Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/386

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Stories.

the Rat in the hole. And when it was cooked he broke it, and put it at the mouth of the hole. Then the Rat creeps out to eat the wasia, and the Owl is staring hard at the mouth of the hole, if perchance he may see the Rat creep out. And he says, That will do; and now be sure you die this minute! And the Rat came out to eat; but the Owl swooped down upon him, and killed him you may be sure with his talons, and ate him up.

 

5. The Shark and the Snake. Lepers' Island.

This is about the Shark and the Snake. They quarrelled, and the Shark told the Snake to come down into the sea, that the Shark might eat him. The Snake said to him, They will kill you, and I shall eat a bit of you. Now when they killed the Shark, the Snake went down into the sea and ate the Shark.

 

6. The Hen and her Chickens. Lepers' Island.

This is about a Hen that had ten Chickens. So they went about seeking their food, and they fell in with the tuber of a wild yam, a gigimbo. After a while the tuber got up and ate one of the chickens. They called to a Kite, which said to the Hen, Put them under me. So they got there and stayed. Presently the Tuber came, and asked the Kite, Where are they? He-i, said he, I don't know. So the Tuber scolded the Kite; and the Kite flew down and took it up from the ground, and hovered with it in the sky, and then let it drop down to the ground. Then another took it up, and hovered in turn in the sky, and dropped it, and it fell down and broke in two. So the two Kites divided the Tuber between them; therefore some of the tubers are good, and some are bad. We call the name of the good tuber nggeremanggeggneni.