Page:Aino folk-tales.djvu/25

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
9
AINO FOLK-LORE.

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