killed with a club, Gatu's sister, was lying and rotting, her two infants were alive, and as the mother rotted, it left them free. So they lay, and they rolled along on the smooth ground, and by and bye they grew strong. Then they found dry leaves in which rain water had collected and they sipped and drank; and they came on to a root of qena (a gingi-beraceous plant) and sucked it, for this qena has a swollen lump at its root and water accumulates in a small hollow in it. So they clung to the qena root till they were strong and could move about, and then they began to wander, and made their way out of the thicket. And as they so wandered along they came to a place where there was a sow with young; and they sat and looked at her. Now this sow was the property of their maternal uncle Qatu; and they sat looking out for the cocoa-nuts with which the sow was fed. After a while their uncle Qatu came and sat down and called his sow, and the sow came with her litter of pigs, and Qatu cut up their food for them; and when he had cut it up he did not sit there till it was all eaten and then go; he went away before that, he turned his back and went. Then these two came forth and drove away the sow, and took from her the cocoa-nuts that had been cut up to eat them themselves, and sat down and ate. But the sow went up into the village and cried to her owner Qatu. Next morning when he came down to feed the sow they did the same thing; the sow went off to her owner, and they gathered up the cut cocoa-nut in their arms and took it off to eat it themselves. And Qatu saw that his sow was always coming back to him, and was thin without any fat about her, and he asked himself, Why is it I wonder that my sow comes back to me, as if I had not fed her, and is not at all fat? Let me sit and observe what it is that makes her come back to me up into the village. So after feeding her he pretended to go back, but went round and returned that he might see what it was that happened to his sow. And he stood and watched them coming out, light in complexion, wonderfully fair, as they came and stood and drove away the sow to take her food. And Qatu jumped out, and called to
Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/421
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