887-1888.






G. L. GOMME, F.S.A., 1, Beverley Villas, Barnes Common, S.W.








A. GRANGER HUTT, F.S.A., 8, Oxford Road, Kilburn, N.W. J. J. FOSTER, 36, Alma Square, St. John's Wood, N.W.


Twelve hundred years ago a Chinese historian stated that "on the eastern frontier of the land of Japan there is a barrier of great mountains, beyond which is the land of the Hairy Men." These were the Aino, so named from the word in their own language signifying "man." Over most of the country of these rude and helpless indigenes the Japanese have long since spread, only a dwindling remnant of them still inhabiting the island of Yezo. Since the early days when a couple of them were sent as curiosities to the Emperor of China their uncouth looks and habits have made them objects of interest to more civilised nations. Many European writers have described them, but hardly any with such opportunities as Mr. Basil Hall Chamberlain, Professor of Philology at the Tōkyō University, who has taken down from the Ainos the present collection of their tales, and prefaced it with an account of their ways and state of mind. It would hardly be for me to offer information on a subject so excellently handled, but the request of the Editor of the Folk-Lore Journal that I would write an Introduction enables me to draw attention to the views put forward by Professor Chamberlain in another publication,[A] which, being printed in Japan, may be overlooked by many English folk-lore students, even of those interested in the curious Aino problem.

As is well known, the hairiness of the Ainos marks them sharply off from the smooth-faced Japanese. No one can look at photographs of Ainos without admitting that the often-repeated comparison of them to bearded Russian peasants is much to the purpose. The likeness is much strengthened by the bold quasi-European features of the Ainos contrasting extremely with the Japanese type of face. Of course all this has suggested a theory of the Ainos belonging to the Aryan race; and, although the idea comes to nothing when examined strictly, its existence is an acknowledgment of the special Aino race-type. Mention must also be made of an anatomical peculiarity of the Aino skeleton, consisting of a remarkable flattening of the arm-and leg-bones. On the whole it is evident that the Ainos are an ancient race in this part of Asia, and so far isolated that anthropology has not yet the means of settling their physical connection with other Asiatic tribes. Professor Chamberlain's careful examination of the Aino language leads him to a similar result. It is made not only from his own knowledge, but with the advantage of working with the Rev. John Batchelor, who has lived as a missionary among the Ainos for years, and written the Grammar printed as a part of these Aino Studies. In structure the resemblances which the Aino presents to Japanese are outweighed by the differences; and, though it may ultimately prove to fall into a north-east Asiatic group of languages, this is so far from being made out that it is safest for the present to treat both race and language as isolated. Inasmuch as the little civilisation now possessed by the Ainos has in great measure been learnt from the Japanese, it is natural that their modern language should have picked up numbers of Japanese words, from the name of kamui which they give to their gods, down to the rice-beer or sake in which they seek continual drunkenness, now their main source of enjoyment. One purpose which their language serves is to prove how widely they once spread over the country now Japan, where place-names alone remain to indicate a former Aino population. Some of these are unmistakeably Aino, as Yamashiro, which must have meant "land of chestnut trees," and Shikyu, "place of rushes." Others, if interpreted as Japanese, have a far-fetched sense, as, for instance, the villages of Mennai and Tonami, which, if treated as Japanese, would signify "inside permission" and "hares in a row"; whereas, if taken to be originally Aino they may bear the reasonable sense of "bad stream" and "stream from the lake." The inference from records and local names, worked out with great care by Professor Chamberlain, is "that the Ainos were truly the predecessors of the Japanese all over the Archipelago. The dawn of history shows them to us living far to the south and west of their present haunts; and ever since then, century by century, we see them retreating eastwards and northwards, as steadily as the American Indian has retreated westwards under the pressure of the colonists from Europe."

As with their language, so with their folk-lore, which largely shows itself adopted from the Japanese. In the present collection the stories of the Salmon-king (xxxiv.), the Island of Women (xxxiii.), and others, are based on episodes of Japanese tales, sometimes belonging to world-wide cycles of myth, as in the theme of the mortal who eats the deadly food of Hades (xxxv.), which has its typical example in the story of Persephone. On reading the short but curious tale (xvi.), How it was settled who should rule the World, one sees at once that the cunning Fox-god has come in from the well-known fox mythology of Japan; and as to the very clever mythic episode of looking for the sunrise in the west, I find, on inquiry of a Japanese gentleman living in Oxford, Mr. Tsneta Mori, that this belongs to the tale of the Wager of the Phoenix, known to all Japanese children, and in which the Phoenix is plainly derived from China. On the other hand, there is much genuine Aino matter in the present collection. For instance, we learn from Professor Chamberlain's above-mentioned treatise why it is that Panaumbe ("on the lower course of the river") does the clever things, while Penaumbe ("on the upper course of the river") is the stupid imitator who comes to grief. It is simply the expression of the dislike and contempt of the coast Ainos, who tell the stories, for the hill Ainos further up the rivers. It is needless to mention here the many touches of Aino ideas, morals, and customs, which their stories disclose, for it is in noticing these that much of the interest consists which the reader will feel in perusing them. Their most important characteristic indeed is insisted on by Professor Chamberlain, in remarks of which the value must not be overlooked. Of all the difficulties felt by the student of folk-lore the greatest is that of judging how far those who tell and listen really believe their childish wonder-tales of talking beasts and the like, or how far they make and take them as conscious fun. We ourselves are at the latter sceptical end, and many peoples we can examine are in a halfway state, not altogether disbelieving that big stones may once have been giants, or that it is a proper incident in a hero's career to be swallowed by a monster and get out again, but at the same time admitting that after all these may be only old wives' tales. Even savage tribes under contact with civilised men are mostly in this intermediate state, and thus Professor Chamberlain's statement as to the place of folk-lore in the Aino mind, made, as it has been, under his personal scrutiny, is a document of real consequence. He satisfied himself that his Ainos were not making believe, like Europeans with nursery tales, but that the explanatory myths of natural phenomena are to them theorems of physical science, and the wonder-tales are told under the impression that they really happened. Those who maintain the serious value of folk-lore, as embodying early but quite real stages of philosophy among mankind, will be grateful for this collection, in spite of its repulsive features, as furnishing the clearest evidence that the basis of their argument is not only theoretical but actual.

Edward B. Tylor.

[A] The Language, Mythology, and Geographical Nomenclature of Japan, viewed in the light of Aino Studies. By Basil Hall Chamberlain. Including an Ainu Grammar by John Batchelor. (Memoirs of the Literature College, Imperial University of Japan, No. 1.) Tōkyō: 1887.


By Basil Hall Chamberlain.

Prefatory Remarks.

I visited the island of Yezo for the third time in the summer of 1886, in order to study the Aino language, with a view to elucidate by its means the obscure problem of the geographical nomenclature of Japan. But, as is apt to happen on such occasions, the chief object of my visit soon ceased to be the only object. He who would learn a language must try to lisp in it, and more especially must he try to induce the natives to chatter in it in his presence. Now in Yezo, subjects of discourse are few. The Ainos stand too low in the scale of humanity to have any notion of the civilised art of "making conversation." When, therefore, the fishing and the weather are exhausted, the European sojourner in one of their dreary, filthy seaside hamlets will find himself,—at least I found myself,—sadly at a loss for any further means of setting his native companions' tongues in motion. It is then that fairy-tales come to the rescue. The Ainos would not suggest the idea themselves. To suggest ideas is not their habit. But they are delighted to follow it when suggested. Simply to repeat something which they have known by heart ever since the days of their childhood is not such an effort to their easily-tired brains as is the keeping up of a conversation with one who speaks their language imperfectly. Their tongues are at once loosened.

In my own case, I found myself, after a short time, listening to the stories for their own sake,—not merely as linguistic exercises; and I ventured to include a few of them in the "Memoir on the Ainos" which was published a few months ago by the Imperial University of Japan. Some remarks in a review of this "Memoir," contained in Nature of the 12th May, 1887, have encouraged me to believe that anthropologists and comparative mythologists may be interested in having laid before them something more than mere samples of the mental products of a people which is interesting for three reasons,—interesting because its domain once extended over the entire Japanese archipelago, interesting because absolutely nothing certain is known as to its origin and affinities, interesting because it is, so to speak, almost at its last gasp. I have, therefore, now collected and classified all the tales that were communicated to me by Ainos, in Aino, during my last stay in the island, and more latterly in Tōkyō, when, by the kind assistance of the President of the University, Mr. H. Watanabe, an exceptionally intelligent Aino was procured from the North, and spent a month in my house. These tales form the paper which I now have the honour to offer for the acceptance of your learned Society.

