Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/394

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Stories.

made up a fire, and put the fish in the oven. But when it was broad daylight Tagarombiti went himself, and they were all gone; and he understood that this thief Merambuto had caught all the fish, and paddled quickly back and hauled up his canoe. And he looked for footprints to know which way he had gone round; and he found footprints and followed them, following on till he came to Merambuto's place; and there he went into the house to him, and sat down with him in a friendly way. Then said Tagaro, What is that in the oven? I am hungry. And Merambuto said, That is my food, but it is very bad, you cannot eat it. Then says Tagarombiti, Indeed! is your food so very bad? But those are my fish, and you have caught them all. And he struck him, and killed him in his house, and set fire to the house, and it was burnt and destroyed. And Tagarombiti took back the fish from the oven, and went back and put them into a little pool of salt-water, and the fish revived; one side of them was gone, one side still remained. And we call them, tavalm ige bulei Tagaro, Tagaro's half-fish—soles.

 

8. Story of The Old Woman, How She Made The Sea. Lepers' Island.

Nobody knows what her name was, but she was an old woman. And there were two children who lived with her in her house, but nobody knows what their father's and mother's names were; the story about them is that the mother of these two was the daughter of this old woman. Her house was a good one, fenced about with reeds; there was a fence all round the house, and there was a fence also made against the back of the house, and those two children were forbidden to go into it, because she would be there by herself. And in that little fence at the back of the house she put carefully a leaf of the via (gigantic caladium); and they say that in that leaf she always made water, and was always very strict in forbidding those two to go there, lest they should see it. And these two were both boys, and they were always shooting