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Some men were hunting about in the woods for bear and one of them threw fire down inside of a hollow tree. The others waited beneath ready to shoot. Presently a big lizard came out. One man shot at him but missed him and he came down, jumping to the ground from a considerable height. Then all ran away.

The big lizard followed one of these, who became so weak he could hardly walk. It seized him, carried him back to the tree, and fed him to its young ones. Then it followed another and he became weak. It seized him and brought him to the tree. It trailed another and got him.

When it started after the last one, the man who had put fire into the tree came down and ran off. It followed the other person and seized him. And then it pursued the man who had run off last, and he became weak. When he had nearly gotten to a river he could just crawl along, but he jumped down the bank, got into a skiff (or canoe), pushed off, and drifted down the stream. The big lizard reached the stream and crossed it. It crossed without seeing him and went back again. After it had crossed and recrossed three or four times without finding him it went back to its den.

Then the man crossed over and went home. At the camp he told the others about it. After a while some Shawnee Indians wanted to try to kill the big lizard and he went with them to show it to them and tell them about it. He was afraid but he climbed up into a tree again and threw fire down into the lizard's den. Again the big lizard came out of the hollow tree.

Now the Shawnee 2 went around the hollow tree in circles and caused it to be boggy. Presently the lizard jumped down but it could not walk in the bog. Then the Shawnee ran up and killed it with their tomahawks. They rubbed its mouth with tobacco so that it would not return to life. Under the tree were found the bones of many persons whom the lizard had killed.


153:1 This is said to resemble a scorpion and to have a red mouth.

153:2 Shawnee formerly trapped beaver near the present Alabama settlement but it is not thought that this story was obtained from them.

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