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Machekur lived with his wife Machekur-woman. 2 Their neighbors were three Mice-Girls. The old man used to pay them frequent visits. Finally, the old woman grew angry, and said, "Cease going there! They will do something unpleasant to you." The old man, however, paid no attention to these warnings. One time the Mice-Girls offered him some fat pudding, made of fish-roe mixed with oil. He ate so much that he could not eat any more, and fell asleep. They took a large bladder and fastened it to the old man's anus. He awoke and went home, and on account of the quantity

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of oil he had swallowed, he had diarrhoea. So he would sit down and try to defecate; but when he stood up, no faeces were to be seen on the ground. In the meanwhile, after three or four attempts, he felt something heavy attached to his buttocks. He went to his wife, and said, "Machekur-Woman! I tried to defecate, but it seems in vain, for I saw no faeces on the ground. Meantime I feel as if my intestines had gone out of my anus." "Sit down!" said the woman. But he remained standing. "Sit down!" she again shouted, and he was much frightened, and flopped down upon a bench. The bladder burst, and the faeces flowed around. The end.

Told by Mary Korkin, a Russianized Yukaghir woman, in the village of Pokhotsk, the Kolyma country, summer of 1896.


103:1 In Russian creole чудинка (literally, "phantom"), or also пужанка (literally, "fright"). Both these words are unknown in European Russian though they are clearly of Russian origin.--W. B.

103:2 In Russian Мачекуръ and Мачекуриха. This tale represents only one of the well-known episodes of the story of Raven and the Mice. I give it here because of the names Machekur and Machekur-Woman, which have replaced the usual Kutq (Ku'rgil) and Miti. Perhaps these names belong to some Yukaghir version of the story.--W. B.

Next: 29. The Mouse and the Snow-Bunting