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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 220

"Easily enough," replied the hare god. "These things may hold water, but they can't hold men and women. Try it, and see if they can." With their consent, Ta-Vwots began weaving the osiers about them, and in a little while he had them caged. "Now, come out," he said. But, try as they might, not a withe could they break. "Ha, ha! You are wise women, aren't you? Bottled in your own jugs! I am on my way to kill the Sun. In time I shall learn how." Then, sounding his war-whoop, he struck them dead with his magic ball and went on.

He met the Bear next day, and found him digging a hole to hide in, for he had heard of the hare god and was afraid. "Don't be frightened, friend Bear," said the rogue. "I'm not the sort of fellow to hide from. How could a little chap like me hurt so many people?" And he helped the Bear to dig his den, but when it was finished he hid behind a rock, and as the Bear thrust his head near him he launched his magic ball at his face and made an end of him. "I was afraid of this warrior," said Ta-Vwots, "but he is dead, now, in his den." And sounding his war-whoop he went on.

It was on the day following that he met the Tarantula, a clever rascal, who had a club that would deal a fatal blow to others, but would not hurt himself. He began to groan as Ta-Vwots drew near, and cried that he had a pain caused by an evil spirit in his head. Wouldn't Ta-Vwots thump it out? Indeed, he would. He grasped the club and gave him the soundest kind of a thwacking, but when the Tarantula shouted "Harder," he guessed that it was an enchanted weapon, and changing it for his magic ball he finished the Tarantula at a blow. "That is a stroke of your own seeking," he remarked. "I am on my way to kill the Sun. Now I know that I can do it." And sounding his war-whoop he went on.

Next day he came to the edge of the world and looked off into space, where thousands of careless people had fallen, and there he passed the night under a tree. At dawn he stood on the brink of the earth and the instant that the Sun appeared he flung the magic ball full in his face. The surface of the Sun was broken into a thousand pieces that spattered over the earth and kindled a mighty conflagration. Ta-Vwots crept under the tree that had sheltered him, but that was of no avail against the increasing heat. He tried to run away, but the fire burned off his toes, then his feet, then his legs, then his body, so that he ran on his hands, and when his hands were burned off he walked on the stumps of his arms. At last his head alone remained, and that rolled over hill and valley until it struck a rock, when the eyes burst and the tears that gushed forth spread over the land, putting out the flames. The Sun was conquered, and at his trial before the other gods was reprimanded for his mischievous pranks and condemned thereafter to travel across the sky every day by the same trail.


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