It would, no doubt, be possible to treat the subject of Aino folk-lore in great detail. The gloss might easily be made longer than the text. Each story might be analysed according to the method proposed by the Folk-Lore Society; a "survey of incidents" might be appended to each, as in Messrs. Steel and Temple's charming "Wide-Awake Stories," from the Punjab and Cashmere. More interesting to the anthropologist than such mechanical dissection of each tale considered as an independent entity would be the attempt to unravel the affinities of these Aino tales. How many of them, what parts of them, are original? How many of them are borrowed, and whence?

To carry out such an investigation with that completeness which would alone give it serious value, would necessitate a greater expenditure of time than my duties will allow of, perhaps also a fund of multifarious knowledge which I do not possess. I would, therefore, merely suggest in passing that the probabilities of the case are in favour of the Ainos having borrowed from their only clever neighbours, the Japanese. (The advent of the Russians is so recent that they need hardly be counted in this connection.) The reasons for attributing to the Japanese, rather than to the Ainos, the prior possession (which, by the way, by no means implies the invention) of the tales common to both races, are partly general, partly special. Thus it is a priori likely that the stupid and barbarous will be taught by the clever and educated, not the clever and educated by the stupid and barbarous. On the other hand, as I have elsewhere demonstrated, a comparative study of the languages of the two peoples shows clearly that this a priori view is fully borne out so far as far as the linguistic domain is concerned. The same remark applies to social customs. Even in religion, the most conservative of all institutions, especially among barbarians, the Ainos have suffered Japanese influence to intrude itself. It is Japanese rice-beer, under its Japanese name of sake, which they offer in libations to their gods. Their very word for "prayer" seems to be archaic Japanese. A mediaeval Japanese hero, Yoshitsune, is generally allowed to be held in religious reverence by them. The idea of earthquakes being caused by the wriggling of a gigantic fish under the earth is shared by the Ainos with the Japanese and with several other races.

At the same time, the general tenour and tendency of the tales and traditions of the Ainos wear a widely different aspect from that which characterises the folk-lore of Japan. The Ainos, in their humble way, are addicted to moralising and to speculating on the origin of things. A perusal of the following tales will show that a surprisingly large number of them are attempts to explain some natural phenomenon, or to exemplify some simple precept. In fact they are science,—physical science and moral science,—at a very early stage. The explanations given in these tales completely satisfy the adult Aino mind of the present day. The Aino fairy-tales are not, as ours are, survivals from an earlier stage of thought. They spring out of the present state of thought. Even if not invented of recent years they fit in with the present Aino view of things,—so much so, that an Aino who recounts one of his stories does so under the impression that he is narrating an actual event. He does not "make believe" like the European nurse, even like the European child, who has always, in some nook or corner of his mind, a presentiment of the scepticism of his later years.

So far as I can judge, that "disease of language" which we call metaphor, and which is held by some great authorities to have been the chief factor in the fabrication of Aryan myth, has no place in Aino fairy-land; neither have the phenomena of the weather attracted more attention than other things. But I speak subject to correction. Perhaps it is not wise to invite controversy on such a point unless one is well armed for the fight.

Failing an elaborate analysis of the Aino fairy-tales, and a discussion of their origin and affinities, what I venture to offer for your Society's acceptance is the simple text of the tales themselves, rendered into English. Nine of them have already been printed in the Aino "Memoir" already referred to. One has been printed (but not quite in its genuine form, which decency was supposed to forbid) at the end of Mr. Batchelor's grammar included in the same "Memoir." All the others are now given to the world for the first time, never having yet appeared in any language, not even in Japanese.

I would draw special attention to the character of the translation, as being an absolutely literal one in the case of all those stories which I originally wrote down in Aino from the dictation of native informants. As time pressed, however, I sometimes had the story told me more rapidly, and wrote it down afterwards in English only, but never more than a few hours afterwards. In such cases, though every detail is preserved, the rendering is of course not actually literal. This, and the fact that there were several informants, will account for the difference of style between the various stories. I have appended to each story either the words "translated literally," or the words "written down from memory," together with the date and the name of the informant, in order that those who use the collection may know exactly what it is that they are handling. In all such matters, absolute accuracy, absolute literalness, wherever attainable, is surely the one thing necessary. Not all the charm of diction, not all the ingenious theories in the world, can for a moment be set in the balance against rigid exactness, even if some of the concomitants of rigid exactness are such as to spoil the subject for popular treatment. The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loin-cloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim when, having discovered a new set of facts, he undertakes to present them to the consideration of the scientific world.

Of course Aino tales, like other tales, may also be treated from a literary point of view. Some of the tales of the present collection, prettily illustrated with pictures by Japanese artists, and altered, expurgated, and arranged virginibus puerisque, are at the present moment being prepared by Messrs. Ticknor & Co., of Boston, who thought with me that such a venture might please our little ones both in England and in the United States. But such things have no scientific value. They are not meant to have any. They are mere juvenile literature, whose English dressing-up has as little relation to the barbarous original as the Paris fashions have to the anatomy of the human frame.

The present paper, on the contrary, is intended for the sole perusal of the anthropologist and ethnologist, who would be deprived of one of the best means of judging of the state of the Aino mind if the hideous indecencies of the original were omitted, or its occasional ineptitude furbished up. Aino mothers, lulling their babies to sleep, as they rock them in the cradle hung over the kitchen fire, use words, touch on subjects which we never mention; and that precisely is a noteworthy characteristic. The innocent savage is not found in Aino-land, if indeed he is to be found anywhere. The Aino's imagination is as prurient as that of any Zola, and far more outspoken. Pray, therefore, put the blame on him, if much of the language of the present collection is such as it is not usual to see in print. Aino stories and Aino conversation are the intellectual counterpart of the dirt, the lice, and the skin-diseases which cover Aino bodies.

For the four-fold classification of the stories, no importance is claimed. It was necessary to arrange them somehow; and the division into "Tales Accounting for the Origin of Phenomena," "Moral Tales," "Tales of the Panaumbe and Penaumbe Cycle," and "Miscellaneous Tales," suggested itself as a convenient working arrangement. The "Scraps of Folk-Lore," which have been added at the end, may perhaps be considered out of place in a collection of tales. But I thought it better to err on the side of inclusion than on that of exclusion. For it may be presumed that the object of any such investigation is rather to gain as minute an acquaintance as possible with the mental products of the people studied, than scrupulously to conform to any system.

There must be a large number of Aino fairy-tales besides those here given, as the chief tellers of stories, in Aino-land as in Europe, are the women, and I had mine from men only, the Aino women being much too shy of male foreigners for it to be possible to have much conversation with them. Even of the tales I myself heard, several were lost through the destruction of certain papers,—among others at least three of the Panaumbe and Penaumbe Cycle, which I do not trust myself to reconstruct from memory at this distance of time. Many precious hours were likewise wasted, and much material rendered useless, by the national vice of drunkenness. A whole month at Hakodate was spoilt in this way, and nothing obtained from an Aino named Tomtare, who had been procured for me by the kindness of H. E. the Governor of Hakodate. One can have intercourse with men who smell badly, and who suffer, as almost all Ainos do, from lice and from a variety of disgusting skin-diseases. It is a mere question of endurance and of disinfectants. But it is impossible to obtain information from a drunkard. A third reason for the comparatively small number of tales which it is possible to collect during a limited period of intercourse is the frequency of repetitions. No doubt such repetitions have a confirmatory value, especially when the repetition is of the nature of a variant. Still, one would willingly spare them for the sake of new tales.

The Aino names appended to the stories are those of the men by whom they were told to me, viz. Penri, the aged chief of Piratori; Ishanashte of Shumunkot; Kannariki of Poropet (Jap. Horobetsu); and Kuteashguru of Sapporo. Tomtare of Yūrap does not appear for the reason mentioned above, which spoilt all his usefulness. The only mythological names which appear are Okikurumi, whom the Ainos regard as having been their civilizer in very ancient times, his sister-wife Turesh, or Tureshi[hi] and his henchman Samayunguru. The "divine symbols," of which such constant mention is made in the tales, are the inao or whittled sticks frequently described in books of travels.

