Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/36

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Magic Songs of the Finns.

loosened from the brush, a tooth of the comb crashed down to the wide bay, to the open sea, to be rocked by the wind, to be drifted by the waves. A wind rocked it, a wave drifted it ashore. Hence the autumn ‘worm’ originated, the winter snake obtained its habits [v. origin], that crawls about in a cowhouse, moves quietly about under its corners.


Moon’s daughter (Kuutar) was bewailing her gold, Sun’s daughter (Päivätär) her silver. A tear trickled from her eyes, a water-drop rolled down suddenly to her lovely face, from her lovely face to her swelling breast, and thence it rolled down into a dell. From it a lovely oak sprang up, a green shoot shot upwards.

A little man emerged from the sea, raised himself by degrees from the waves. He was scarcely a quarter-ell tall, his height was a woman’s span, in his hand was a tiny axe with an ornamented haft. He, indeed, knew how to fell the oak, to cut down the splendid tree. A chip of it that flew off disappeared in the sea, the water bleached it into foam, a wave drifted it ashore.

A furious old woman [v. a harlot, the mistress of Pohjola] was bucking clothes, dabbling at her linen rags, picked it up, poked it into her long-thonged wallet, and carried it home to the farmyard to make it into snails, to form it into grubs.

She upset the foam from her wallet, flung it near a cattleshed, among the litter of the byre, hides it in the sweepings of the yard, covered it with the rubbish of the farm. From that the family was bred, the small white snake (worm) grew up, that utters indistinct sounds in a cowhouse, mumbles in the muck, crawls over a milk-bowl, wriggles over the handle of a milk-pail.


A wolf was running along the ice, a pike was swimming under the ice, slaver from the wolfs mouth dripped down