Myths and Legends of the Great Plains
Page: 55The man was unwilling. He said, “No, friend, the Giant will come by and by.”
“Pshaw, friend,” said Rabbit. “When one kills animals, he cuts them up and then makes an equal distribution of the pieces,” said the Rabbit.
Still the man refused, fearing the Giant. So Rabbit rushed forward and seized the deer by the feet.
When he had only slit the skin, the Giant arrived.
“You have done wrong. Let it alone,” Giant said.
“What have I done wrong?” asked Rabbit. “When one kills game, he cuts it up and makes an equal distribution of the pieces.”
“Let it alone, I say,” said the Giant.
But Rabbit continued to insert the knife in the meat.
“I will blow that thing into the air,” said the Giant.
“Blow me into the air! Blow me into the air!” said Rabbit.
So the Giant went closer to him, and when he blew at him the Rabbit went up into the air with his fur blown apart. Striding past, the Giant seized the deer, put it through his belt, and departed. That was his custom. He took all the deer that were killed, hung [Pg 166] them on his belt, and took them to his lodge. He was a very tall person.
At night Rabbit wandered around, and at last went all around the Giant’s lodge. He seized an insect and said to it, “Oh, insect! You shall go and bite the Giant right in the side.”
At length when it was morning, it was said the Giant was ill. Then he died.
The people said, “Make a village for Rabbit!”
But Rabbit said, “I do not wish to be chief. I have left my old woman by herself, so I will return to her.”
HOW THE DEER GOT HIS HORNS
Long ago, in the beginning, Deer had no horns. His head was smooth like a doe’s. Now Deer was a very fast runner, but Rabbit was a famous jumper. So the animals used to talk about it and wonder which could go the farther in the same time. They talked about it a great deal. They decided to have a race between the two, and they made a pair of large antlers to be given to whoever could run the faster. Deer and Rabbit were to start together from one side of a thicket, go through it, and then turn and come back. The one who came out of the thicket first was to receive the horns.
On a certain day all the animals were there. They put the antlers down on the ground to mark the starting point. Everyone admired the horns. But Rabbit said, “I don’t know this part of the country; I want to look through the bushes where I am to run.”
So the Rabbit went into the thicket, and stayed a long time. He was gone so long the animals suspected he was playing a trick. They sent a messenger after [Pg 168] him. Right in the middle of the thicket he found Rabbit, gnawing down the bushes and pulling them away to make a clear road for himself.