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A big Lion (Man-eater) was destroying people, therefore Rabbit was employed to deceive him and get him across to the other side of the waters. All were gathered at the square ground, some saying they believed he could not do it, but others maintaining that he could because he was so clever. These last said to him, "If you can overcome him and get him across the waters it will be a good thing for you. Some say that you can't do it, but we are wagering that you can." Rabbit replied that he thought he could succeed, and at least he would try.

After that Rabbit began traveling about and finally he met the Lion. He said to the Lion, "People hate me so much that I am going to Jumping Creek (Tota'skita håtci)." "They hate me a lot more than they do you," said the Lion, "I think I will go with you." They hated him, he said, because they claimed he had eaten a lot of children. Rabbit said, "When I get ready to travel I will let you know," so presently they set out.

After they had started Rabbit said, "There is a pretty bad creek beyond which they call Sprinkling Creek (Tofogaga håtci)." They

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reached it late in the evening, built a fire there, and prepared to sleep on opposite sides of it. "What noise do you make when you are asleep?" said Rabbit. "When I say 'aw' I am asleep," was the reply. Rabbit answered, "When I am asleep I say 'tcu.'" Then Rabbit Jay awake and listened and when he heard the Lion say "aw" he gathered a lot of hot embers and threw them over him. Then he sprinkled some over himself, jumped up, ran about and came back. "That is just what they say happens. It is a bad place," he exclaimed. In this way he kept the Lion awake all night.

Afterwards Rabbit said, "Let us sit down side by side and defecate to see who has been eating children." They did so, and the Lion grunted and groaned terribly. But Rabbit changed the position of the excrements and when the Lion saw only a few little balls beneath himself he said, "Let us try it again." This time bones came from him and he was satisfied.

They went on from that place and in the middle of the afternoon reached Jumping Creek. The country on the other side looked good and Rabbit said he knew it was a fine country and he was going across. The Lion said to him, "When you are prepared to jump say 'Ready, '" and he fixed his belt and his ornaments ready to make the leap. Rabbit said, "We must sit side by side to jump." They did so, and when he said "Ready" both sprang over to the other bank. Rabbit, however, jumped back immediately and at once the river began expanding. The Lion said, "My friend, you are leaving me." "I will make a foot log for you," said Rabbit, but his ax broke and he said he could not do it. Then the river continued to widen until the Lion disappeared from sight, while Rabbit went home.

Some time after this two persons went to see Rabbit to learn what he had done. After he had told them they said, "We are going to have a stomp dance and you must come and be our leader." Then they went back. Fire was at that time very valuable. It was made with a fire drill (totka boli). Rabbit determined to carry off some of this, so he covered his hands with tar and started for the stomp ground. He seated himself at the end of one of the beds and remained there until it was nearly day. Finally someone said, "Rabbit is a good stomp dance leader. You ought to invite him to lead." Accordingly they asked him to lead the dance and he accepted. Just as he was through dancing, however, he reached a place close to the fire, seized some fire and ran off into the thicket. It blazed as he went along. "Rabbit has stolen the fire," they shouted. "Make it rain," they said, and a rain was brought on, but Rabbit escaped into a hollow tree. When they thought they had put the fire, out and the rain ceased, he came out and set the woods afire, and that is why the woods still burn off.

Next: 44. Rabbit Steals Fire