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3. The Mouse-Girls. 1

Mouse-Girl said, "Let us play!", They played, and one of them lost a tooth, the youngest one of all. They said to her, "How did you lose this tooth?" She said, "I was

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shot by the Envious-One from heaven. By his arrow I lost my tooth. Now I shall die, how can I live?" They said to her, "Do not stay outside! Let us carry you into the house!" They carried her home. Her mother said, "What has happened to you?"--"I was shot from the sky by the Envious-One with an arrow."

The mother said, "Let us call grandmother!" They called her, they brought her to the house. She began to practise shamanism (in order to find out) where the small daughter got her suffering. She said, "My breath does not fit anywhere. Then she wanted to go to the porch. Ermine-Woman said, "Halloo! I will go to the porch, I will inspect the puddings." The small girl pilfered there, and so she lost her tooth. They looked at the

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puddings, and saw that one made of stone-pine nuts had been gnawed at. There she left a tooth. Indeed, when pilfering she lost a tooth. Ermine-Woman brought in the tooth. "Whose tooth is it?" Ermine-Woman said, "On which of the small girls shall we try this tooth?"

She said to one of the small girls, "Open your mouth!" That one opened her mouth. She applied the tooth, but it did not fit. In the same way it did not fit any of those small girls. Ermine-Woman said, "Let us try it on the little suffering girl!" She tried it, and it fitted her well. Ermine-Woman said, "She was pilfering." What should she do?

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Her mother scolded her, and said, "Go and die! Strangle yourself on a forked twig!" She (went, and very soon) came back. She said, "I could not strangle myself on a forked twig." 1 Mother scolded her, and said again, "There, go away!" She went away, and then only she died. That is all.


32:1 Compare W. Jochelson, The Koryak, l. c., No. 97, p. 284.

35:1 The natives believe that the mice actually commit suicide by strangling themselves in a forked willow-twig (cf. Jochelson, The Koryak, l. c., p. 285, footnote).

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