Buying A Dream

: Aino Folktales

A certain thickly populated village was governed by six chiefs, the

oldest of whom lorded it over the other five. One day he made a feast,

brewed some rice-beer, and invited the other five chiefs, and feasted

them. When they were departing, he said: "To-morrow each of you must

tell me the dream which he shall have dreamt over-night; and if it is a

good dream I will buy it."

So next day four of the chiefs
ame and told their dreams. But they were

all bad dreams, not worth buying. The fifth, however, did not come,

though he was waited for at first, and then sent for several times. At

last, when brought by force, he would not open his lips. So the senior

chief flew into a rage, and caused a hole to be dug in front of the door

of his own house, and had the man buried in it up to his chin, and left

there all that day and night.

Now the truth was that the senior chief was a bad man, that the junior

chief was a good man, and that this junior chief had forgotten his

dream, but did not dare to say so. After dark, a kind god,--the God of

the Privy,--came and said: "You are a good man. I am sorry for you, and

will take you out of the hole." This he did; and, at that very moment,

the chief remembered how he had dreamt of having been led up the bank of

a stream through the woods to the house of a goddess who smiled

beautifully, and whose room was carpeted with skins; how she had

comforted him, fed him plenteously, and sent him home in gorgeous array,

and with instructions for deceiving and killing his enemy, the senior

chief. "I suppose you remember it all now," said the God of the Privy;

"it was I who caused you to forget it, and thus saved you from having it

bought by the wicked senior chief, because I am pleased with the way in

which you keep the privy clean, not even letting grass grow near it. And

now I will show you the reality of that of which before you saw only the


So the man was led up the bank of a stream through the woods to the

house of the goddess, who smiled beautifully, and whose room was

carpeted with skins. She was the badger-goddess. She comforted him, fed

him plenteously, and said: "You must deceive the senior chief, saying

that the god of door-posts, pleased at your being buried near him, took

you out, and gave you these beautiful clothes. He will then wish to have

the same thing happen to him." So the man went back to the village, and

appeared in all his splendid raiment before the senior chief, who had

fancied him to be still in the hole,--a punishment which would be

successful if it made him confess his dream, and also if it killed him.

Then the good junior chief told him the lies in which the badger-goddess

had instructed him. Thereupon the senior chief caused himself to be

buried in like fashion up to the neck, but soon died of the effects.

Afterwards the badger-goddess came down to the village, and married the

good man, who became the senior of all the chiefs.--(Written down from

memory. Told by Ishanashte, 16th November, 1886.)