Page:Aino folk-tales.djvu/41

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25
AINO FOLK-LORE.

misdeeds. It was for this reason that, on account of their anger, even a gold puppy excreted nothing but dung. As for the house of that bad-hearted man, it grew so full of dung as to be too dirty for other people to enter. This being so, oh! men, do not be bad-hearted. That is the story which I have heard.— (Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 20th July, 1886.)


xxii.—The Man who was changed into a Fox.

A certain man's conduct was as follows: he went to every place, making it his business to do 'nothing but tell lies and extort things from people. Then, after a time, when wanting to extort again, he went on to another place. While walking along he used to think of what lies he could tell. Afterwards he heard a voice. It was not human language. He walked saying—"Pau! pau!"[1] When he looked at his own body, it was a fox's. Then he thought that, whether he might return to his own village, or go to another place, the dogs would kill him. So, with tears, he went away from the road into the mountains. There he found a large, leafy oak-tree. He lay down crying beneath it.

Then he fell asleep. He dreamt that there was a large house He was outside of that house. A divine woman came out of it, and spoke thus: "Oh! what a bad man! what a villain! You have become a bad god, a devil, as a divine punishment for your misdeeds. Being thus made into a devil, why do you come and stand near my house? I should like to leave you alone. But as I am this tree, which is made the chief of trees by heaven, and as it would defile me to have you die beside my house, I will turn you into a man again and send you home. Do not misbehave yourself henceforth!" Thus spoke the divine woman.

Such was his dream. Meanwhile the branches at the top of the tree broke, and came crashing down, and he was greatly frightened. But when he started up, he was a man again. Then he worshipped the tree. Then he returned home. Then afterwards he did not

  1. An onomatopoeia for the bark of the fox.