Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/57

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47
EVOLUTION IN FOLK LORE.

begged that they might be left at home, to guard her from the white cows. Now, the hunter had never before gone to the woods without them; but she begged so hard that he would leave them with her, that at last he tied them up in the hut, so that they should not follow him, and went forth to hunt alone.

After he had gone some way he heard behind him a great noise, and looking back saw all the white cows in the forest, who had gathered together and were about to tear him to pieces. The hunter was greatly frightened, and ran like the wind for his home. But, fast as he ran, the cows followed faster, and he knew that they would catch him long before he could reach his hut. Then he remembered his three magic arrows, which he always carried with him in his belt, and taking one of them, he stuck it in the ground and put his foot upon the butt. In a moment he felt himself shooting up through the air, and found he was on the top of a tall palm tree which had sprung up out of the ground, and whose smooth trunk no cow could climb.

The fury of the white cows when they saw their victim thus snatched from their grasp was terrible to see. The woods echoed with their cries of rage, and with lowered heads they charged the palm, butting it till it rocked as if in the midst of a tempest. When they saw that they could not overthrow it in this way, they all at once rushed into the midst of the woods, but returned in a few moments bearing sharp axes, with which they began to cut down the tree. Its trunk, however, was strong and tough; but the cows flew at it in a great crowd, and when one was tired another took her place. Great chips flew from the palm, and the hunter as he sat in the tree-top could hear the song of the axes as they bit into the hard wood:


  \relative f {
  \numericTimeSignature \time 4/4
    f4. c'8 c2
    d4 c a f
    f4. c'8 c2
    d4 c a f
  }
  \addlyrics {
    A -- phi -- bim_m -- gas -- co -- ma -- bam, a -- phi bim_m -- gas -- co -- ma -- bam.
  }


He now became greatly frightened and wished to call his dogs to his aid, hoping that they might hear him and break away, or that his wife might loose them; so he called them loudly by name:


  \relative e'' {
  \numericTimeSignature \time 4/4 \key bes \major
    ees d ees f
    ees d ees f
    bes,2 r2
  }
  \addlyrics {
    Ya -- me -- o -- ro | 
    Cong -- a -- mo -- ro -- |
    tô!
  }


But they did not come, and he feared that they could not hear him. And, while he cried, the cows still swung their axes, which sang yet louder, as though to drown the hunter's voice:

A-phi-bim—Gas-co-ma-bam;
A-phi-bim—Gas-co-ma-bam!