Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Page: 25

This warrior told how he had killed a man. At the end of the story, he yelled, “Hi!” One of the men with rattles, who was leading the dance, fell dead. The stranger sang of another deed. At the end he yelled, “Hi!” Another rattler fell dead. The people were frightened. But the stranger sang of another great deed. Then again he yelled, “Hi!” Again a [Pg 79] man with the rattles fell dead. So all seven men who had rattles and who were leading the dance fell dead. And the people were too frightened to leave the lodge where they were dancing.

Then the stranger vanished into the darkness. Long after they learned that the stranger was the brother of the eagle that had been killed.

[Pg 80]



Humming Bird and Crane were both in love with a pretty woman. She liked Humming Bird, who was handsome. Crane was ugly, but he would not give up the pretty woman. So at last to get rid of him, she told them they must have a race, and that she would marry the winner. Now Humming Bird flew like a flash of light; but Crane was heavy and slow.

The birds started from the woman’s house to fly around the world to the beginning. Humming Bird flew off like an arrow. He flew all day and when he stopped to roost he was far ahead.

Crane flew heavily, but he flew all night long. He stopped at daylight at a creek to rest. Humming Bird waked up, and flew on again, and soon he reached a creek, and behold! there was Crane, spearing tadpoles with his long bill. Humming Bird flew on.

Soon Crane started on and flew all night as before. Humming Bird slept on his roost.

Next morning Humming Bird flew on and Crane [Pg 81] was far, far ahead. The fourth day, Crane was spearing tadpoles for dinner when Humming Bird caught up with him. By the seventh day Crane was a whole night’s travel ahead. At last he reached the beginning again. He stopped at the creek and preened his feathers, and then in the early morning went to the woman’s house. Humming Bird was far, far behind.

But the woman declared she would not marry so ugly a man as Crane. Therefore she remained single.

[Pg 82]



Rabbit was going somewhere. At length he reached a place where there were wild Turkeys.

“Come,” said Rabbit. “I will sing dancing songs for you.”

Turkeys went to him saying, “Oho! Rabbit will sing dancing songs for us!”

“When I sing for you, you larger ones must go around the circle next to me. Beware lest you open your eyes. Should one of you open his eyes, your eyes shall be red,” said Rabbit.

Then he began to sing,

Alas for the gazer!
Eyes red! Eyes red!
Spread out your tails!
Spread out your tails!

Whenever a large Turkey came near, Rabbit seized it and put it in his bag. While he was putting in a Turkey, another one opened his eyes a little, and [Pg 83] exclaimed, “Why! He has captured nearly all of us large ones!”