Basil Hall Chamberlain. Miyanoshita, Japan, 20th July, 1887.


i.—The Rat and the Owl.[B]

An owl had put by for next day the remains of something dainty which he had to eat. But a rat stole it, whereupon the owl was very angry, and went off to the rat's house, and threatened to kill him. But the rat apologised, saying: "I will give you this gimlet and tell you how you can obtain from it pleasure far greater than the pleasure of eating the food which I was so rude as to eat up. Look here! you must stick the gimlet with the sharp point upwards in the ground at the foot of this tree; then go to the top of the tree yourself, and slide down the trunk."

Then the rat went away, and the owl did as the rat had instructed him. But, sliding down on to the sharp gimlet, his anus was transfixed, and he suffered great pain, and, in his grief and rage, went off to kill the rat. But again the rat met him with apologies, and, as a peace-offering, gave him a cap for his head.

These events account for the thick cap of erect feathers which the owl wears to this day, and also for the enmity between the owl and the rat.—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 25th November, 1886.)

[B] The Aino name here used (ahunrashambe) denotes a horned species.

ii.—The Loves of the Thunder-Gods.

Two young thunder-gods, sons of the chief thunder-god, fell violently in love with the same Aino woman. Said one of them to the other, in a joking way: "I will become a flea, so as to be able to hop into her bosom." Said the other: "I will become a louse, so as to be able to stay always in her bosom."

"Are those your wishes?" cried their father, the chief thunder-god. "You shall be taken at your word"; and forthwith the one of them who had said he would become a flea was turned into a flea, while he who said he would become a louse was turned into a louse. Hence all the fleas and lice that exist at the present day.

This accounts for the fact that, whenever there is a thunder-storm, fleas jump out of all sorts of places where there were none to be seen before.—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 27th November, 1886.)

iii.—Why Dogs cannot speak.

Formerly dogs could speak. Now they cannot. The reason is that a dog, belonging to a certain man a long time ago, inveigled his master into the forest under the pretext of showing him game, and there caused him to be devoured by a bear. Then the dog went home to his master's widow, and lied to her, saying: "My master has been killed by a bear. But when he was dying he commanded me to tell you to marry me in his stead." The widow knew that the dog was lying. But he kept on urging her to marry him. So at last, in her grief and rage, she threw a handful of dust into his open mouth. This made him unable to speak any more, and therefore no dogs can speak even to this very day.—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 29th November, 1886.)

iv.—Why the Cock cannot fly.

When the Creator had finished creating the world, and had returned to the sky, he sent down the cock to see whether the world was good or not, with orders to come back at once. But the world was so beautiful, that the cock, unable to tear himself away, kept lingering on from day to day. At last, after a long time, he was on his way flying back up to the sky. But God, angry with him for his disobedience, stretched forth his hand, and beat him down to earth, saying: "You are not wanted in the sky any more."

That is why, to this very day, the cock cannot fly high.—(Written down from memory. Told by Penri, 18th July, 1886.)

v.—The Origin of the Hare.

Suddenly there was a large house on the top of a mountain, wherein were six people beautifully arrayed, but constantly quarrelling. Whence they came was unknown. Thereupon Okikurumi came and said: "Oh! you bad hares! you wicked hares! who does not know your origin? The children in the sky were pelting each other with snowballs, and the snowballs fell into the world of men. As it would be a pity to waste anything that falls from the sky, the snowballs were turned into hares, and those hares are you. You, who dwell in this world, which belongs to me, should not quarrel. What is it that you are making such a noise about?"

With these words, Okikurumi seized a fire-brand, and beat each of the six with it in turn. Thereupon all the hares ran away. This is the origin of the hare[-god]; and for this reason the body of the hare is white because made of snow, while its ears—which are the place where it was charred by the fire-brand,—are black.—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 10th July, 1886.)

vi.—The Position of the Private Parts.

At the beginning of the world it had been the Creator's intention to place both men's and women's genitals on their foreheads so that they might be able to procreate children easily. But the otter made a mistake in conveying the message to that effect; and that is how the genitals come to be in the inconvenient place they are now in.—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 11th July, 1886.)

vii.—The Reason for there being no Fixed Time for Human Beings to copulate.

Anciently the Creator summoned all the birds and beasts, the gods and devils together, in order to instruct them on the subject of copulation. So the birds and all the others of every sort assembled, and learnt from the Creator when to copulate, and when to give birth to their young.

Then the Creator said to the horse: "Oh! thou divine ancestor of horses! It will be well for thee to copulate one spring, and to give birth to thy young in the spring of the following year; and thou mayest eat any of the grass that may grow in any land." At these words, the horse was delighted, and forthwith trotted out. But, as he rose, he kicked God in the forehead. So God was very angry, and pressed his hand to his head, so much did it hurt him.

Meanwhile, the ancestor of men came in, and asked saying: "How about me? When shall I copulate?" To which God, being still angry, replied: "Whenever you like!" For this reason, that race of creatures which is called man copulate at all times.—(Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 12th July, 1886).

viii.—The Owl and the Tortoise.

The tortoise[-god] in the sea and the owl[-god] on land were very intimate. The tortoise spoke thus: "Your child is a boy. My child is a girl. So it will be good for us to unite them in marriage. If I send into the river the fish that there are in the sea your son and my daughter, being both of them enabled to eat fish, will possess the world." Thus spoke the tortoise. The owl was greatly obliged. For this reason, the child of the tortoise and the child of the owl became husband and wife. For this reason, the owl, without the least hesitation, eats every fish that comes into the river.—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 15th July, 1886.)

ix.—How a Man got the better of two Foxes.

A man went into the mountains to get bark to make rope with, and found a hole. To this hole there came a fox, who spoke as follows, though he was a fox, in human language: "I know of something from which great profit may be derived. Let us go to the place to-morrow!" To which the fox inside the hole replied as follows: "What profitable thing do you allude to? After hearing about it, I will go with you if it sounds likely to be profitable; and if not, not." The fox outside spoke thus: "The profitable thing to be done is this. I will come here to-morrow about the time of the mid-day meal. You must be waiting for me then, and we will go off together. If you take the shape of a horse, and we go off together, I taking the shape of a man and riding on your back, we can go down to the shore, where dwell human beings possessed of plenty of food and all sorts of other things. As there is sure to be among the people some one who wants a horse, I will sell you to him who thus wants a horse. I can then buy a quantity of precious things and of food. Then I shall run away; and you, having the appearance of a horse, will be led out to eat grass, and be tied up somewhere on the hillside. Then, if I come and help you to escape, and we divide the food and the precious things equally between us, it will be profitable for both of us." Thus spoke the fox outside the hole; and the fox inside the hole was very glad, and said: "Come and fetch me early to-morrow, and we will go off together."

The man was hidden in the shade of the tree, and had been listening. Then the fox who had been standing outside went away, and the man, too, went home for the night. But he came back next day to the mouth of the hole, and spoke thus, imitating the voice of the fox whom he had heard speaking outside the hole the day before: "Here I am. Come out at once! If you will turn into a horse, we will go down to the shore." The fox came out. It was a big fox. The man said: "I have come already turned into a man. If you turn into a horse, it will not matter even if we are seen by other people." The fox shook itself, and became a large chestnut [lit. red] horse. Then the two went off together, and came to a very rich village, plentifully provided with everything. The man said: "I will sell this horse to anybody who wants one." As the horse was a very fine one, every one wanted to buy it. So the man bartered it for a quantity of food and precious things, and then went away.

Now the horse was such a peculiarly fine one that its new owner did not like to leave it out-of-doors, but always kept it in the house. He shut the door, and he shut the window, and cut grass to feed it with. But though he fed it, it could not (being really a fox) eat grass at all. All it wanted to eat was fish. After about four days it was like to die. At last it made its escape through the window and ran home; and, arriving at the place where the other fox lived, wanted to kill it. But it discovered that the trick had been played, not by its companion fox, but by the man. So both the foxes were very angry, and consulted about going to find the man and kill him.

