The Boy From The Bottom Of The Sea Who Frightened The People Of The House To Death
Source: Eskimo Folktales
Well, you see, it was the usual thing: "The Obstinate One" had taken
a wife, and of course he beat her, and when he wanted to make it an
extra special beating, he took a box, and banged her about with that.
One day, when he had been beating her as usual, she ran away. And
she was just about to have a child at that time. She walked straight
out into the sea, and was nearly drowned, but suddenly she came to
herself again, and found that she was at the bottom of the sea. And
there she built herself a house.
While she was down there, the child was born. And when she went to
look at it, she nearly died of fright, it was so ugly. Its eyes were
jellyfish, its hair of seaweed, and the mouth was like a mussel.
And now these two lived down there together. The child grew up, and
when it was a little grown up, it could hear the children playing on
the earth up above, and it said:
"I should like to go up and see."
"When you have grown stronger, then you may go," said his mother. And
then the boy began practising feats of strength, with stones. And at
last he was able to pick up stones as big as a chest, and carry them
into the house.
One evening, when it was dark, they heard again a calling from
above. The children, not content with simply shouting at their play,
began crying out: "Iyoi-iyoi-iyoi," with all their might.
"Now I will go with you," said the mother. "But you must not go into
the houses nearest the shore, for there I often fled in when your
father would have beaten me; I have suffered much evil up there. And
when you thrust in your head, be sure to look as angry as you can."
There were two houses on the shore, one a little way above the
other. As they went up, the mother suddenly saw that her son was
going into the one nearest the shore. And she cried:
"Ha-a; Ha-a! When your father beat me, I always ran in there. Go to
the one up above."
And now the boy made his face fierce, and thrust in his head at the
doorway, and all those inside fell down dead with fright. He would
have beaten his father, but his father had died long since. Then he
went down again to the bottom of the sea.
When the day dawned, the people from the house nearest the shore came
out and said:
"Ai! What footsteps are these, all full of seaweed?"
And seeing that the tracks led up to the house a little way above,
they followed there, and found that all inside had died of fright.
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