Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/422

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Stories.

them, What, is it you who are always driving away my sow? I have seen her coming back to me. These two twins let the food slip from their arms and stood ashamed, biting their fingers. And Qatu asked them, Where do you come from? And they told him how they lay and rolled and found their way out of the thicket, and saw the water and drank it, and came to the root of qena and sucked it; and how when they did so they grew strong, and saw the sow and filled their bellies with the food the sow was eating. And Qatu understood without mistake that these were the children of his sister whom Taso had killed long ago.

Qatu called them and went up to the village and hid them at the further end of his house; and he bade Ro Motari his wife to go into the garden and dig some yams, and bring hibiscus leaves, tender such as locusts eat, and come back to make a yam-mash for the two twins. And Ro Motari did so; she went and gathered the leaves and dug the yams and came back and made the loko. And when the oven was closed in Qatu bade Ro Motari to go and cut down cocoa-nut fronds for mats, and plait and spread them, and to make up a pillow. Then Qatu bids Ro Motari go to the further end of the house; and she goes and sees the two little twins sitting at the further end of the house in the pig fence; and she runs back and cries to Qatu, Lili! Lili! What are those little ones to me? my children, or my brothers, or my grandchildren?[1] Qatu says to her, O-o-o! your grandchildren. So she took them gladly into the house, she and Qatu, and gave them food, and they stayed with him and Ro Motari. After a while they grew big, and Qatu shaped bows for them made of the rachis of the sago fronds; and when they could shoot lizards he broke the bows and took them from them, and made different ones for them. And when they could shoot geckos he took the bows away from them and broke them and shaped

  1. In another version of the story, 'When Motari saw the two handsome boys with their white hair, she liked them and asked Qatu, Are these my children or my husbands? And Qatu said, Yes indeed, your husbands, for they are my sister's children.'