Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/393

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371
Origin of Soles.
 

7. How Tagaro The Little Found Fish. Lepers' Island.

They say that he drew down his canoe and paddled out in search of fish; and he saw a great rock standing in the sea, and he floated gently without paddling to see whether he would find fish or not. And he saw many fish rising up to the surface from under his canoe, and he fed them with the food he had in his hand, and he perceived that these fish knew how to eat the food of the land. Then said he, I am going to leave you, but the day after to-morrow I shall grate some loko for you to eat, and shall pour cocoa-nut sauce over it, and bring it here to you. So he left them and stayed, they say, one day at home. And when the second day came for him to go he took that loko which he had sauced with cocoa-nut juice, and launched his canoe, and paddled out to the place where those fish were. And he called them with a song, which he sang like this, Bulenggu sava ige! ige wuweu, mo gaigei woworoa, mo gaigei woworoa sobe, My fish, whatever you are, nice little fish, here is your food with sauce, your food done with cocoa-nut sauce. But there was another person, whose name was Merambuto, who stood on the beach, and heard Tagarombiti calling his fish with a song like that, and next day Merambuto, having made haste to prepare food in the night, drew down the canoe in the early morning, Tagarombiti' s canoe, and paddled out till he came to the place where Tagarombiti had floated before. And he sang again that song, Bulenggu sava ige!—Then those fish heard his voice that it was loud, and did not rise, because they knew it was a different person by his loud voice. And Merambuto perceived that they did not rise, and he altered his voice so as to be small like Tagarombiti's. And he called them with a small voice singing that song, Bulenggu sava ige!—Then those fish heard that the voice was small, and they rose all of them to the surface, and he caught every one of them with a hook. And he made haste to paddle ashore, and went back into his village, and