Page:Aino folk-tales.djvu/59

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43
AINO FOLK-LORE.

spirits eat, in order, as they thought, to appease him. Of course he was disgusted, and flung the filthy fish-bones and soiled rice away. But every time that he did so the stuff immediately returned to the pocket in his bosom, so that he was greatly distressed.

At last, entering a fine-looking house near the beach, he found his father and mother,—not old, as they were when they died, but in the heyday of youth and strength. He called to his mother, but she ran away trembling. He clasped his father by the hand, and said: "Father! don't you know me? can't you see me? I am your son." But his father fell yelling to the ground. So he stood aloof again, and watched how his parents and the other people in the house set up the divine symbols, and prayed in order to make the evil spirit depart.

In his despair at being unrecognized he did depart, with the unclean offerings that had been made to him still sticking to his person, notwithstanding his endeavours to get rid of them. It was only when, after passing back through the cavern, he had emerged once more into the world of men, that they left him free from their pollution. He returned home, and never wished to visit Hades again. It is a foul place.—("Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 22nd July, 1886.)


xxxvii.—The Child of a God.

There was a very beautiful woman, who was still without a husband. A man had already been fixed upon to become her husband, but he had not yet lain with her. Nevertheless the woman suddenly was with child. For this reason she was greatly surprised. As for other people, they thought thus: "She has probably become with child through lying with some other man." That was what other people said. The man who was to be her husband was very angry. But he could not know whence it was that she was with child.

Then she was delivered. She bore a little snake. She was greatly ashamed. Her mother took the little snake, went out, and spoke thus, with tears: "What god has deigned to beget a child in my daughter? Though he should deign to beget one, it would at least