Tribal recount of the Slaying of Heart-Cleaving Lathe
For many years Thousand Song sailed the coasts,
She trawled with her great nets and speared fish with her spear.
Amongst the islanders she was hailed as a great hero,
Revered as the sacred ancestors might be.
She spent time upon land and sea,
Yet even in her homeland she found herself unsettled.
She stayed on land for weeks, yet often at sea for months.
She seemed to love the sea as a wife,
She seemed to love the sea more than any beating heart.
By the time of the Tumultuous Seas she was an old woman,
Yet the islanders called for her aid.
The waters that had oft been so giving had grown miserly.
They refused to yield up fish to their nets,
They proffered no squid for their spears,
They made men hang their heads and beat their chests in despair.
Thousand Song thought long on the matter and boarded her ship,
She took up her spear and her shield and twenty islanders as companions.
They sailed from the shore and scoured the sea,
Seeking out the reason for its barren nature.
There, surfacing upon the horizon!
There is the great beast, the devourer of hope!
There is Heart-Cleaving Lathe, the reason for the deprivation!
Great is its bulk, long and winding its tail!
Its scales glimmer like the darkest jade,
Its pincers and centipede legs click like halved coconuts,
Its teeth thick as trunks of great trees!
Thousand Song gives the signal and the ship gives chase,
It cuts through the waves as an axe through a silver-scaled fish!
Thousand Song takes up her spear,
In pursuit she hurls it at Heart-Cleaving Lathe!
The spear cannot penetrate the scales of jade,
The spear cannot pierce its thick carapace!
Terrifying Heart-Cleaving Lathe turns on the ship,
Its jaws wide enough to swallow the ship whole!
Thousand Song clutches her spear and refuses death,
She rejects death and her brow lights up like the sun!
Angry light bursts from her face and blinds Heart-Cleaving Lathe,
Thousand Song reaches to the sky and becomes immense like the beast!
Her spear also becomes a giant spear of pure fire,
Her spear becomes a god-slaying weapon that she hurls at the beast!
How the beast rages as the spear pierces its flesh, how great is its cry!
It charges upon the boat, wrapping its great tail around it.
How powerful is its strength, its tail flicks men into the sea!
Yet the ship is stronger, strong enough to withstand it!
The ship creaks and suffers, yet it withstands the beast!
Again and again Thousand Song drives her spear into its flesh,
She strikes until it becomes stuck, yet still she attacks!
Heart-Cleaving Lathe flees, it swims for shelter in its distress,
Thousand Song in God-form still holding tight to its belly,
God-sized Thousand Song still dragging the weapon across its skin!
Into the distance she is carried, away from the setting sun.
Through the night the islanders search for her, guided by star and moon.
Through a second day they search, following the rising sun.
Not until the second night do they find her,
Standing on top of a great mountain!
Slain is Heart-Cleaving Lathe, slain by the giant burning spear!
Thousand Song has impaled the beast into a mountain through its heart,
She wears its scales as a mantle, crying out in triumph!
Great is Thousand Song, she has slain the devourer of hope!
See how she laughs at its exposed bones!
See how she dances in its opened mouth!
See how she makes a curry from its flesh,
See how she drinks the beer of its bitter blood!
A great feast is had by Thousand Song and her friends,
The giant spear turns the beast’s body into stone.
Thousand Song leaves the spear as a trophy of the kill,
She leaves the spear as a reminder and disappears into the sea.