Page:Aino folk-tales.djvu/26

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10
AINO FOLK-LOKE.

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 Ishauashte, 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