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Ainu Legends

How this bird came to save the Ainu from starvation
"In ancient times there was a famine among the Ainu so that they were all about to die of starvation. This being so, the people went down to the seashore as a last resource to pick up what they could find there to eat. While there they one day saw something dark, very far away, floating upon the waves of the sea. The people carefully kept their eyes upon it and would not let it out of their sight. By and by, when the object came closer to the shore it was seen to resemble a large bird. However, the wings could only be seen and nothing whatever of the body.

When it had now come close in, riding upon the surf, it was discovered to be a very large eagle holding something in its claws, which, after careful inspection, turned out to be a dolphin. The people were very pleased when they saw what it was, and when they had taken it they divided it up and ate it. In this way, then, did the eagle save their lives. The ancients tell us that this is how it came to pass that the people first knew this bird to be a god, and why he is worshipped.

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