But though the two foxes had decided thus, the man came and made humble excuses, saying: "I came the other day, because I had overheard you two foxes plotting; and then I cheated you. For this I humbly beg your pardon. Even if you do kill me, it will do no good. So henceforward I will brew rice-beer for you, and set up the divine symbols for you, and worship you,—worship you for ever. In this way you will derive greater profit than you would derive from killing me. Fish, too, whenever I make a good catch, I will offer to you as an act of worship. This being so, the creatures called men shall worship you for ever."

The foxes, hearing this, said: "That is capital, we think. That will do very well." Thus spake the foxes. Thus does it come about that all men, both Japanese and Aino, worship the fox. So it is said.—(Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 15th July, 1886.)

x.—The Man who Married the Bear-Goddess.

There was a very populous village. It was a village having both plenty of fish and plenty of venison. It was a place lacking no kind of food. Nevertheless, once upon a time, a famine set in. There was no food, no venison, no fish, nothing to eat at all; there was a famine. So in that populous village all the people died.

Now the village chief was a man who had two children, a boy and a girl. After a time, only those two children remained alive. Now the girl was the older of the two, and the boy was the younger. The girl spoke thus: "As for me, it does not matter even if I do die, since I am a girl. But you, being a boy, can, if you like, take up our father's inheritance. So you should take these things with you, use them to buy food with, eat it, and live." So spoke the girl, and took out a bag made of cloth, and gave it to him.

Then the boy went out on to the sand, and walked along the sea-shore. When he had walked on the sand for a long time, he saw a pretty little house a short way inland. Near it was lying the carcase of a large whale. The boy went to the house, and after a time entered it. On looking around, he saw a man of divine appearance. The man's wife, too, looked like a goddess, and was dressed altogether in black raiment. The man was dressed altogether in speckled raiment. The boy went in, and stood by the door. The man said to him: "Welcome to you, whencesoever you may have come." Afterwards a lot of the whale's flesh was boiled, and the boy was feasted on it. But the woman never looked towards him. Then the boy went out and fetched his parcel, which he had left outside. He brought in the bag made of cloth which had been given to him by his sister, and opened its mouth. On taking out and looking at the things inside it, they were found to be very precious treasures. "I will give you these treasures in payment for the food," said the boy, and gave them to that divine-looking man-of-the-house. The god, having looked at them, said: "They are very beautiful treasures." He said again: "You need not have paid me for the food. But I will take these treasures of yours, carry them to my [other] house, and bring you my own treasures in exchange for them. As for this whale's flesh, you can eat as much of it as you like, without payment." Having said this, he went off with the lad's treasures.

Then the lad and the woman remained together. After a time the woman turned to the lad, and said: "You lad! listen to me when I speak. I am the bear-goddess. This husband of mine is the dragon-god. There is no one so jealous as he is. Therefore did I not look towards you, because I knew that he would be jealous if I looked towards you. Those treasures of yours are treasures which even the gods do not possess. It is because he is delighted to get them that he has taken them with him to counterfeit them and bring you mock treasures. So when he shall have brought those treasures and shall display them, you must speak thus: 'We need not exchange treasures. I wish to buy the woman!' If you speak thus, he will go angrily away, because he is such a jealous man. Then afterwards we can marry each other, which will be very pleasant. That is how you must speak." That was what the woman said.

Then, after a certain time, the man of divine appearance came back grinning. He came bringing two sets of treasures, the treasures which were treasures and his own other treasures. The god spoke thus: "You, lad! As I have brought the treasures which are your treasures, it will be well to exchange them for my treasures." The boy spoke thus: "Though I should like to have treasures also, I want your wife even more than I want the treasures; so please give me your wife instead of the treasures." Thus spoke the lad.

He had no sooner uttered the words than he was stunned by a clap of thunder above the house. On looking around him, the house was gone, and only he and the goddess were left together. He came to his senses. The treasures were there also. Then the woman spoke thus: "What has happened is that my dragon-husband has gone away in a rage, and has therefore made this noise, because you and I wish to be together. Now we can live together." Thus spoke the goddess. Afterwards they lived together. This is why the bear is a creature half like a human being.—(Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 9th November, 1886.)

xi.—The two Foxes, the Mole, and the Crows.

Two brother foxes consulted together thus: "It would be fun for us to go down among men, and assume human shape." So they made treasures and they made garments out of the leaves of various trees, and they made various things to eat and cakes out of the gum which comes out of trees. But the mole[-god] saw them making all these preparations. So the mole made a place like a human village, and placed himself in it under the disguise of a very old man. The foxes came to that village; they came to the very old man's house. And the mole himself made beautiful treasures and made garments out of various herbs and leaves of trees; and, taking mulberries and grapes from the tops of the trees, he made good food. On the arrival of the foxes, the mole invited all the crows in the place and all sorts of birds. He gave them human shape, and placed them as owners in the houses of the village. Then the mole, as chief of the village, was a very old man.

Then the foxes came, having assumed the shape of men. They thought the place was a human village. The old chief bought all the things which the foxes had brought on their backs, all their treasures and all their food. Then the old man displayed to them his own beautiful treasures. The old man displayed all his beautiful things, his garments. The foxes were much pleased. Then the old man spoke thus: "Oh you strangers! as there is a dance in my village, it will be well for you to see it." Then all the people in the village danced all sorts of dances. But at last, owing to their being birds, they began to fly upwards, notwithstanding their human shape. The foxes saw this, and were much amused. The foxes ate both of the mulberries and of the grapes. They tasted very good. It was great fun, too, to see the dancing. Afterwards they went home.

The foxes, thought thus: "What is nicer even than treasures is the delicious food which human beings have. As we do not know what it is, let us go again and buy some more of it." So they again made treasures out of herbs. Then they again went down to that village. The mole was in a golden house—a large house. He was alone in it, having sent all the crows and the rest away. As the foxes entered the house and looked about them, they saw a very venerable god. The god spoke thus: "Oh! you foxes; because you had assumed human shape, you made all sorts of counterfeit treasures. I saw all that you did. It is by me, and because of this, that you are brought here. You think this is a human village; but it is the village of me, your master the mole. It seems you constantly do all sorts of bad things. If you do so, it is very wrong; so do not assume human shape any more. If you will cease to assume human shape, you may henceforth eat your fill of these mulberries and grapes. You and your companions the crows may eat together of the mulberries and of all fruits at the top of the trees, which the crows cause to drop down. This will be much more profitable for you than to assume human shape." Thus spoke the mole.

Owing to this, the foxes left off assuming human shape, and, from that time forward, ate as they pleased of the mulberries and the grapes. When the crows let any drop, they went underneath the trees and ate them. They became very friendly together.—(Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 11th November, 1886.)

xii.—The Stolen Charm.

A very rich man kept a puppy and a fox-cub. Besides these he possessed a tiny silver model of a ship,—a charm given to him by some god, what god I know not. One day this charm was stolen, and could nowhere be found. The rich man was so violently grieved at this, that he lay down and refused all food, and was like to die. Meanwhile the puppy and the fox-cub played about in his room. But when they saw, after some time, that the man was really going to die, the fox-cub said to the puppy: "If our master dies, we shall die of hunger too; so we had better search for the charm." So they consulted as to the best way to search for it; and at last the fox-cub was struck by the idea that the ogre who lived at the top of the large mountain that stands at the end of the world might have stolen the charm and put it into his box. The fox-cub seemed to see that this had really happened. So the two little animals determined to go and rescue the charm from the ogre. But they knew that they could not accomplish this alone, and resolved to add the rat[-god] to their number. So they invited the rat, and the three went off, dancing merrily.

Now the ogre was always looking steadily in the direction of the sick rich man, hoping that he would die. So he did not notice the approach of the fox-cub, the dog, and the rat. So when they reached the ogre's house, the rat, with the help of the fox-cub, scooped out a passage under and into the house, by which all three made their way in. They then decided that it must be left to the rat to get hold of the charm by nibbling a hole in the box in which it was kept. Meanwhile the fox-cub assumed the shape of a little boy, and the puppy that of a little girl,—two beautiful little creatures who danced and went through all sorts of antics, much to the amusement of the ogre. The ogre was, however, suspicious as to how they had come into the house, and whence they had come, for the doors were not open. So he determined just to divert himself awhile by watching their frolics, and then to kill them. Meanwhile the rat had nibbled a hole in the box. Then getting into it, he rescued the charm, and went out again through the passage in the ground. The little boy and girl disappeared too; how, the ogre could not tell. He made to pursue them through the door, when he saw them fleeing. But on second thoughts he came to the conclusion that, having once been taken in by a fox, there was no use in further endeavours. So he did not follow the three animals as they fled away.

