The Two Foxes The Mole And The Crows

: Aino Folktales

Two brother foxes consulted together thus: "It would be fun for us to go

down among men, and assume human shape." So they made treasures and they

made garments out of the leaves of various trees, and they made various

things to eat and cakes out of the gum which comes out of trees. But the

mole[-god] saw them making all these preparations. So the mole made a

place like a human village, and placed himself in it under the disguise
of a very old man. The foxes came to that village; they came to the very

old man's house. And the mole himself made beautiful treasures and made

garments out of various herbs and leaves of trees; and, taking

mulberries and grapes from the tops of the trees, he made good food. On

the arrival of the foxes, the mole invited all the crows in the place

and all sorts of birds. He gave them human shape, and placed them as

owners in the houses of the village. Then the mole, as chief of the

village, was a very old man.

Then the foxes came, having assumed the shape of men. They thought the

place was a human village. The old chief bought all the things which the

foxes had brought on their backs, all their treasures and all their

food. Then the old man displayed to them his own beautiful treasures.

The old man displayed all his beautiful things, his garments. The foxes

were much pleased. Then the old man spoke thus: "Oh you strangers! as

there is a dance in my village, it will be well for you to see it." Then

all the people in the village danced all sorts of dances. But at last,

owing to their being birds, they began to fly upwards, notwithstanding

their human shape. The foxes saw this, and were much amused. The foxes

ate both of the mulberries and of the grapes. They tasted very good. It

was great fun, too, to see the dancing. Afterwards they went home.

The foxes, thought thus: "What is nicer even than treasures is the

delicious food which human beings have. As we do not know what it is,

let us go again and buy some more of it." So they again made treasures

out of herbs. Then they again went down to that village. The mole was in

a golden house--a large house. He was alone in it, having sent all the

crows and the rest away. As the foxes entered the house and looked about

them, they saw a very venerable god. The god spoke thus: "Oh! you foxes;

because you had assumed human shape, you made all sorts of counterfeit

treasures. I saw all that you did. It is by me, and because of this,

that you are brought here. You think this is a human village; but it is

the village of me, your master the mole. It seems you constantly do all

sorts of bad things. If you do so, it is very wrong; so do not assume

human shape any more. If you will cease to assume human shape, you may

henceforth eat your fill of these mulberries and grapes. You and your

companions the crows may eat together of the mulberries and of all

fruits at the top of the trees, which the crows cause to drop down. This

will be much more profitable for you than to assume human shape." Thus

spoke the mole.

Owing to this, the foxes left off assuming human shape, and, from that

time forward, ate as they pleased of the mulberries and the grapes. When

the crows let any drop, they went underneath the trees and ate them.

They became very friendly together.--(Translated literally. Told by

Ishanashte, 11th November, 1886.)