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72. RABBIT RIDES WOLF (61, 69, 71)

Some girls lived not far from Rabbit and Wolf, and Rabbit thought he would like to visit them. So one time he called upon Wolf and said, "Let us go visiting." Wolf said, "All right," and they started off. When they got to the place the girls told them to sit down and they took a great liking to Wolf, who had a good time with them while Rabbit had to sit by and look on. Of course be was not pleased at this turn of affairs and said presently, "We had better be going back." But Wolf replied, "Let us wait a while longer," and they remained until it was late.

Before they left Rabbit got a chance to speak to one of the girls so that Wolf would not overhear and he said, "The one you are having so much sport with is my old horse." "I think you are lying," said the girl. "I am not. You shall see me ride him up here to-morrow." "If we see you ride him up we'll believe you."

When they started off the girls said, "Well, call again." Wolf was anxious to do so and early next morning be called upon Rabbit, whose house was much nearer, and said, "Are we going?" "I was sick all night," Rabbit answered, "and I hardly feel able to go." Wolf urged him, but he said at first that be really wasn't able to. Finally, however, he said, "If you will let me ride you I might go along just for company." So Wolf agreed to carry him astride of his back. But then Rabbit said, "I would like to put a saddle on you so as to brace myself," and Wolf agreed to it. "I believe it would be better," added Rabbit, "if I should bridle you." Wolf did not like this idea but Rabbit said, "Then I could hold on better and manage to get there," so Wolf finally consented to be bridled. Finally Rabbit wanted to put on spurs. Wolf replied, "I am too ticklish," but Rabbit said, "I will not spur you with them. I will hold them away from you but it would be nicer to have them on," so Wolf finally agreed, saying only, "I am very ticklish; you must not spur me." "When we got near the house," said Rabbit, "we will take everything off of you and walk the rest of the way."

So Rabbit and Wolf started on, but when they were nearly in sight of the house Rabbit plunged the spurs into Wolf and before he

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knew it they had passed right by the house. Then Rabbit said, "They have seen you now. I will tie you here and go up to see them and come back after a while and let you go." So Rabbit went to the house and said to the girls, "You all saw it, did you not?" "Yes," they answered, and he sat down and had a good time with them.

After a while Rabbit thought he ought to let Wolf go and started back to the place where he was fastened. He knew that Wolf was angry with him and thought up a way by which he could loose him with safety to himself. First he found a thin hollow log which he beat upon as if it were a drum. Then he ran up to Wolf as fast as he could go and cried out, "Do you know they are hunting for you? You heard the drum just now. The soldiers are after you." Wolf was very much frightened and said "Let me go." Rabbit was purposely a little slow in untying him and he had barely gotten him freed when Wolf broke away and went off as fast as he could run. Then Rabbit returned to the house and remained there as if he were already a married man.

Near this house was a large peach orchard and one day Rabbit said to the girls, "I will shake the peaches off for you." So they all went to the orchard together and he climbed up into a tree to shake the peaches off. While he was there Wolf came toward them and called out, "Old fellow, I am not going to let you alone." By that time he was almost under the tree. Then Rabbit shouted out loud as if to people at a distance, "Here is that fellow for whom you are always hunting," and Wolf ran away again.

Some time after this, while Rabbit was lying close under a tree bent over near the ground, he saw Wolf coming. Then he stood up with the tree extended over his shoulder as if he were trying to hold it up. When Wolf saw him he said, "I have you now." Rabbit, however, called out, "They told me to hold this tree up all day with the great power I have and for it they would give me four hogs. I don't like hog meat but you do, so you might get it if you take my place," Wolf's greed was excited by this and he was willing to hold up the tree. Then Rabbit said, "If you yield only a little it will give way, so you must hold it tight." And he ran off. Wolf stood under the tree so long that finally he felt he could stand it no longer and he jumped away quickly so that it would not fall upon him. Then he saw that it was a growing tree rooted in the earth. "That Rabbit is the biggest liar," he exclaimed, "if I can catch him I will certainly fix him."

After that Wolf hunted about for Rabbit once more and finally came upon him in a nice grassy place. He was about to spring upon him when Rabbit said, "My friend, don't punish me. I have food for you. There is a horse lying out yonder." Wolf's appetite was again moved at the prospect and he decided to go along. Then

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[paragraph continues] Rabbit said, "It is pretty close to a house, therefore it would be well for me to tie your tail to the horse's tail so that you can drag it off to a place where you can feast at leisure." So Rabbit tied the two tags together. But the horse was only asleep, not dead, as Wolf supposed, and Rabbit ran around to its head and kicked it. At once the horse jumped up and was so frightened that it kicked and kicked until it kicked Wolf to death.

The end. 1


66:1 My informant volunteered the information that at the end of a story all of the listeners would spit.

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