Wednesday, February 25, 2009



One day, a long time ago, some men went to the mountains to hunt deer
and wild pig, and among them was one named Sogsogot.

They all went into the thick forest to look for game, but after a
while Sogsogot called his dog and withdrew to an open spot near by,
where he waited for the deer to come out.

While he stood there eagerly watching, a big bird [85] swooped down,
caught him in its claws, and carried him away. Far off over the
mountains the bird soared, until finally it came to a big tree where
it had its nest, and here it left the man and flew away.

Sogsogot's first thought was to make his escape, but he found that
the tree was so tall that he could not get down, and after a time he
ceased his attempts to get away and began to look over his companions
in the nest--two young birds and three little pigs.

By and by he became hungry, so he cut up the three little pigs, and
after he had eaten all he wished he fed the two birds. When this meat
was gone the mother bird brought more pigs and deer, and the man had
all he could eat. Then he fed the little birds, which grew very fast
and soon were able to fly. One day when they were standing on the
edge of the nest Sogsogot caught hold of the birds' legs, and they
fluttered down and carried him safely to the ground.

He hastened home as fast as he could go and told the people of his
wonderful trip. They made a ceremony for the spirits, and all the
people rejoiced that the lost man had returned.

Some time after this Sogsogot went to a hostile town to fight, and
while he was gone his wife died. On the way back to his town he met
the spirit of his wife driving a cow and two pigs, and not knowing
that she was a spirit he asked her where she was going.

"I am not a person any more," she answered him; "I am dead." And when
he wanted to touch her hand, she gave him only her shortest finger. He
begged to go with her so she said, "Go first to our home and get a
white chicken; then follow the footmarks of the cow and pigs."

He did as she commanded him, and after a while he came to a place
where she was bathing in the river. She said to him:

"Now you may come with me to our spirit town. [86] I shall hide you
in the rice-bin and shall bring food to you every day. But at night
the people in the town will want to eat you, and when they come to
the bin you must take some of the feathers of the white chicken and
throw at them."

The man went with her, and when they arrived at the spirit town she
hid him in the rice-bin. At night the people came to eat him, as she
had said they would; but when he threw the chicken feathers at them
they were frightened away.

For two weeks Sogsogot lived in this place, but when the feathers
were nearly gone he was afraid to stay any longer, for every night
the spirits came to eat him. He begged his wife to allow him to go,
and finally she showed him the way home, giving him rice to eat on
his journey.

As soon as the man arrived home and inquired for his wife, the
people told him that she had died and they had buried her under the
house. Then he knew that it was her spirit that had taken him to the
strange town.

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