The Wicked Wizard Punished

: Aino Folktales

One day a wizard told a man whom he knew that, if any one were to climb

a certain mountain-peak and jump off on to the belt of clouds below, he

would be able to ride about on them as on a horse, and see the whole

world. Trusting in this, the man did as the wizard had told him, and in

very truth was enabled to ride about on the clouds. He visited the whole

world in this fashion, and brought back a map which he had drawn of the

whole world both of men and of gods. On arriving back at the

mountain-peak in Aino-land, he stepped off the cloud on to the mountain,

and, descending to the valley, told the wizard how successful and

delightful the journey had been, and thanked him for the opportunity

kindly granted him of seeing sights so numerous and so strange.

The wizard was overcome with astonishment. For what he had told the

other man was a lie, a wicked lie invented with the sole intention of

causing his death; for he hated him. Nevertheless, seeing that what he

had simply meant for an idle tale was apparently an actual fact, he

decided to see the world himself in this easy fashion. So, ascending the

mountain-peak, and seeing a belt of clouds a short way below, he jumped

off on to it, but was instantly dashed to pieces in the valley below.

That night the god of the mountain appeared to the good man in a dream,

and said: "The wizard has met with the death which his fraud and folly

deserve. You I kept from hurt, because you are a good man. So when,

obedient to the wizard's advice, you leapt off on to the cloud, I bore

you up, and showed you the world in order to make you a wiser man. Let

all men learn from this how wickedness leads to condign

punishment!"--(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 21st July,