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62. THE MONSTER (79) 1

A man and his two children lived together in one house. The older son planted a peach tree. He went away and said, "If I die that peach tree will die." Then he set out. As he was going along he saw that the ants had made a trail such as he had never seen before. He stood for a while looking at it. "I never saw that insect doing so before," he thought. He dipped up water and poured it into their holes. After he had done this for a while a big chief came out and said, "Don't do that. They always work like that." Then he said to him, "On the road ahead something supernatural lives. After you have started on, you will come to a hawk perched on a tree. Take it and go on. After you have gone on with it for a while and the big thing meets you, throw the hawk upon it. It will fight it and after it has done so for a while it will kill it and you skin it and carry the skin along."

So he went on. After he had gone along for a while he seized the hawk perched upon a tree and traveled on with it. When he met the big thing he threw the hawk on it. They fought, and after the hawk had fought for a while it seized the big thing by the throat and presently killed it. Then he skinned it.

The man had said to him, "Go on until you come to a town, stand in the doorway and say, 'I am ants,' and the chief's door will open

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to you." So he took that skin and went on. He stood in the doorway and said, "I am ants," when the door stood open and he set it inside where the chief's daughter sat. He took a sack, put the skin into it and set it down inside. Then he went out and disappeared.

After that a poor man who lived near came, pulled a little piece of meat off of the skin, took it along and gave it to the chief. And the chief said, "I always said that the man who killed the monster should have my daughter." They walked on together and came to the place where she lived. "There is the one who killed it," he kept saying, but she repeated as often, "Another killed it." He did not believe her. "It was he who killed it," he kept repeating. By and by the man who really killed it arrived and the daughter said, "This is the man who killed it." Then the chief said to the poor man, "You lied tome," and he whipped him. When he got through whipping him the poor man ran away, and the man who had killed the monster took the chief's daughter.


164:1 A garbled fairy story from the whites.

Next: 63. Story of the Mule's Return