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Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes

Page: 44

Then Bear called, “Halloo! my friend! Was it you whom I treated in that manner? Come here and sit down.”

Rabbit did so.

Bear said, “You are now my guest, but there is nothing for you to eat.” So Bear went in search of food.

Bear went to gather young canes, but as he went along, he gathered also the small black bugs which live in decayed logs. When he had been gone some time, he returned to his lodge with only a few young canes. He put them down before Rabbit and then walked around him in a circle. In a little while, he offered Rabbit the black bugs.

“I have never eaten such food,” said Rabbit.

Bear was offended. He said, “When I was your guest, I ate all the food you gave me, as I liked it very well. Now when I offer you food, why do you treat [124] me in this way?” Then Bear said, also, “Before the sun sets, I shall kill you.”

Rabbit’s heart beat hard from terror, for Bear stood at the entrance of the hollow log to prevent his escape. But Rabbit was very nimble. He dodged first this way and then that, and with a long leap he got out of the hollow tree. He went at once to his brier patch and sat down.

Rabbit was very angry with Bear. He shouted to him, “When people are hunting you, I will go toward your hiding place, and show them where you are.”

That is why, when dogs hunt a rabbit, they always shoot a bear. That is all.

[125]

WHY DEER NEVER EAT MEN

Menomini

AFTER Rabbit had decided about light and darkness, he saw Owasse, the Bear, coming.

Rabbit said, “Bear, what do you want for food?” Bear said, “Acorns and fruit.”


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