There was an old man with an old woman. One time they prayed to God, asking Him to give them a child. God granted their prayer, and they had a son. The old woman said, "What name shall we give to the boy?"--"Ah!" said the old man, "let us call him Kundirik."
The old man went to hunt wild reindeer. When on the way, a bear attacked him and wanted to kill him. "O grandfather! spare me!" "Unless you promise to give me your son Kundirik, I shall kill all of you." He promised to give him the boy and the bear let him go. The old woman saw him come covered with blood: "Ah!" cried she, "Pičini'č, pičini'č, 2 My husband is bringing reindeer meat!" "Do not make so much noise! It is my own blood. The grandfather wanted to kill me. O wife! he asked for our little Kundirik. Otherwise he said he should come and kill all of us." The old woman cried much, then she prepared some dolls for the boy. She put him on the window sill, and put the dolls by his side. Then they left the house and departed forever. The Bear came, and entered. "Kundirik, where are you?"--"I am here, outside, playing with dolls." The Bear went out, "Kundirik, where are you?"--"I am here, within, playing with the dolls." He was on the window sill, now within, and now outside. The Bear broke down the wooden wall and seized Kundirik. "When we were traveling, father and I, he used to carry me on his shoulders." So the Bear put the boy on his shoulders and walked along. They came to a big hole in the ground. Two poles of aspen wood were protruding from it, and a sleeping place made of green branches was arranged on them.
[paragraph continues] "This is our sleeping place," said the boy. "We used to sleep here, father in the hole, and I on the branches." The Bear entered the hole, and immediately went to sleep. The boy gathered a number of heavy stones and brought them all to the edge of the hole. "Bear, Bear! are you sleeping?"--"Yes, I am. And are you?"--"I am not. My stomach is aching. I am afraid. I am going to defecate stones." Then he pushed the stones, and they fell down and hit the Bear. He was squeezed down, and his bowels came out of his belly. "Kundirik, Kundirik, help me get out! I will take you to your father and mother. "No, I am afraid you will eat me up." And the Bear died.
Kundirik left him and went away. He saw a house and entered. In this house lived a man and his three daughters. The father awakened the daughters. "Get up, daughters! A stranger has come. Give him food and drink."--"Ah! let him look for it himself!" He refused to do so, but went out of the house and said softly, "Kundirik, Kundirik! let those girls' buttocks stick firmly to the flooring!" In the morning the girls wanted to get up, but the boards of the flooring were lifted along with them. "Ah!" said the father, "Something has happened. Go and fetch my old mother. She will give me counsel." Kundirik went to the old woman, who lived far off, and asked her to come. "Ah!" said the old woman, "you must first help me with my wraps." He wrapped her up. "Now you must help me to my sledge." So he carried her to the sledge. They departed. After a while she said, "Kundirik, Kundirik, now help me defecate." He put her down and took off some of her wraps. "Kundirik, Kundirik, now help me wipe my anus."--"There is a horse," said Kundirik, "go to him, he will clean you." She approached the horse. The horse seized her naked buttocks with his teeth and tore her in two. Out of her lacerated anus came a quantity of mice, ermine, spermophile, toads, grubs. Kundirik went to the old man, and said, "The old woman died on the way. She was indeed too old." The old man said to him, "Please find help for us if you can!" Kundirik promised to do so. He went out of the house, and called aloud, "Kundirik, Kundirik! let these girls be detached from the flooring!" He went back and said, "Get up!" and they were free. They gave him the youngest daughter in marriage. He took her along and went home. His father and mother were living in a small hut. A small fire was burning in this house. A small tea kettle was bubbling over the fire. His parents were full of joy, but he only knit his brows and said nothing. The same day he went back to his father-in-law, who was much better off than his own people. He slept there. In the morning he went out and called aloud, "Kundirik, Kundirik! let my father and mother come over here!"
And there they were. After a while his father-in-law also went out and
saw the new house. "Ah, ah!" said he, "some new people have come here, together with their house." The end.
Told by Barbara Karyakin, a Russian creole woman, at Marinsky Post, the Anadyr country, fall of 1900.
139:1 Cf. No. 2, p. 112, of the series of Children's Stories--W. B.
139:2 These words were indicated as belonging to the Chuvantzi language.--W. B.