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Animal Stories Of The North
Translated by Fainna Solasko
Illustrated by Y.Rachov
Reindeer And Bullhead
One day Reindeer came to the edge of the sea, tasted the salty water, washed his hooves and stood there, resting. That was when Bullhead stuck his head out of the water and said,
"I've been looking at you, Reindeer, and I'm amazed at how ugly you are. Your antlers are crooked, your stomach bulges and your legs are skinny and bent."
Reindeer hooked Bullhead with his antlers and tossed him onto the shore. Bullhead lay gasping on the rocks.
"Throw me back into the sea, friend, before I dry in the wind and die," Bullhead pleaded.
Reindeer felt sorry for him, for Bullhead was a living creature after all. "All right, back you go!" Reindeer said and tossed Bullhead back into the water.
Reindeer stood on the shore, basking in the sun. A few moments later Bullhead stuck his head out of the water and began taunting again.
"Even though you've got four legs, you can't swim like me! And besides, you're hunchbacked and paunchy!"
At this Reindeer hooked Bullhead with his antlers and tossed him onto the rocks again.
Bullhead twitched and jerked. It was no use. Once again he pleaded, "Throw me back into the sea, friend, before I die. I' I never make fun of you again."
Since Bullhead was indeed dying, Reindeer said, All right, back you go!"
Bullhead lay on the sandy bottom until his strength returned. Then he surfaced and began to jeer once more. "Why, you don't even have a tail! What an ugly thing you are! It makes me sick just to look at you!"
Reindeer became very angry. He tossed Bullhead far up on the shore and then galloped off into the mountains.Chukcha Folk Tale; illustrated by Rachov Y.
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