Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes
Page: 41“Rabbit steals our water at night,” they said. So they made a wolf of pine gum and tar. They set it by the well to scare the thief.
That night Rabbit came again to the well. He saw the black thing there.
“Who’s there?” he asked. But Tar Wolf did not answer. Rabbit came nearer. Yet Tar Wolf did not [Pg 115] move. Rabbit grew brave and said, “Get out of my way.”
Tar Wolf did not move. So Rabbit hit him with his paw; but it stuck fast in the gum.
Rabbit became angry and said, “Let go my paw!” Still Tar Wolf said nothing. So Rabbit hit him with his hind foot; that stuck in the gum.
So Tar Wolf held Rabbit fast until morning. Then the other animals came for water. When they found Rabbit stuck fast, they made great fun of him for a while. At last Rabbit managed to get away.
RABBIT AND PANTHER
RABBIT was a great boaster. He wanted a medicine lodge and to have people think he was a great medicine man.
Now one day, Wabus, the Rabbit, and his wife were traveling. They came to a low hill covered with poplar sprouts. They were green and tender. Therefore Rabbit decided to make his home there.
Rabbit went first to the top of a hill and built a wigwam. He made trails from it in all directions, so he might see anyone who approached.
When the wigwam was finished, Rabbit told his wife he was going to dance; but first he ran all about the hill to see if anyone was watching him. He found no trail. Then he returned and began his song.
Now just as Rabbit returned to his wigwam, Panther reached the base of the hill, and he found Rabbit’s trail. He followed it until he reached the place where Rabbit and his wife were dancing. Here he hid to watch Rabbit.
Now Rabbit told his wife to sit at one end of the [Pg 117] lodge while he went to the other. He took his medicine bag. Then he approached her four times, chanting,
Ye ha-a-a-a-a Ye ha-a-a-a-a
Then he shot at his wife, just as a medicine man does when he shoots at a new member. Then Rabbit’s wife arose and shot at him. Thus they were very happy.
Then Rabbit began to sing a song which meant this: “If Panther comes across my trail while I am biting the bark from the poplars, he will not be able to catch me for I am a good runner.”
When he had finished his song, Rabbit told his wife he would go out hunting. Panther waited for his return.
Now as Rabbit started home again he was very happy. But when he reached Panther’s hiding place, his enemy sprang on his trail. Rabbit saw him and started back on his trail. Panther raced after him. He caught him and said,