Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/397

This page has been validated.
xix]
375
Dilingavuv. The Eel.

not go right up to them into the open, but stayed beside the village. Then he made up a fire and roasted his chestnuts, and heated the stones, and dug a very deep hole and covered over the mouth of it with the dress of leaves; and so he sat and watched them dancing. 'Before long as they were dancing one of them fell out to take breath; and when he saw Dilingavuv sitting and eating chestnuts, he called to him to give him one. Run over here, says Dilingavuv; so he runs over to him, and sits down on this dancing dress; and as he throws himself down to sit he goes clean down into the hole. And Dilingavuv played the same trick to all the company at that dance, and let them all down into that one pit, and Marawhihi last of all. Then he took the stones that he had heated over the fire, and threw them down into the hole to kill the men with heat; but as he threw them down Marawhihi said to his companions, Come round over to this side of the pit, and they did so, and not one of them was killed. But Dilingavuv went home thinking he had killed them all. Then Marawhihi said to his men, Do you know how we shall save our lives? and they answered, We are all dead already. Not at all, said he, I know very well that we shall not die. Then Marawhihi cast up his eyes out of the mouth of the pit, and saw a banyan branch bending over the pit; and he said, Let us ker galgalaput at that banyan branch (shoot one arrow after another, making each one strike and fix itself into the one before it). And they did so; and the reed-shafts of the arrows they had shot reached down to them into the pit. Then said Marawhihi, Climb up along the shafts; and they said to him, You first, and we after you. So he climbed up on the line of arrows and got out of the pit, and so they all saved their lives.

 

2. A Story About an Eel. Vanua Lava.

They were living in their place, and they were planting their gardens; and one day when they went to plant, a boy said to his father and mother, To-morrow when you go again,