Myths and Legends of the Great Plains
By permission of Sumner W. Matteson, the photographer
Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution
HOW RABBIT LOST HIS FAT
At first all the four-footed animals were fat. The one who made them wished to know if they looked well so fat. So he called all the four-footed animals together. He seized by the head each one who did not look handsome with the fat, and scraped it all off.
At length someone took Rabbit to him.
“Fat makes me handsome,” said Rabbit “I will be the one.”
“Let me see! Come here!” said the one who made the animals. Then he made Rabbit fat. Then he looked at him. “Fat makes you ugly beyond measure.”
So he seized Rabbit by the head and scraped off the fat from the base of his neck. But he pulled suddenly at the flesh in the space between the shoulders. Therefore, ever since then Rabbit has had a hollow space between his shoulders, and only in that place is there a piece of fat.
At length the person who made the animals saw that Raccoon was the only person who looked well when fat.