They returned to the village; the puppy and the fox-cub to their master's house, the rat to its own place. The puppy and the fox-cub took home with them the charm, and placed it by their master's pillow, playing about near him, and pulling his clothes a little with their teeth. At length he lifted his head and saw the charm. Then he worshipped it with great joy and gratitude. Afterwards the fox-cub and the puppy caused him to see in a dream how the charm had been recovered through the rat's assistance. So he worshipped the rat also.

For this reason the Ainos do not think so very badly of the rat after all. The fox, too, though often pursued by dogs, will sometimes make friends with them; and even when a dog is pursuing a fox, it will not bite the latter if it turns its face towards the pursuer.—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 21st November, 1886.)

xiii.—The Fox, the Otter, and the Monkey.

In very ancient days, at the beginning of the world, there were a fox, an otter, and a monkey, all three of whom lived on the most intimate terms of friendship.

One day the fox spoke to the other two as follows: "What do you say to our going off somewhere, and stealing food and treasures from the Japanese?" His two companions having consented, they all went together to a distant place, and stole a bag of beans, a bag of salt, and a mat from the house of a very rich man. When they had come home with their plunder, the fox said: "Otter! you had better take the salt, for it will be useful to you in salting the fish which you catch in the water when you go fishing. Monkey! do you take the mat; it will be very useful for you to make your children dance upon. As for myself, I will take the bag of beans."

After this, all three retired to their respective houses; and a little later the otter went to the river to fish. But, as he took his bag of salt with him when he made the plunge, all the salt was melted in a moment, to his great disappointment. The monkey was equally unlucky; for, having taken his mat and spread it on the top of a tree, and made his children dance there, the children fell, and were dashed to pieces on the ground below.

The monkey and the otter, enraged by the misfortunes which the fox's wiles had brought upon them, now joined together in order to fight the fox. So the latter took a lot of beans out of his bag, chewed them to a pulp, smeared all his body with the paste, and lay down pretending to be very ill. And when the otter and the monkey came and made to kill him, he said: "See to what a pitiful plight I am reduced! As a punishment for having deceived you, my whole body is now covered with boils, and I am on the point of death. There is no need for you to kill me. Go away! I am dying fast enough." The monkey looked, and saw that the fox seemed to be speaking the truth. So he went testily away, across the sea to Japan. That is the reason why there are no monkeys in the land of the Ainos.—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 11th July, 1886.)

xiv.—The Fox and the Tiger.—(No. I.)

Said the tiger to the fox: "Let us run a race from the top of the world to the bottom of the world, and he who wins it shall be lord of the world!" The fox agreed, and off the tiger bounded, but without noticing that the fox had caught hold of his tail so as to get pulled along by him. Just as the tiger was about to reach the other end, he suddenly whisked round, in order to jeer at the fox, whom he believed to be far behind. But this motion exactly threw the fox safely on to the far end, so that he was able to call out to the astonished tiger: "Here I am. What are you so long about?"

For this reason there are no tigers in Aino-land.

(No. II.)

Said the tiger to the fox: "You are said to be the craftiest of all creatures. Let us now enter into rivalry, and see which of us can roar the loudest; for to him shall belong the chieftainship of the world." The fox consented, and the two stood up alongside of each other. But as it was for the tiger to roar first, he remained standing up, and did not notice how the fox scraped a hole with his paws to hide his head in, so that his ears might not be stunned by the tiger's roaring.

Well, the tiger roared a roar which he thought must be heard from the top of the world to the bottom of the world, and must certainly stun the fox. But the fox, as soon as he knew the tiger's roar to be at an end, jumped up out of the hole where he had been hiding his ears, and said: "Why! I hardly heard you. You can surely roar louder than that. You had better try again."

The tiger was very angry at this; for he had expected that the fox would be stunned to death. However he resolved to make another still more tremendous effort. He did so, while the fox again hid his head in the hole; and the tiger burst his inside in the attempt.

For this reason there are no tigers in Aino-land. For this reason, also, foxes are crafty and eloquent even at the present day.—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 27th November, 1886.)

xv.—The Punishment of Curiosity.

In very ancient days, when the world had just been made, everything was still unsettled and dangerous. The crust of the earth was thin, and all was burning beneath. For this reason the people did not dare to venture outside of their huts even to obtain food: for they would have scorched their feet. So they were fed by the god Okikurumi, who used to fish for them, and then send round his wife Turesh with what he had caught. But he commanded the people to ask no questions, and never to attempt to look at Turesh's face. But one day an Aino in one of the huts was not content with being fed for nothing, and disobeyed Okikurumi's commands. He wished to see who the woman was that came round every day with food. So he waited till her hand was stretched in at the window, seized hold of it, and pulled her in by main force. She screamed and struggled; and, when she was inside the hut, she turned into a wriggling, writhing dragon. The sky darkened, the thunder crashed, the dragon vanished, and the hut was consumed by lightning. Okikurumi was very angry at what the man had done. So he left off feeding the people, and went away, none, knew whither. That is why the Ainos have been poor and miserable ever since that time.—(Written down from memory. Told by Kuteashguru, July, 1886.)

xvi.—How it was settled who should rule the World.

When the Creator had finished creating this world of men, the good and the bad gods were all mixed together promiscuously, and began disputing for the possession of the world. They disputed,—the bad gods wanting to be at the head of the government of this world, and the good gods likewise wanting to be at the head. So the following arrangement was agreed to: Whoever, at the time of sunrise, should be the first to see the luminary, should rule the world. If the bad gods should be the first to see it rise, then they should rule; and if the good gods should be the first, then they should rule. Thereupon both the bad Gods and the brilliant gods looked towards the place where the luminary was to rise. But the fox[-god] alone stood looking towards the west. After a little time, the fox cried out: "I see the sunrise." On the gods, both bad and good, turning round and gazing, they saw in truth the refulgence of the luminary in the west. This is the cause for which the brilliant gods rule the world.—(Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 10th July, 1886.)

xvii.—The Man who lost his Wife.

A man had lost his wife, and was searching for her everywhere, over hill and dale, forest and sea-shore. At last he came to a wide plain, on which stood an oak-tree. Going up to it he found it to be not so much an oak-tree as a house, in which dwelt a kind-looking old man. Said the old man: "I am the god of the oak-tree. I know of your loss, and have seen your faithful search. Rest here awhile, and refresh yourself by eating and smoking. After that, if you hope to find your wife again, you must obey my orders, which are as follows: Take this golden horse, get on his back, fly up on him to the sky, and, when you get there, ride about the streets, constantly singing."

So the man mounted the horse, which was of pure gold. The saddle and all the trappings were of gold also. As soon as he was in the saddle, the horse flew up to the sky. There the man found a world like ours, but more beautiful. There was an immense city in it; and up and down the streets of that city, day after day, he rode, singing all the while. Every one in the sky stared at him, and all the people put their hands to their noses, saying: "How that creature from the lower world stinks!" At last the stench became so intolerable to them that the chief god of the sky came and told him that he should be made to find his wife if only he would go away. Thereupon the man flew back to earth on his golden horse. Alighting at the foot of the oak-tree, he said to the oak-god: "Here am I. I did as you bade me. But I did not find my wife." "Wait a moment," said the oak-god; "you do not know what a tumult has been caused by your visit to the sky, neither have I yet told you that it was a demon who stole your wife. This demon, looking up from hell below, was so much astonished to see and hear you riding up and down the streets of heaven singing, that his gaze is still fixed in that direction. I will profit hereby to go round quietly, while his attention is absorbed, and let your wife out of the box in which he keeps her shut up."

The oak-god did as he had promised. He brought back the woman, and handed over both her and the gold horse to the man, saying: "Do not use this horse to make any more journeys to the sky. Stay on earth, and breed from it." The couple obeyed his commands, and became very rich. The gold horse gave birth to two horses, and these two bred likewise, till at last horses filled all the land of the Ainos.—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 21st July, 1886.)

xviii.—The First Appearance of the Horse in Aino-land.

