Page:Aino folk-tales.djvu/56

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40
AINO FOLK-LORE.

If you look, my people will be angry. Mind you do not look." Thus spoke the old chief.

Well, there was a whole fleet of boats, inside of which crowds of people, both men and women, took passage. There were as many as five score boats, which all started off together. The Aino lay down inside one of them and hid his head, while the others made the boats go to the music of a pretty song. He liked this much. After awhile, they reached the land. When they had done so, the Aino, peeping a little, saw that there was a river, and that they were drawing water with dippers from the mouth of the river, and sipping it. They said to each other: "How good this water is!" Half the fleet went up the river. But the boat in which the Aino was went on its voyage, and at last reached his native place, whereupon the sailors threw the Aino into the water. He thought he had been dreaming. Afterwards he came to himself. The boat and its sailors had disappeared—whither he could not tell. But he went to his house, and, falling asleep, dreamt a dream. He dreamt that the same old chief appeared to him and said: "I am no human being. I am the chief of the salmon, the divine fish. As you seemed in danger of dying in the waves, I drew you to me and saved your life. You thought you only stayed with me one night. But in truth that night was a whole year. When it was ended, I sent you back to your native place. So I shall be truly grateful if henceforth you will offer rice-beer to me, set up the divine symbols in my honour, and worship me with the words 'I make a libation to the chief of the salmon, the divine fish.' If you do not worship me, you will become a poor man. Remember this well!" Such were the words which the divine old man spoke to him in his dream.—(Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 17th July, 1886.)


XXXV.—The Hunter in Hades.

A handsome and brave young man, who was skilful in the chase, one day pursued a large bear into the recesses of the mountains. On and on ran the bear, and still the young fellow pursued it up heights and crags more and more dangerous, but without ever being able to