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4. (The Orphan.1)

 The parents of an only daughter, being very old, are living with her. The daughter, who is very able-bodied, goes hunting, and brings home wild reindeer. At the same time she refuses all suitors. No matter how many suitors come, and they are many, she invites them to have a running-match. Leaving them behind, she says, "There is no need of them. They are bad." Altogether, she is too light-footed for them. An orphan boy, clad in dog-skin, born from a dog-woman, lives with an old woman, and grows up very fast. He made a small bow. With this bow he kills small birds. With these birds he feeds the old woman. But every time the neighbors' children meet him, they shout, "Oh, oh! it stuck in his teeth! (i. e., the meat of the small birds). They notice the meat sticking in his teeth, and pick it out from there.

 He made dead-falls, caught hares, and fed the old woman. Meanwhile he grew up quickly, and soon became full-grown. Then he caught wild reindeer. The old woman said, "When will you become a full-grown man? Begone, and look for a wife!" — "All right!" He came to the people with an only daughter. "For what do you come?" — "I come looking for a bride!" — "It is useless. She will leave you behind." — "No, I am able (to outrun her)." — "Then wait a while. She is not here. She will come in the evening." In the evening she did come, and brought a reindeer-carcass. "Oh," say the old people, "one more suitor has come!" — "I do not want him. Let him go away!" — "Why so? I have come to you with an honest heart." — "Well, then, to-morrow morning we will see what sort of a man you are." — "Very well! I shall win. I shall take you for a wife." The next morning they awoke before daybreak. They started running. They were to mount a high p. 166 hill on their way, then to come back. The girl put on her racing-dress, but the young man put on his armor. The girl runs far ahead, because she is very swift; but when halfway along, he began to catch up with her, this small orphan boy clad in dog-skin. She was tired from the exertion. Then he passed her, brushing her on the way with the wind from the skirt of his armor.1 She staggered and sat down. He said, "Eh, eh! let her rest a while! — I will finish the hill alone. Yes, surely, I am able (to do it). When I show myself on the top, coming back, then you begin again." Indeed, when he appeared on the top, she jumped up and ran ahead. With fresh energy she ran very fast, but the young man ran still faster. He overtook her halfway, caught her in his arms, and carried her onwards. He carried her thus toward her house, put her into the sleeping-room, and copulated with her. So he made her his wife. The end.

Told by Rịke´wġi, a Maritime Chukchee man, at Mariinsky Post, October, 1900.



p. 165

1 A similar tale was collected among the Kolyma Chukchee (cf. Bogoras, Chukchee Materials, p. 250).

p. 166

1 The lower part of the Chukchee armor is similar in form to a skirt. Sometimes it hangs down more or less loose (cf. Vol. VII of this series, p. 161). The swiftness of the young man must have been very great, since the movement of that heavy armor produced wind.