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16. Miti' and Magpie-Man. 1

Big-Raven lived with his family. Oh, Big-Raven said, "I will (go and) fetch some willow-bark." Oh, Miti' went to feed the little puppies. Magpie-Man came to eat there. He pecked at Miti''s face (to indicate his love), and her whole nose was covered with scratches.

Oh, that one (Big-Raven) comes home! He said to Miti', "What has happened to you? Your nose is scratched all over." She said, "By hitting with my nose against the sharp ends of the door-shed corner I was scratched thus." Oh, Big-Raven cut away all the ends of the dog-shed corners. Then again he went for willow-bark. Miti' went out, perched on the top of the dog-shed, and began to sing, "I am walking along the cross beam!"

Then Magpie-Man came, and said, "Let us enter the sleeping-room! Big-Raven will not come back soon. He will not catch us."

She took him into (the house). just as soon as they entered the sleeping-room and began to make love there, then Big-Raven came back, and called out, "Miti', take this load of willow!" Miti' said, "Let the I'kla 2 bring it down! I am busy trampling a half-scraped skin with lily feet."--"Nay," said Big-Raven, "I want you to take it

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down." Oh, Miti' took it, and with a violent pull drew it into the house.

Then Big-Raven entered the house and made a smouldering fire. He also stopped up the entrance-hole and the smoke-hole, so that the sleeping-room was full of smoke. Then a Magpie's voice was heard from the sleeping-room. That Magpie came out. He escaped through a narrow crack.

"(See) what (this) Magpie has done to me!" The Magpie, however, went home. Miti' was with child. After some time she brought forth two small eggs. (The two children) grew rapidly, and Big-Raven had a great love for them.

Big-Raven's people were storing their catch of fish. Those two said, "Mamma, we are hungry." She said, "Go out and say to daddy, 'We are hungry.'" They went out, and were given two whole dried salmon. They entered, and nibbled up (the fish). Then they said again, "We are hungry." Miti' said to them, "Go out and ask daddy (for more)."

They went out. "Daddy, we are hungry!"--"No wonder! Two thievish magpies!" Those two sons began to weep. "Oh, he is reproaching us!" Miti' said to them, "Go out and tell him, 'Our real daddy is herding reindeer (with the wealthy reindeer-breeders).'" (After that) they entered again, and Miti' put them into a grass bag, (placing) each in one of the (lower) corners. She went away, and came to Magpie-Man and flung (her bag right in).

Big-Raven said, "I feel lonely. I will go to Miti'." He went and came there. (The people said,) "Miti', come out! Your old man has come to you." Miti' said, "Has he no legs? Let him enter of his own accord!" He entered, and she gave him food. He began to eat, and was choking. Then he ran out of the house.

Miti' called to him. She said, "Big-Raven!"--"Oi!"

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[paragraph continues] Then he could not help himself, and shouted, "Oi!" The piece that choked him flew out (of his mouth, and fell down) at a great distance. Then Big-Raven went home. That is all.


73:1 Compare Jochelson, The Koryak, l. c., No. 100, p. 288.

73:2 Small wooden charms of human shape (cf. Jochelson, The Koryak, l. c., p. 42).

Next: 17. How Big-Raven's Daughter was swallowed by a Kamak