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Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Page: 53

So he made the whole body of Raccoon fat.


[Pg 158]

HOW FLINT VISITED RABBIT

Cherokee

Long ago, in the old days, Flint lived up in the mountains, and all the animals hated him because he had helped to kill so many of them. All the arrowheads were made of flint. They used to have councils. They tried to think of some means of killing him. But everybody was afraid to go near to his house, until at last Rabbit, who was the boldest, offered to try to kill Flint.

So Rabbit asked the trail to Flint’s house. At last he reached the house.

Flint was standing at the door of his lodge when Rabbit reached there. He said, “Siyu! Hello! Are you the fellow they call Flint?”

“Yes; that’s what they call me,” said Flint.

“Is this where you live?”

“Yes; this is where I live.”

All the time Rabbit was looking at the lodge and all about him. He was trying to think how to kill Flint. Rabbit had expected Flint to invite him into his lodge. But Flint only stood in the door.

[Pg 159] Rabbit said, “My name is Rabbit. I’ve heard a good deal about you, so I came to see you.”

Flint said, “Where is your lodge?”

“Down in the broom-grass field near the river,” said Rabbit.

Flint said, “I will come and visit you after a while.”

Rabbit said, “Come now and have supper with me.”

So Rabbit coaxed Flint until he said yes, and the two started down the mountain side together.

When they came near Rabbit’s hole, Rabbit said, “There is my lodge, but in summer I stay outside here, where it is cooler.”

So he made a fire and they had their supper on the grass. When supper was over, Flint stretched out on the grass to rest. Rabbit picked up some heavy sticks and his knife, and cut a mallet and wedge.

Flint looked up and said, “What is that for?”

“Oh,” said Rabbit, “I like to be doing something and they may come in handy.”

Flint lay down again and soon he was sound asleep. Rabbit spoke to him once or twice, but he did not answer. Then Rabbit came over to Flint and with one blow of the mallet drove the stake through Flint. Then he ran with all his might for his own hole. But before he reached it, there was a loud explosion, and pieces of flint flew all about. That is why we find flint in [Pg 160] so many places now. One piece struck Rabbit and cut him just as he dived into his hole. He sat listening until everything was quiet again. Then he put his head out to look around, just as another piece fell. It cut his lip, just as we see it now.


[Pg 161]

HOW RABBIT CAUGHT THE SUN IN A TRAP

Omaha

Once upon a time Rabbit dwelt in a lodge with no one but his grandmother. It was his custom to go hunting very early in the morning. But no matter how early in the morning he went, a person with a very long foot had been along, leaving a trail. Rabbit wished to know him.

“Now,” he thought, “I will go in advance of that person.” Having risen very early in the morning, he departed, but again it happened that the person had been along, leaving a trail. Then Rabbit went home.

“Grandmother,” he said, “though I arrange for myself to go first, a person goes ahead of me every time. Grandmother, I will make a snare and I will catch him.”

“Why should you do it?” she asked.

“I hate the person,” he said.

Again Rabbit departed. And again had the footprints gone along. So Rabbit lay waiting for night to come. Then he made a noose of a bowstring, setting it where the footprints were commonly seen.

[Pg 162] Next morning Rabbit reached the place very early, to see what he had caught in his trap. And it happened that he had caught the Sun. Running very fast, he went homewards to tell about it.

“Grandmother,” he said, “I have caught something or other but it scares me. Grandmother, I wished to take away my bowstring, but I was scared every time.”

So he went there again with a knife. This time he got very near it.

“You have done wrong. Why have you done it? Come and untie me,” said the Sun.

The Rabbit, although he went to untie him, kept going past him a little on one side. Then he made a rush with his head bent down and his arm stretched out, and cut the bowstring with his knife. And the Sun rose into the sky. But Rabbit had the hair between his shoulders scorched yellow by the heat of the Sun as he stooped and cut the bowstring. Then Rabbit arrived at his lodge.


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