A very beautiful woman had a husband. He was a very skilful fellow. Once he went to the mountains, and disappeared. But at night he returned, bearing a deer on his back. After feasting on the deer, they went to bed. But in the middle of the night, the woman wept and screamed, saying: "This man is not my husband. Though with shame, I will declare the fact as it is. His penis is so big, so big, so big, that it will not get into my vagina; and if it did get in, I should die."

Alarmed by her cries, the neighbours ran out, and came into her house; and one strong fellow took a stick, and beat the husband, saying: "You must be some sort of devil," whereupon the husband turned into a horse, and ran away neighing. Afterwards he was beaten to death.

The truth was that the husband had been killed and supplanted by the horse. That was the first the Ainos saw of horses. In ancient days every sort of creature could thus assume human shape. So it is said.—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 12th July, 1886.)


When the sun rises at the head of the world [i.e. in the east], a devil tries to swallow it. But some one thrusts two or three crows or foxes into the devil's mouth. Meanwhile the sun mounts on high. The creatures, than which there are none more numerous in this world, are the crows and the foxes. That is why things are thus. In return for this service of theirs, the crows and foxes share in all man's eatables. It is because of the above fact.—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 13th July, 1886.)

xx.—The Sex of the Two Luminaries.

Formerly it was the female luminary that came out at night. But she was so greatly shocked at the immoralities which she saw going on out of doors among the grass, that she exchanged with the male luminary, who, being a man, did not care so much. So now the sun is a female deity, and the moon is a male deity. But surely the sun must be often shocked at what she sees going on even in the day-time, when the young people are in the open among the grass.—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, November, 1886.)


xxi.—The Kind Giver and the Grudging Giver.

A certain man had laid his net across the river; having laid his net, he killed a quantity of fish. Meanwhile there came a raven, and perched beside him. It seemed to be greatly hungering after the fish. It was much to be pitied. So the fisherman washed one of the fish, and threw it to the raven. The raven ate the fish with great joy. Afterwards the raven came again. Though it was a raven, it spoke thus, just like a human being: "I am very grateful for having been fed on fish by you. If you will come with me to my old father, he too will thank you. So you had better come."

The man went with the raven. Being a raven, it flew through the air. The man followed it on foot. After they had gone a long way, they came to a large house. When they got there, the raven went into the house. The man went in also. When he looked, it appeared like a human being in form, though it was a raven. There were also a divine old man and a divine old woman besides the divine girl. This girl was she who had led the man hither. The divine old man spoke thus: "I am very grateful to you. As I am very grateful to you for feeding my daughter with good fish, I have had you brought here in order to reward you." Thus spoke the divine old man.

Then there were a gold puppy and a silver puppy. Both these puppies were given to the man. The divine old man spoke thus: "Though I should give you treasures, it would be useless. But if I give you these puppies, you will be greatly benefited. As for the excrements of these two puppies, the gold puppy excretes gold and the silver puppy excretes silver. This being so, you will be greatly enriched if you sell these excrements to the officials. Understand this!" Then the man, with respectful salutations, went away, carrying with him the two puppies, and came to his own house. Then he gave the puppies a little food at a time. When the gold puppy excreted, it excreted gold for him. When the silver puppy excreted, it excreted silver for him. The man greatly enriched himself by selling the metal.

Thereupon another man, for the sake of imitation, set his net in the river. He killed a quantity of fish. Then the raven came. The man smeared a fish with mud, and then threw it to the raven. The raven flew away with it. The man went after it, and at last, after going a long way, reached a large house. He went in there. The divine old man was very angry. He spoke thus: "You man are a man with a very bad heart. When you gave my daughter a fish, you gave it smeared all over with mud. I am very angry. Still, though I am angry, I will give you some puppies, as you have come to my house. If you treat them properly, you will be benefited." Thus spoke the divine old man, and gave a gold puppy and a silver puppy to the man. With a bow, the man went home with them.

The man thought thus: "If I feed the puppies plentifully, they will excrete plenty of metal. It would be foolish to have them excreting only a little at a time. So I will do that, and become very rich." Thinking thus, he fed the puppies plentifully on anything, even on dirty things. Then they excreted no metal for him. They only excreted dirty dung. The man's house was full of nothing but dirty dung. As for the former man, who had received puppies from the divine old man, he fed his on nothing but good food, a little at a time. Gradually they excreted metal for him. He was greatly enriched.

Thus in ancient times, with regard to men who wished to grow rich, they could grow rich if their hearts were as good as possible. As for bad-hearted men, the gods became angry at all their various misdeeds. It was for this reason that, on account of their anger, even a gold puppy excreted nothing but dung. As for the house of that bad-hearted man, it grew so full of dung as to be too dirty for other people to enter. This being so, oh! men, do not be bad-hearted. That is the story which I have heard.—(Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 20th July, 1886.)

xxii.—The Man who was changed into a Fox.

A certain man's conduct was as follows: he went to every place, making it his business to do nothing but tell lies and extort things from people. Then, after a time, when wanting to extort again, he went on to another place. While walking along he used to think of what lies he could tell. Afterwards he heard a voice. It was not human language. He walked saying—"Pau! pau!"[C] When he looked at his own body, it was a fox's. Then he thought that, whether he might return to his own village, or go to another place, the dogs would kill him. So, with tears, he went away from the road into the mountains. There he found a large, leafy oak-tree. He lay down crying beneath it.

Then he fell asleep. He dreamt that there was a large house. He was outside of that house. A divine woman came out of it, and spoke thus: "Oh! what a bad man! what a villain! You have become a bad god, a devil, as a divine punishment for your misdeeds. Being thus made into a devil, why do you come and stand near my house? I should like to leave you alone. But as I am this tree, which is made the chief of trees by heaven, and as it would defile me to have you die beside my house, I will turn you into a man again and send you home. Do not misbehave yourself henceforth!" Thus spoke the divine woman.

Such was his dream. Meanwhile the branches at the top of the tree broke, and came crashing down, and he was greatly frightened. But when he started up, he was a man again. Then he worshipped the tree. Then he returned home. Then afterwards he did not misbehave. So also must you not misbehave, you men who live now!—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 19th July, 1886.)

[C] An onomatopoeia for the bark of the fox.

xxiii.—The Rat Boy.

In a certain village there lived a very rich couple; but they were childless. They were very anxious for a child. But one day, as the wife went to the mountains to fetch wood, she found a little boy crying beside a tree. Rejoiced at this, she took him down with her to the village. Thenceforth they kept the boy with them. It was a place where there was plenty of deer and also of fish; it was a place provided with all the things which people like to eat. But though they hunted the deer, they could not catch them; though they angled for the fish, they could not catch them. They were very hungry. Hearing that great quantities both of fish and of deer were killed in the village next to theirs, towards the mountains, the wife went off to buy food there, taking the child with her. She went to the village next to theirs, towards the mountains. She went to the house of the chief.

The woman looked and saw fish hanging on poles, and flesh hanging on poles. With tears she longed for some. She went in, she went in to the chief's house. Then she stayed there. She was feasted on the best bits of the fish and on the best bits of the flesh. After that, as she lay down with her little boy, he rose quietly in the middle of the night. Then there was the sound of a rat nibbling at the fish and flesh on the poles. The woman thought it very strange. So at dawn the boy came quietly back, lay down by the woman's side, and slept there till the day was bright. The people of the house rose, and the chief went out and mumbled thus to himself: "Never were there such rats as this. There have been rats nibbling my good fish and my good flesh."

So the woman bought a quantity of fish and flesh and went off with it. She wanted the little boy to walk in front of her; but he disliked to do so. He would only walk after her. Then there was the sound of a rat nibbling at her load. When she looked back, the little boy was grinning. So they went on; they went home. Then she put both the fish and the flesh into the store-house. Then she whispered to her husband. Then her husband went into the next room, and made a trap. Then the trap was set in the store-house. Then they went to bed. The little boy lay between the woman and her husband; but after awhile he quietly rose and went out. He stayed away, without coming back. Daylight came. On the man of the house going into the store-house, there was a large rat in the trap. So he brought it down, beat it to death, and swept it on to the dust-heap. That night he had a dream. A person of divine aspect spoke to him thus; "You were childless, and wanting to have a child. The most wicked of the rats, seeing this, took the shape of a little boy, and dwelt in your house. For this reason, your village has been polluted. But as you have now killed the rat, all will now be right. I am sorry for you, so you shall have a child." Thus did he dream that the god spoke to him. As it was true, they got a child, though they had been childless.

