Sacred Texts  Native American  Southeast  Index  Previous  Next 


The animals had a chief who divided the various kinds of food among them, and each called for what it liked, the Squirrel asking for acorns, the Opossum, Raccoon, and Fox for persimmons, the Birds for grapes, etc. The Rabbit looked up and saw a lot of sycamore balls hanging on a tree. He wanted to have these, and he sat under them waiting for them to fall down. Instead of falling to the ground, however, they would scatter. At last he got hungry, came before the chief again, and asked for something else. Then the chief said to him, "If you will hunt and bring to me something I like, I will give you something that you like." Then the Rabbit went away and came to where an Alligator lived. He called to it and the Alligator came out, saying, "What is it?" "They want you to hew out a forked post," said the Rabbit. "Who wants it?" said the Alligator. "The chief," said the Rabbit. Then the Alligator said, "AR right, I shall have to go," so they started off together. When they had almost reached the canes where the wood was the Rabbit hit his companion in order to kill him, but the Alligator ran away uninjured. Then the

p. 256

[paragraph continues] Rabbit went before the chief and said, "I couldn't find anything for you." "I won't give you anything until you bring me something," the chief replied. Then the Rabbit went off again, killed a fawn, skinned it, wrapped the skin about him and went to the Alligator's home a second time. He shouted to the Alligator and the Alligator said, "What is it?" "The chief wants you to hew out a forked post," said the Rabbit. "That is what they always tell me, but I do not want to go. They always thump me on the head." "Who treated you that way?" "The Rabbit hit me on the head." The Rabbits aid, "The Rabbit hasn't any sense. What did they send him for? I am all right." Then the Alligator said, "I guess I can go," and he started off with him again. When they got close to where the chief was the Rabbit said to his companion, "What part of your life did they miss?" "If they had hit me in the back they would have killed me." Presently the Rabbit picked up a club, hit the Alligator over the back and killed him. Then the Rabbit picked his body up and carried it to the chief. But when the chief saw him he said, "Hey, things of that kind are not to be eaten. Go along where old women have planted gardens and pilfer out of them. And let the dogs chase you through the brush," and he sicked the dogs upon him. "That," he said, "is going to be the place for you to be killed in." So the Rabbit became such a lover of beans because he was such a story teller.

Next: 32. The Wolf and the Rabbit