Page:Aino folk-tales.djvu/35

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19
AINO FOLK-LORE.

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