For this reason, whether it be on the shore or in the mountains or anywhere else that one finds either a child or a puppy, one should not let it dwell in one's house without knowing its origin.—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 20th July 1886.)

xxiv.—Don't throw Useful Things away.

A certain man had a little boy. A divine little boy and a divine little girl used to come and play with him every day. But the little boy alone could see them. His parents could not see them, but believed their child to be alone.

Now one day he fell ill, and during his illness his two playmates did not come to see him. Only at the very last did they come, when he seemed to be on the point of death. Then they came, and the little girl said: "We know the cause of your illness. Your grandfather possessed a beautiful axe. I myself am a small tray which he fashioned with that axe, and the little boy who comes with me is a pestle which was also fashioned with it. So the axe was our chieftain, and we are its children. But your father has been bad. He has thrown away the axe, which is now rusting under the floor. For this are you ill, in order to punish your father, because our chieftain the axe is angry. Therefore, as we were your playmates, we have come to warn you that, if you wish to live, you must tell your father to search for the axe, to polish it, to make a new handle for it, and to set up the divine symbols in its honour. Then may you be cured, and the axe too will pay you a visit in human shape."

So the boy told his father of this. The father thought that his son had been instructed in a dream. He searched under the floor of the house, and found the axe, and polished it, and made a new handle for it, and set up the divine symbols in its honour. Then his son was immediately healed.

After that, the axe (who appeared as a very handsome man), the tray, and the pestle all came, and became the little boy's brothers and sisters. The axe, being a god, knew all that went on and the causes of everything; and it and the tray and the pestle used always to tell the boy everything. Thus, if any one was sick, he knew why the sickness had come, and how it should be treated. He was looked upon as a great soothsayer and wizard, who could turn death into life. This was because other people only saw him. They did not see his divine informants, the axe, the tray, and the pestle.

For this reason never throw away anything that has belonged to your ancestors. You will be punished by the gods if you do so.

[In a variant of this tale, the death of child after child borne by a certain woman was owing to the fact that the doll with which she herself had played as a child (a piece of wood shaped like a bird) had been thrown away in the grass, and had thus had its anger aroused. A conversation on the subject between the spoon, the cup, and the iron chain whereby the kettle is hung over the fire from a hook in the ceiling, is overheard by a half-burnt piece of firewood, who warns the woman's husband in a dream. The doll is then looked for; and, when found, the divine symbols are set up in its honour. Thereupon the woman bears again. This time the child survives, to the delight of both its parents.]—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 2nd December, 1886.)

xxv.—The Wicked Wizard punished.

One day a wizard told a man whom he knew that, if any one were to climb a certain mountain-peak and jump off on to the belt of clouds below, he would be able to ride about on them as on a horse, and see the whole world. Trusting in this, the man did as the wizard had told him, and in very truth was enabled to ride about on the clouds. He visited the whole world in this fashion, and brought back a map which he had drawn of the whole world both of men and of gods. On arriving back at the mountain-peak in Aino-land, he stepped off the cloud on to the mountain, and, descending to the valley, told the wizard how successful and delightful the journey had been, and thanked him for the opportunity kindly granted him of seeing sights so numerous and so strange.

The wizard was overcome with astonishment. For what he had told the other man was a lie, a wicked lie invented with the sole intention of causing his death; for he hated him. Nevertheless, seeing that what he had simply meant for an idle tale was apparently an actual fact, he decided to see the world himself in this easy fashion. So, ascending the mountain-peak, and seeing a belt of clouds a short way below, he jumped off on to it, but was instantly dashed to pieces in the valley below.

That night the god of the mountain appeared to the good man in a dream, and said: "The wizard has met with the death which his fraud and folly deserve. You I kept from hurt, because you are a good man. So when, obedient to the wizard's advice, you leapt off on to the cloud, I bore you up, and showed you the world in order to make you a wiser man. Let all men learn from this how wickedness leads to condign punishment!"—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 21st July, 1886.)

xxvi.—The Angry Crow.

A man came to a certain village—whence was not known,—dressed only in fine black robes. While he was there, some rice-beer was brewed. On being given some of it to drink, he was very joyful, and then danced. Then, as he went out-of-doors, he re-entered the house with a piece of hard dung in his mouth, and put it in the alcove. As the master of the house became angry and beat him, he, being a large crow, flew out of the window, making the sound "Kā! kā!" For this reason, even crows are creatures to be dreaded. Be very careful!—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 11th July, 1886.)

[In another version of this story, communicated to me by Mr John Batchelor, the crow, enraged at not having received an invitation to a feast given by some of the more handsome birds, flies high into the air with a piece of hard dung in its mouth, and lets it drop into the middle of the party, to the great confusion of the guests. Some of the smaller birds take counsel together as to the advisability of interfering to restore the harmony of the occasion, but finally decide that it is not for them, who were also omitted from the list of invitations, to mix themselves up with such a matter. Moral: If you give a feast, ask all your friends to it. If any are left out, they are sure to feel hurt.]

xxvii.—Okikurumi, Samayunguru, and the Shark.

Okikurumi and his henchman Samayunguru went out one day to sea, and speared a large shark, which ran away, up and down the sea, with the line and the boat. The two men grew very tired of pulling at him, and could not prevent the boat from being pulled about in all directions. Their hands were bloody and blistered both on the backs and on the palms, till at last Samayunguru sank dead in the bottom of the boat. At last Okikurumi could hold on no longer, and he cursed the shark, saying: "You bad shark! I will cut the rope. But the tip of the harpoons, made half of iron and half of bone, shall remain sticking in your flesh; and you shall feel in your body the reverberation of the iron and the scraping of the bone; and on your skin shall grow the rasupa-tree and the shiuri-tree of which the spear-handle is made, and the hai-grass by which the tip of the harpoon is tied to the body of it, and the nipesh-tree of which the rope tying the harpoon itself is made, so that, though you are such a mighty fish, you shall not be able to swim in the water; and you shall die, and a last be washed ashore at the river-mouth of Saru; and even the carrier-crows and the dogs and foxes will not eat you, but will only void their foeces upon you, and you shall at last rot away to earth."

The shark laughed, thinking this was merely a human being telling a falsehood. Okikurumi cut the rope, and, after a long time, managed to reach the land. Then he revived Samayunguru, who had been dead. And afterwards the shark died and was washed ashore at the river-mouth of Saru; and the tip of the harpoon made half of iron and half of bone had stuck in its flesh; and it had felt in its body the reverberation of the hammering of the iron and the scraping of the bone; and in its skin were growing the rasupa-tree and the shiuri-tree of which the spear-handle used by Okikurumi was made, and the hai-grass by which the tip of the harpoon was tied to the body of it, and the nipesh-tree of which the rope tying the harpoon itself was made; and even the carrion-crows and the dogs and foxes would not eat the bad shark, but only voided their foeces upon him; and at last he rotted away to earth.

Therefore take warning, oh! sharks of the present day, lest you die as this shark died!—(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 24th November, 1886.)


xxviii.—Panaumbe, Penaumbe, and the Weeping Foxes.

There were Panaumbe and Penaumbe. Panaumbe went down to the bank of a river, and called out: "Oh! you fellows on the cliff behind yonder cliff! Ferry me across!" They replied: "We must first scoop out a boat. Wait for us!" After a little while Panaumbe called out again. "We have no poles," said they; "we are going to make some poles. Wait for us!" After a little longer, he called out a third time. They replied thus: "We are coming for you, Wait for us!" Then the boat started,—a big boat all full of foxes.

So Panaumbe, having first seized hold of a good bludgeon, feigned dead. Then the foxes arrived, and spoke thus: "Panaumbe! You are to be pitied. Were you frozen to death, or were you starved to death?" With these words, all the foxes came up close to him, and wept. Thereupon Panaumbe brandished his bludgeon, struck all the foxes, and killed them. Only one fox did he let go, after breaking one of its legs. As for the rest, having killed them all, he carried them home to his house, and grew very rich [by selling their flesh and their skins].

Then Penaumbe came down to him, and spoke thus: "Whereas you and I were both equally poor, how did you kill such a number of foxes, and thereby become rich?" Panaumbe replied: "If you will come and dine with me, I will instruct you." But Penaumbe at once said: "I have heard all about it before." With these words he pissed against the door-sill, and went out.

