Sacred Texts  Native American  Southeast  Index  Previous  Next 


A number of men went a long distance into the country and encamped. While they were hunting about some of them discovered an hatcūkliba (a monster lizard). 1 One of them said, "I am going to have a race with him." He relied upon a very potent "word" which he had. So he tied some white buckskin strings about his legs just below the knee, placed a white feather on his head, and put on a white shirt. Then he said, "Now go and show me the place where he lives." They guided him to the spot and then stood back while he went up close to it. He called out, "Hatcūkliba, come out and let us race," whereupon the big lizard came out of his den and started after him. As the man ran he shouted "Kaihgā', Kaihgā'." He ran across a prairie, keeping just ahead of the animal until they were out of sight.

The people waited, and after a long time saw the white shirt and feather in the distance. The runner was coming back with the lizard still close after him, and he ran by the lizard's den; but by that time the lizard was so completely exhausted that he stopped and lay down.

After they had all returned to their camp another man said, "I am going to try him." The rest answered, "You may not understand how to contest with him. You had better not try." However, he insisted, and like the other he dressed himself up with white buckskin strings, a white shirt, and a white feather. The crowd went along as before and watched while he approached the lizard's den and called out, "Come out, Hatcūkliba, and let us race." When the lizard came down he ran off calling out the same words as the other man. They raced over the same prairie and passed out of sight behind the same ridge. About the time they thought he ought to be coming back they saw the lizard returning with half of the man's body hanging out of his mouth. Then they set the woods on fire and started for home.


26:1 This is now the name for the green lizard.

Next: 20. The Hunter, the Monster Lizard, and the Panther