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pigs, black, white, and speckled, had sprung from the soil; famine was a thing of the past, and Kationgia became a great chief in the island.[1]

"The owl was a baker’s daughter" is the fragment of Christian mythology preserved by Ophelia. The baker's daughter behaved rudely to our Lord, and was changed into the bird that looks not on the sun, The Greeks had a similar legend of feminine impiety by which they mythically explained the origin of the owl, the bat, and the eagle-owl. Minyas of Orchomenos had three daughters, Leucippe, Arsippe, and Alcathoe, most industrious women, who declined to join the wild mysteries of Dionysus. The god took the shape of a maiden, and tried to win them to his worship. They refused, and he assumed the form of a bull, a lion, and a leopard as easily as the chiefs of the Abipones become tigers, or as the chiefs among the African Barotse and Balonda metamorphose themselves into lions and alligators.[2] The daughters of Minyas, in alarm, drew lots to determine which of them should sacrifice a victim to the god. Leucippe drew the lot and offered up her own son. They then rushed to join the sacred rites of Dionysus, when Hermes transformed them into the bat, the owl, and the eagle-owl, and these three hide from the light of the sun.[3]

A few examples of Bushman and Australian myths explanatory of the colours and habits of animals will probably suffice to establish the resemblance between

  1. Gill, Myths and Songs from the South Pacific, pp. 135–138.
  2. Livingstone, Missionary Travels, pp. 615, 642.
  3. Nicander, quoted by Antoninus Liberalis.