Descending to the bank of the river, he called, crying out as Panaumbe had done. The reply was: "We are going to make a boat. Wait for us!" After a little while, he called out again. They replied: "We are going to make the poles. Wait for us!" After a little longer, they started,—a whole boatful of foxes. So Penaumbe first feigned dead. Then the foxes arrived, and said: "Penaumbe here is to be pitied. Did he die of cold? or did he die from want of food?" With these words, they all came close to Penaumbe and wept. But one fox among them, a fox who limped, spoke thus: "I remember something which once happened. Weep at a greater distance!" So all the foxes sat and wept ever further and further away. Penaumbe was unable to kill any of those foxes; and, as he brandished his bludgeon, they all ran away. He did not catch a single one, and he himself died a miserable death.—(Literal translation. Told by Ishanashte, 23rd July, 1886.)

[D] Panaumbe means "the person on the lower course of the stream." Penaumbe means "the person on the upper course of the stream." Conf. Aino "Memoir," p. 28.

xxix.—Panaumbe, Penaumbe, the Fishes, and the Insects.

There were Panaumbe and Penaumbe. Panaumbe went down to the sea-shore, squatted on the sand, pulled up his clothes, and, turning his back to the sea, opened his anus as widely as possible. Then all the whales and the salmon and the other good fishes, both great and small, thought it was a beautiful cavern in the rocks. They all swam towards it, and crowded into it. Panaumbe was much pleased. When his inside was quite full, he closed his anus and ran home. When he got to the house, he closed the door and the window. Then he opened his anus again, and let out all the whales and the salmon and the other good fishes, both great and small, so that the whole house was full of them. They could not swim away, because the door and window were shut. So Panaumbe caught them all. Some he ate, and some he sold. So he became a very rich man.

Then Penaumbe came down, and spoke thus: "You were poor before. Now you are very rich. How have you managed to get so rich?" Panaumbe said: "Come and dine with me. I can instruct you while we are eating." So, when Panaumbe had told Penaumbe how he had become rich, Penaumbe said: "I knew that before." With these words, he pissed against the threshold, and went out,—down to the sea-shore. Then he did as Panaumbe had told him, and opened his anus as wide as possible towards the sea. Then he felt all the whales and salmon and the other fishes, both great and small, crowding in. When his inside was quite full, he closed his anus, and ran home very quickly. When he got to the house he closed the door and the window, and stopped up even the smallest chinks. Then he opened his anus again, and let out all the whales and salmon, and the other good fishes, both great and small, so that the whole house was full of them. But when they came out, what had felt like whales and salmon, and all sorts of fishes, were really wasps and horse-flies and spiders and centipedes, and other poisonous insects, which stung him terribly. They could not get out, because Penaumbe had closed the window and the door, and had stopped up even the smallest chinks. So Penaumbe was stung to death by the wasps and centipedes and other poisonous insects which had come home in his inside.—(Written down from memory. Told by Kannariki, June, 1886.)

xxx.—Panaumbe, Penaumbe, and the Sea-Lion.

There were Panaumbe and Penaumbe. Panaumbe went down to the sea-shore, and walked up and down upon the sand. Then he saw a sea-lion in the water. He wanted to catch that sea-lion, and eat its flesh. So he called out to it: "Oh! Mr. Sea-Lion, if you will come here, I will pick the lice out of your head." The sea-lion was very glad to have the lice picked out of its head. So it swam to him. Then he pretended to pick the lice out of its head. But in reality he picked the flesh off its head, and the fat, and ate it. Then he said: "All the lice are picked off. You may go." After the sea-lion had swum a short way, it put its paw up to its head, in order to see whether the lice had really all been taken off. Then it felt that its flesh and fat were all gone, and that only the bones remained. So it was very angry, and swam back quickly towards the shore, to catch Panaumbe and kill him.

Panaumbe, when he saw the sea-lion pursuing him, ran inland towards the mountains. After running some time, he reached a place where the path divided. An old crow was perching on a tree there, and said: "Right or left! right or left! I see a clever man." The road to the right was broad, and the road to the left was narrow, because it was in a valley which ended in a point. Panaumbe thought thus: "If I take the broad path to the right, the sea-lion will overtake me, and kill me. But if I take the narrow path to the left, he will run so fast that he will get stuck at the end of the narrow valley, and I, being small, can slip out between his legs, and beat in his head from behind, and kill him." So Panaumbe ran along the narrow path to the left, and the sea-lion pursued him. But the sea-lion ran so heedlessly and quickly that it got stuck at the end of the narrow valley. Then Panaumbe slipped out between the sea-lion's legs, and beat in his head from behind, and killed him, and took home his flesh and his skin. Then Panaumbe became very rich.

Afterwards Penaumbe came down to him, and said: "You and I were both poor. How is it that you are now so rich?" Panaumbe said: "If you will come and dine with me, I will instruct you." So they went together to Panaumbe's house, where Panaumbe's mother, and his wife and children, were eating the flesh of the sea-lion. But Penaumbe, when he had heard what Panaumbe had done, said: "I knew that before." Then he stepped in the dishes set before Panaumbe's mother and wife and children, and spilt their food. Then he pissed on the threshold, and went away.

Penaumbe went down to the sea-shore, and saw a sea-lion, as Panaumbe had done. He called out to the sea-lion: "Oh! Mr. Sea-Lion, if you will come here, I will pick the lice out of your head." So the sea-lion swam to him. Then Penaumbe pretended to pick the lice out of its head. But in reality he picked the flesh and the fat off its head, and left nothing but the bones. The sea-lion felt a little pain, but thought that it was owing to the lice being picked out. So, when Penaumbe had finished picking and eating the flesh off its head, it swam away. But afterwards, feeling the pain more sharply, the sea-lion put its paw up to its head, and found that nothing but bone was left. So it was very angry, and swam back quickly towards the shore, to catch Penaumbe and kill him.

Penaumbe, when he saw the sea-lion pursuing him, ran inland towards the mountains. After running some time, he reached the place where the path divided. The old crow, which was perching on the tree, said: "Left or right! left or right! I see a fool." Penaumbe took the broad road to the right, in order to be able to run more easily. But the sea-lion ran more quickly than he could, and caught him and ate him up. Then Penaumbe died. But if he had listened to advice he might have become a rich man like Panaumbe.—(Written down from memory. Told by Kannariki, June, 1886.)

xxxi.—Panaumbe, Penaumbe, and the Lord of Matomai.[E]

Panaumbe wanted very much to become rich. For this reason, he stretched his penis across to the town of Matomai. Then the lord of Matomai spoke thus: "This is a pole sent by the gods; so it will be well to dry all the clothes upon it." So all the clothes and beautiful garments were dried. After a time Panaumbe drew back his penis, and all those clothes and beautiful garments came sticking to it. His house was greatly benefited. He became a very rich man.

Afterwards Penaumbe came down and said: "My dear Panaumbe, what have you done to become so rich?" Panaumbe said: "Come and eat, and I will tell you." Afterwards Penaumbe said: "This is the thing I intended to do. Abominable Panaumbe! bad Panaumbe! you have forestalled me." With these words, he pissed on the threshold, and went out. Then he went down to the sea-shore, and stretched his penis across the sea to Matomai. The lord of Matomai said: "This is a pole sent by the gods. It will be well to dry all the clothes and beautiful garments upon it." For this reason, all the clothes and beautiful garments were brought down, and put upon the divine pole. Penaumbe wanted to become rich quickly by drawing back his penis. So he drew it back quickly. The divine pole moved, and the lord of Matomai spoke thus: "It happened thus before. There was a pole sent by the gods. For this reason the clothes and beautiful garments were dried upon it. Then a thief stole the divine pole away. We all became poor. Now again our clothes and beautiful garments have been placed upon a pole. Now there seems to be a thief again. Quickly cut the divine pole." For that reason the servants of the lord all drew their swords. They cut the divine pole, and all the clothes and beautiful garments were taken. Penaumbe was left with only half a penis. He drew it in. Then he had nothing. Then he became very poor. If Penaumbe had listened to Panaumbe's advice, he might have had food to eat, he might have become rich. But he did not like to listen to advice. For this reason he became poor.—(Translated literally. Original communicated by Mr. John Batchelor, June, 1886; also printed in "Aino Memoir," p. 133, but with the indecent expressions softened down.)

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