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The people of a village began to vanish, and nobody knew what happened to them. There was a shaman. He traveled through that country and came to the village. The people were quite sad and sorrowful. "What is the matter with you?"--"We do not know. Every night somebody vanished. We have tried to watch, but cannot discover anybody."--"Oh, is that so? Let me try to keep watch over you." Evening came, and it was time to go to sleep. The people were hiding in boxes and bags. "Oh, have no fear! I shall keep a vigilant watch over you." He took a sword and waited in the darkness. The people snored soundly, partly freed from their fear. All at once a black dog glided noiselessly in through the window and seized a workman, a fellow-traveler of the shaman. He struck the dog with his sword. The dog had torn off the man's one arm with the shoulder blade, and the shaman cut off the corresponding limb of the dog. In the hurry of the moment, the shaman took the limb of the dog and applied it to the body of the man, and it stuck to his body.

In the morning he saw that the new arm was not the leg of a dog, but a woman's arm, white of skin and with rings on the fingers. "Ah!" said the shaman, "let me try to find that dog." He went out and followed the bloody tracks. They led to the house of the chief of the village close to the church. It was the house of the parish priest. The shaman entered, and saluted the priest with civility. The priest looked sad, "Ah, my friend! please sit down! I am not able to treat you as is becoming. My wife is sick."--"Ah, is that so! And what is the cause of her suffering?"--"We do not know. She is alone in her room and does not want us to enter. All we know is that she is not well. Please do help her if you can!" The shaman went to the room of the patient. The entrance was locked; he said nothing and suddenly broke the door and entered.

The woman was lying on the bed well wrapped up in a thick blanket. He pulled that off, and she lay before them quite naked. Her right arm was gone, along with the shoulder blade. Close to her side lay the bloody arm of a man, which would not stick to her body. "Ah, here you are!" said the shaman. "Reverend father, it is your wife who destroyed half of the village. Had it not been for me, she would have taken you also."--"Ah, ah!"

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exclaimed the priest, "Mother what is the matter with you. Now, I understand it. She would give me of her enchanted drink, so that I slept throughout the night like one dead, and she would steal away in the darkness." So they took her and tore her in two.

Told by Mary Alin, a Russianized Chuvantzi woman. Recorded by Mrs. Sophie Bogoras, in the village of Markova, the Anadyr country, winter of 1900.

Next: 14. Story of a Stepmother and her Stepdaughters