The Elk of Hiisi
by Jenni Saarenkyla
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"Happened that the demons heard him,
And they saw a chance for mischief.
So an elk they fabricated,
And the devils made a reindeer:
For the head, a hollow stump,
For the horns, a fork of sallow;
Legs of shore-line switches woven,
Fen-grown saplings for the shanks,
And a fence rail for a backbone;
Sinews made of withered grasses,
Eyes of yellow water lilies
And the ears of lily pads;
Made the flesh of rotten wood
Covered with a skin of spruce bark.
Hiisi then exhorts the elk,
Urges on the goblin reindeer:
"Run now, run you demon's elk!
Leg it quick, you noble creature
To the calving grounds of Lapland,
Where the reindeer drop their young
On the field of Lapland children.
Ski this fellow to a sweat;
Sweat him dry, this Lemminkainen."
from the Finnish epic Kalevala