Page:Aino folk-tales.djvu/43

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to her husband. Then her husband went into the next room, and made a trap. Then the trap was set in the store-house. Then they went to bed. The little boy lay between the woman and her husband; but after awhile he quietly rose and went out. He stayed away, without coming back. Daylight came. On the man of the house going into the store-house, there was a large rat in the trap. So he brought it down, beat it to death, and swept it on to the dust-heap. That night he had a dream. A person of divine aspect spoke to him thus; "You were childless, and wanting to have a child. The most wicked of the rats, seeing this, took the shape of a little boy, and dwelt in your house. For this reason, your village has been polluted. But as you have now killed the rat, all will now be right. I am sorry for you, so you shall have a child." Thus did he dream that the god spoke to him. As it was true, they got a child, though they had been childless.

For this reason, whether it be on the shore or in the mountains or anywhere else that one finds either a child or a puppy, one should not let it dwell in one's house without knowing its origin.—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 20th July 1886.)

xxiv.—Don't throw Useful Things away.

A certain man had a little boy. A divine little boy and a divine little girl used to come and play with him every day. But the little boy alone could see them. His parents could not see them, but believed their child to be alone.

Now one day he fell ill, and during his illness his two playmates did not come to see him. Only at the very last did they come, when he seemed to be on the point of death. Then they came, and the little girl said: "We know the cause of your illness. Your grandfather possessed a beautiful axe. I myself am a small tray which he fashioned with that axe, and the little boy who comes with me is a pestle which was also fashioned with it. So the axe was our chieftain, and we are its children. But your father has been bad. He has thrown away the axe, which is now rusting under the floor. For this reason are you ill, in order to punish your father, because our chieftain