BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
MYTHS AND TALES OF THE
SOUTHEASTERN INDIA S
JOHN R. SWANTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
Of THr PU=ATION WAY BX MBOCUBuD Y)lU
TIN BUDUDTUrUx or DOCUMUNqS
U.LGOYXRNMXXqT PYMnqymo 0772M
WABUIGIOMO, D. C.
$1.00 PER COPY (CLOTH)
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY,
Washington, D. C., October 18, 1927.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit the accompanying manuscript,
entitled "Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians," by John
R. Swanton, and to recommend its publication, subject to your
approval, as a bulletin of this bureau.
J. WALTER FEWKES, Chief.
Dr. C. G. ABBOT,
Acting Secretary Smithonian Institution.
[The numbers n parentheses refr to the elsslflation given In the Comparison of Myths, pages f7-27S.
1. How day and night were divided ------------------------ 2
2. Bead-spitter and Thrown-away (3, 10) -----------......--------- 2
3. The orphan (43)---------------------. ------ 7
4. Thunder Helper (43)------------------.....------------------ 8
5. The origin of corn (4)-..---------------------.--------------- 9
6. The orphan and the origin of corn (4, 6)------------------------- 10
7. The orphan and the origin of corn (second version) (4, 6) --------- 13
8. The orphan and the origin of corn (third version) (6)--- -------- 15
9. The only sonand Rabbit (6)---------------------------- -- 17
10. The origin of tobacco (15)-..-----------------------.-------.-- 19
11. The origin of tobacco (second version) (15)---------------------- 19
12. The origin of tobacco (third version) (15)---------------.---------- 19
13. Man-eater and the little girl (The magic flight) (9) _-------_ 20
14. The water panther------------.--.--------------- ------ 21
15. How the alligator's nose was broken..---------------------------- 22
16. Story of the bat (52)_ ----------------------------- 23
17. The friendly dogs..-------.--........ -------- ---------------. 23
18. The hunter and his dogs (25)---------------------------------- 25
19. The monster lizard---------------------------------------- 26
20. The hunter, the monster lizard, and the panther (33)----------- 27
21. The hunter, the monster lizard, and the panther (second version) (33)- 28
22. The racing snake (34) ----------------------------------- 29
23. The man who became a snake (35)------------------------------ 30
24. The man who became a snake (second version) (35)---------------- 31
25. The man who became a snake (third version) (35)----------------. 32
26. The man who became a snake (fourth version) (35)----------------- 33
27. The man who became a snake (fifth version) (35)------------------ 34
28. The king of the tie-snakes (41).---------------------------------34
29. The story of the turkey (39)-----------------.------------------ 36
30. The monster turtle (44)------------------------------------ 36
31. The monster turtle (second version) (44) ----------------------- 37
32. The big rock man...-----------------------..... ---------.... 38
33. The woman and the monster earthworm (40)--------------------- 38
34. The fawn, the wolves, and the terrapin (49) --------------------- 38
35. How the terrapin's back came to be in checks (53)-------------- 40
36. How the terrapin's back came to be in checks (second version) (53) 41
37. Why the opossum has no hair on his tail ------------------------ 41
38. Why the opossum has no hair on his tail (second story) (49)--------- 41
39. The race between the crane and the humming bird (50)------------- 42
40. Rabbit gets Man-eater over to the other side of the ocean (65)----... 42
41. Rabbit gets Man-eater over to the other side of the ocean (second ver-
sion) (65)-...--..........-------- --------------. -------- 42
42. Rabbit gets Man-eater over to the other side of the ocean (third ver-
sion) (65)...............-----------------------------. 48
43. Rabbit gets Man-eater over to the other side of the ocean (fourth ver-
sion) (65)........ ...---- ------------------------- 44
44. Rabbit steals fire (67)--- ------------ ----- --------- 46
45. Rabbit tries a game of scratch with Wildcat --------------.--- 46
46. Rabbit gets a turkey for Wildcat (64) -------------------------- 47
47. Rabbit gets a turkey for Wildcat (second version) (64)---------- 47
48. Raccoon gets a deer for Panther (64)--------------------- ------ 48
49. Rabbit engineers a tug of war between two tie-snakes (70)--------- 48
50. Rabbit engineers a tug of war between two tie-snakes (second
version) (70) ---------------------------------- -----49
51. Rabbit engineers a tug of war between two tie-snakes (third ver-
sion) (70)---------------------------------- -- ----- 49
52. Rabbit engineers a tug of war between Tie-snake and Man-eater
(70) ----------------- -------------------------50
53. Rabbit engineers a tug of war between two bison (70)-------------- 50
