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The Fox The Otter And The Monkey






Category: TALES ACCOUNTING FOR THE ORIGIN OF PHENOMENA.

Source: Aino Folktales

In very ancient days, at the beginning of the world, there were a fox,
an otter, and a monkey, all three of whom lived on the most intimate
terms of friendship.

One day the fox spoke to the other two as follows: "What do you say to
our going off somewhere, and stealing food and treasures from the
Japanese?" His two companions having consented, they all went together
to a distant place, and stole a bag of beans, a bag of salt, and a mat
from the house of a very rich man. When they had come home with their
plunder, the fox said: "Otter! you had better take the salt, for it will
be useful to you in salting the fish which you catch in the water when
you go fishing. Monkey! do you take the mat; it will be very useful for
you to make your children dance upon. As for myself, I will take the bag
of beans."

After this, all three retired to their respective houses; and a little
later the otter went to the river to fish. But, as he took his bag of
salt with him when he made the plunge, all the salt was melted in a
moment, to his great disappointment. The monkey was equally unlucky;
for, having taken his mat and spread it on the top of a tree, and made
his children dance there, the children fell, and were dashed to pieces
on the ground below.

The monkey and the otter, enraged by the misfortunes which the fox's
wiles had brought upon them, now joined together in order to fight the
fox. So the latter took a lot of beans out of his bag, chewed them to a
pulp, smeared all his body with the paste, and lay down pretending to be
very ill. And when the otter and the monkey came and made to kill him,
he said: "See to what a pitiful plight I am reduced! As a punishment for
having deceived you, my whole body is now covered with boils, and I am
on the point of death. There is no need for you to kill me. Go away! I
am dying fast enough." The monkey looked, and saw that the fox seemed to
be speaking the truth. So he went testily away, across the sea to Japan.
That is the reason why there are no monkeys in the land of the
Ainos.--(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 11th July, 1886.)





Next: The Fox And The Tiger No I

Previous: The Stolen Charm



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