Page:Aino folk-tales.djvu/29

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13
AINO FOLK-LORE.

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 seashore. 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 I 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,