Page:Aino folk-tales.djvu/36

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20
AINO FOLK-LORE.

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 arid 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.)