Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/136

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I20 SoDie Remarks on thc\Folklorc

The Men and Women of the Old Times}

" They say that the first human beings, the men and the women, did not stay together. The men had their own village, and the women also. The men had their own cattle, and the women also had their own. They were living in that way, the first men, far away from the women. They used to warm themselves by fire made with cow manure.

" Once, their fire v,'ent out. They said : ' Where are we going to get fire to-day ? ' They said : ' One of us must go to ask for fire from the women.' Then they sent a man. When he arrived, he saw that the village of the women was very nice indeed. The women told him : ' Do you not want to taste the food which we, women, we eat?' He found it excellent. Then he remained there and did not go back to his companions. He married one of the women. When the men saw that their companion did not come back, they sent another one. He too stayed there like the first one. One after the other, all the men went to the village of the women ; they stayed in the same village.

" The women possessed cattle of their own. Their cattle were buffaloes. Once while the herdswomen were feeding their children the buffaloes fled away. They said to one of them : ' Go quickly to stop them.' But she answered : ' I too am feeding my child.' They answered : ' Go quick,' She went. The buffaloes tried to pierce her with their horns ; she got afraid and came back to her com- panions. Then the women let their cattle go. As regards the cattle of the men, it is the cattle which is theirs even to-day ; it is the true oxen."

In this tale you have a full explanation of the matri- monial stage, of the great superiority of the ladies over the

' Etudes siir Ics langues du Haul Zainbezc,'^. Jacotlct, Ilde parlie, Fasc. ii., p. 1 1 8.