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A man on a considerable journey stopped to eat his lunch beside a creek. Then a big black Ant came out and said, "Give me a piece of bread. Sometime I may help you out of trouble." So he gave it some bread. By and by he heard some talking in the water, and some small Minnows came up and said the same thing. He gave the Minnows some bread also. Then a red-headed Woodpecker came and asked for bread, which he again gave to it.

After this the man went on again and came to a town (talofa). There was a lot of wheat at a certain place in that town, and the

p. 82

people told him that he must move it and put it in barrels by morning or they would kill him. So they tied him down on the wheat and went away. By and by up came the black Ant which he had fed and asked him what the matter was. The man told him, and the Ant immediately went away and brought back a multitude of Ants, who soon had the barrels full. Next morning the people paid him for what he had done, but said that the next night he must dig up a certain tree, root and all, or they would kill him. This time the Woodpecker came to him and asked what the matter was. "I am in trouble," he said, and he related what had been imposed upon him. Then the Woodpecker flew up and told the lightning and the lightning came down and tore the tree up, roots and all, so that in the morning the people paid him for that. They told him, however, that a horse loaded with gold had been drowned in a neighboring creek and that they would spare him if he found it by the following morning. So they tied him again and laid him on the bank of the creek. By and by the little Fishes he had fed came and said, "My friend, what is the matter with you?" He told them, and they went down and brought all the money to land, but they said that they could not get the horse for the snakes (hotisågi) 1 alone could do that, and they were only orderlies (hola`tålgi). They made a pillow of the sack of gold under his head. The town people paid him for all the work he had done, and he went home a rich man.


82:1 This seems to be a metaphorical term meaning "those one is afraid of." Tcitto is the usual word for snake.

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