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Yana Texts, by Edward Sapir, [1910], at


Jack Rabbit lived at Bā'wa at Battle creek. There were many people there. It was the spring time, the clover was growing. All went out to get clover, young girls and all. Rabbit had a baby, but no husband. She went with the rest. She had no friends to whom to give the child while she was gone. One woman said, "I can take it for you." "Yes," said Rabbit. She gave it to her, and went off for the clover. By and by she came back with the rest, and put the clover in the house. She put the roots in the ashes, and sat down to eat, ate all the roots. Some one had given her some meat, and she ate this also.

Then she remembered her baby. "I forgot my child," she said. She jumped up and went to the woman to whom she had given it. "My friend, how is my child? I want my baby." She answered, "Some one else has taken him to the next house." So Rabbit went there and asked. She was given the same answer.

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[paragraph continues] So Rabbit went on, and was answered as before. She went to house after house. Rabbit felt bad. She went to the last house and received the same answer. She went all around once more. The people had killed the child, had given some of it to Rabbit when she came back. Rabbit stopped and cried. She thought, "I ate my baby."

Rabbit had another baby. It was sick. Rabbit said, "My baby is sick. I do not know what is the matter." The people had no medicine-man. Someone told her, "There is a medicine-man living to the north." She took her baby and went after the medicine-man. Some one saw her and asked, "Where are you going?" "My baby is sick." The man said, "What is the matter?" Rabbit said, "I do not know. It has the colic (?), I guess." The man said, "I am a medicine-man." It was Coyote. She said, "What is your name? I want to go to Palê'lu, there is a medicine-man there. Mā'makalik!ūwi is his name." Coyote said, "Yes. That is my name." She said, "Well, take the baby."

Coyote took it. He sat down on a rock, looked at the baby, and put his hand on him. Rabbit said she wanted to go home. "I thought that you would doctor him; now I want to go." Coyote said, "No. If I am going to doctor, I want to do it at my house." Rabbit said, "Yes." She went to Coyote's house. Coyote doctored the child, danced. When he got through, he said, "The baby is all right." That night he told Rabbit. "Go to sleep on the south side." She did so. Coyote said. "I'm going to doctor somewhere else. I shall be back soon," and he went out. By and by he came back. He looked at Rabbit, saw that she was asleep. He walked softly up, sat down, and looked at her. He thought, "I want some meat. I've had no meat for a long time." So he killed her, and the baby too.

Next: IX. Coyote and Rabbit Gamble