Panaumbe Penaumbe And The Weeping Foxes
Category: TALES OF THE PANAUMBE AND PENAUMBE CYCLE
Source: Aino Folktales
There were Panaumbe and Penaumbe. Panaumbe went down to the bank of a
river, and called out: "Oh! you fellows on the cliff behind yonder
cliff! Ferry me across!" They replied: "We must first scoop out a boat.
Wait for us!" After a little while Panaumbe called out again. "We have
no poles," said they; "we are going to make some poles. Wait for us!"
After a little longer, he called out a third time. They replied thus:
"We are coming for you, Wait for us!" Then the boat started,--a big boat
all full of foxes.
So Panaumbe, having first seized hold of a good bludgeon, feigned dead.
Then the foxes arrived, and spoke thus: "Panaumbe! You are to be pitied.
Were you frozen to death, or were you starved to death?" With these
words, all the foxes came up close to him, and wept. Thereupon Panaumbe
brandished his bludgeon, struck all the foxes, and killed them. Only one
fox did he let go, after breaking one of its legs. As for the rest,
having killed them all, he carried them home to his house, and grew very
rich [by selling their flesh and their skins].
Then Penaumbe came down to him, and spoke thus: "Whereas you and I were
both equally poor, how did you kill such a number of foxes, and thereby
become rich?" Panaumbe replied: "If you will come and dine with me, I
will instruct you." But Penaumbe at once said: "I have heard all about
it before." With these words he pissed against the door-sill, and went
Descending to the bank of the river, he called, crying out as Panaumbe
had done. The reply was: "We are going to make a boat. Wait for us!"
After a little while, he called out again. They replied: "We are going
to make the poles. Wait for us!" After a little longer, they started,--a
whole boatful of foxes. So Penaumbe first feigned dead. Then the foxes
arrived, and said: "Penaumbe here is to be pitied. Did he die of cold?
or did he die from want of food?" With these words, they all came close
to Penaumbe and wept. But one fox among them, a fox who limped, spoke
thus: "I remember something which once happened. Weep at a greater
distance!" So all the foxes sat and wept ever further and further away.
Penaumbe was unable to kill any of those foxes; and, as he brandished
his bludgeon, they all ran away. He did not catch a single one, and he
himself died a miserable death.--(Literal translation. Told by
Ishanashte, 23rd July, 1886.)
[D] Panaumbe means "the person on the lower course of the stream."
Penaumbe means "the person on the upper course of the stream." Conf.
Aino "Memoir," p. 28.
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