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Finnish Mythology

The Bear's Share
One day the bear came to a clearing where a man was ploughing.
"Good day," the bear said. "What are you doing?"
"I'm ploughing," the man answered. "After I finish ploughing I'm going to harrow and then plant the field, half in wheat and half in turnips."
"Yum! Yum!" the bear thought to himself. "Good food that – wheat and turnips!" Aloud he said: "I know how to plough and harrow. What do you say to my helping you?"
"If you help me," the man said, "I'll share the harvest with you."
So the bear set to work and between them they soon had the field ploughed, harrowed, and planted.
When autumn came they went to get their crops. At the turnip field the man said: "Now what do you want as your share – the part that grows above the ground or the part that grows below?"
The bear noticed how green and luxuriant the turnip tops were, and said: "Give me the part that grows above ground."
After they had harvested the turnips, they went on to the wheat field where the man asked the bear what he chose. The wheat stocks were all dry and shrivelled. The bear looked at them wisely and said: "This time you had better give me the part that grows under the ground."
The man laughed in his sleeve and agreed.
One day next winter the two met and the man invited the bear to dinner. The bear was very hungry, and accepted the invitation gladly.
First they had baked turnips.
"Oh, but these are good!" the bear said. "I've never tasted anything better! What are they!"
"Why," the man said, "they are the turnips from that field that you and I planted together."
The bear was greatly surprised.
Then they had some freshly baked bread.
"How good! How good!" the bear exclaimed. "What is it?"
"Just plain bread," the man said, "baked from the wheat you and I planted together."
The bear was more surprised than ever. "Why, do you know," he said, "my turnips and my bread don't taste a bit like this!"
The man burst out laughing and the bear wondered why.