Stories also of wifely and husband affection and the reverse are preserved in song. Take the following as a specimen. The original runs through twenty-six verses, but I abbreviate and give the substance:—
There was a youth called Siati noted for his singing. A serenading god came along, threw down a challenge, and promised him his fair daughter if he was the better singer. They sung, Siati beat, and off he went to the land of the god, riding on a shark belonging to his aunt.
They reached the place. The shark went in to the shore, set him down, and told him to go to the bathing-place, where he would find the daughters of the god, the one was called Puapae, “White Fish,” and the other Puauli, “Dark Fish.”
Siati went and sat down at the bathing-place. The girls had been there, but had gone away. Puapae had forgotten her comb, returned to get it, and there she found Siati. “Siati,” said she, “however have you come here?” “I’ve come to seek the song-god and get his daughter to wife.” “My father,” said she, “is more of a god than a man—eat nothing he hands you, never sit on a high seat lest death should follow, and now let us unite.” Siati and Puapae were united in marriage, but they were sent off to live elsewhere.
The god sent his daughter Puauli to Puapae to tell her husband to build him a house, and that it must be finished that very day, under a penalty of death and the oven. Siati cried, but his wife Puapae comforted him, said she could do it, and off she went and built the house, and by the evening was weeding all around it.
In came another order, and that was for Siati to fight with the dog. The fight took place and Siati conquered. Next the god had lost his ring, and Siati must go to the sea and find it. Again Siati wept, and again his wife cheered him. “I’ll find the ring,” said she; “only do what I tell you. Cut my body in two, throw me into the sea, and stand still on the beach till I come.” He did so, cut her in two, threw her into the sea, she was changed into a fish, and away she went to seek for the ring.
Siati stood, and stood, sat and lay down, stood again, and then lay down, and went off to sleep. Puapae returned, she was thrown up by the fish and stood on the shore. Siati awoke by the splash of the sea on his face. She scolded him for not keeping awake, and then said, “There is the ring, go with it in the early morning,” and in the morning off the two went to her father.
That very morning the god called his daughter Puauli and said, “Come, take me on your back, and let us seek Siati that I may eat him.” Presently they started back, Siati and Puapae were coming. Puapae and Siati threw down the comb and it became a bush of thorns in the way to intercept the god and Puauli. But they struggled through the thorns. A bottle of earth was next thrown down, and that became a mountain; and then followed their bottle of water, and that became a sea and drowned the god and Puauli.