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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/37

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Magic Songs of the Finns.

to the bones of the dark grey pike. A wind wafted it to land, a current jolted it, a wave drifted it ashore as foam into a hole in a stone.

Ahimo’s girl, Annikki, ever engaged at bucking clothes, gathered it into her wallet and carried it into the pen in the cowhouse. Hence that birth took place, that evil thing originated, the tiny white wriggling snow-coloured ‘worm’.


A harlot, the mistress of Pohjola, was combing her head, brushing her hair. A hair-plait fell from her head down to the open sea, the wide and open main. A wind wafted it to land, a tempest bore it to a rock.

Hiisi’s little serving-girl, a woman of blonde complexion, takes a good look at it, turns it over, and speaks in the following terms: “A harlot, the mistress of Pohjola, has cast it from her bosom, has flung some of her wool this way, has torn off some hair upon the waters which a wind has drifted to land, a tempest has carried to a rock. What now might be made of it, what be fashioned out of the shameful woman’s hair, out of the hair-plait of the village harlot?”

A wretch was sitting on the threshold, a lubber in the centre of the floor, a lout at the far end of the room turned sharply round. They sat with their breasts towards the east, they remain with their heads towards the south. The wretch upon the threshold, the lubber in the centre of the floor, the lout at the end of the room said: “From these might come grubs, earth-worms might generate.”

The girls spin out snakes, reeled up earth-worms; the whorl rotated steadily, the spindle whirled rapidly while they were producing earth-worms, were spinning out snakes.

That was the origin of the stall [v. winter] grub, the first appearance of the evil brood. It was engendered in a pig-sty, reared in a sheep-pen on an autumnal dust-heap, on the hard ground of winter-time. This was its first