Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/184

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174 Collectanea.

the spoil (or trophy) of the Ume, and thus was first blood shed in the war. It is said also that some of the fishes got inland. Probably this was the reason of the carelessness of the fishes. They thought foolishly that the birds were defeated completely. Behold! the fishes were startled when a band of "avengers of the slain" came suddenly upon them. The fishes were slain or put to flight. Behold, they were utterly defeated. These were the pursuers of the rearguard: Gogo (the Tern); and Matuu (the Heron, ardea sacra); and Tuli (charadrius fulvus). But now a short story about that animal, the Funafuna (Sea Cucumber, holothuria). It was never certain with which army it would fight. It was a thing of two mouths. Behold, if the sea (folk) were driven it killed the fishes in the sea; if the inland (folk) were driven it killed the birds inland. Such was the custom of the Funafuna, because it was as though it had two mouths. There are many men like that. Now, behold there was held a council of the fishes concerning their war. The Inaga (a species of white bait) did not go to the council. They were late. It is not known what was the reason which hindered them from attending the council. Then began the speech-making in the council; they would not wait for the attendance of the Inaga. This was the tenor of the speeches; let there be no waiting for that Inaga. What is the use of those small useless fishes? It is not as if anyone would be afraid of those thin little fishes. Let the troops go forward to the fight. And so the council ended. The battle was fought and the fishes were defeated, and they were abused by the birds. At this juncture the Inaga arrived. Alas! they were grieved. Then was made the speech of the Inaga. What is the reason for all these happenings, that things look so ominous as they do, and that it looks as if we were defeated? Then the fishes replied. True, indeed, we have been driven (defeated) by the birds. Then the Inaga said. With all respect for you, the large fishes of the sea, you have brought about this calamity; it is all from your conduct, you the large fishes of the sea. Consider this will you. Although we Inaga are small fishes, yet it was becoming of you to postpone the council until we came, for although we are little fishes, we Inaga, yet (you might) have just waited awhile, but you have not treated with any respect this family of ours.