54. Rabbit fools Alligator (70)----------------------------- ----- 51
55. Rabbit fools Alligator (second version) ---------------------- 52
56. Terrapin races (57) -------------------------------------- 53
57. Terrapin races (second version) (57)---------------------------- 53
58. Terrapin races (third version) (57)----------------------------- 54
59. Terrapin races (fourth version) (57)---------------------------- 54
60. Terrapin races (fifth version) (57)----------------------------- 54
61. The bungling host (58)-------------------------------------- 55
62. How Rabbit won his wife's sister for his second wife--.------------ 57
63. Turkey, Turtle, and Rattlesnake (42)------------------------- 57
64. The tasks of Rabbit (54, 68)---------------------.------------. 58
65. The tasks of Rabbit (second version) (54) --------------------- 59
66. The tasks of Rabbit (third version) (54)------------------------ 60
67. Why the rabbit steals (60) ----------------------------------- 61
68. Why the oppossum looks ashamed (60)-------------------------- 61
69. How Rabbit got the widow's daughter--.----...-------.--------. 62
70. How Rabbit got the widow's daughter (second version) ----------- 62
71. Rabbit fools Coyote (69)--.---... --.-------.-----------------.. 63
72. Rabbit rides Wolf (61, 69, 71) ------------------------------ 64
73. Rabbit rides Wolf (second version) (61, 71)---------------------- 66
74. Rabbit rides Wolf (tlrd version) (61) ------------------------ 67
75. The tar baby (63) ------------------------------------- 68
76. Rabbit deceives the other animals (72)------------.. -----------.. 69
77. Rabbit escapes from the box (66) ..-------------------------. 70
78. Rabbit's imposition is detected.-------------------.-- -------- 71
79. The flight to the tree (76)--------------------- ------------ 72
80. Cow and Dog are discontented-------------------------------- 73
81. The language of the animals-.. --------------------------- 74
82. The origin of races------------------------------------------ 74
83. The origin of races (second version)----------------------------- 75
84. The ordering of field work (5)--- ---------------------------- 76
85. The devil's tasks..------.... --.----------------------- ----- 76
86. The boy and the lion...--------------------------------------- 79
87. animal helpers--.------------------------- -------- 81
88. Aeardrive (a hunting story) -------------------------------- 82
89. A legend recorded by Bartram--------------------------------- 83
90. The creation of the earth (a Yuchi story) (1) ----- --------------. 84
91. The monkey girl (an African story)----------------------------- 85
1. Bear, Tiger, Rattlesnake, and Fie (12)----------- -------- 87
2. The origin of tobacco (15) ------------------------------------- 87
3. Theorigin of wolves----------------------------------------- 88
4. Theboyandthewizards (38)----------------- ------- 88
5. The man-eating bird------------------------------------- 89
6. The visit to the nest of the monster bird (27)-------------------- 90
7. A strange turkey catches people and carries them up to the sky (39)- 90
8. The deer women (47)..---------.--------------------..------.. 91
9. The hunter and his dogs (25)----.---.. ---------------..-----... 92
10. The hunter and his dogs (second version)(25) ----------..-----... 93
11. The maanad the owl (37)------------------------------------ 94
12. The orphan and the owl ----------------- ----- -------- 9
13. The alligator that stole a man--...--.------.. --- ------------- 95
14. Story of the lizard (40) ------------------------------ --- 96
15. The monster lizard (33) ---------------------------------- 96
16. The hunter and the tie-snake (26)------------------------- 97
17. The man who became a snake (35)-------------------------- 97
18. The waterpeople (41). ---------------------------------- 98
19. A Rip Van Winkle story (42)------------------------------- 99
20. The wolves and the dogs .------..---------------.----.----.- 100
21. The deer kills himself against a tree (51, 72)------------------ 101
22. Terrapin races (57)-- -- --------------------- ---------- 101
23. Heron and Humming Bird (50) --------------------------- 102
24. Thetheftof fire (67) ----------------------------------- 102
25. The theft of fire (second version) (67)--------------------------- 103
26. The tasks of Rabbit (54, 59) ---------------- ----------------- 104
27. Tie-snake and Rabbit (70)----------------------------------- 105
28. Rabbit rides Wolf (61) --------------------------------------- 107
29. Rabbit and Wol (61, 62)--------------...................... 107
30. Rabbit and Wildcat (71)---------------_---- -------------- -- 108
31. Rabbit and Wildcat---.-----------.-------------------- 109
32. Rabbit and Wildcat (64)----------------------------------- 109
33. Thetar baby (63) ----.. ------------------------------- ...110
34. The tar baby (second version) (63)---------------------------- 110
35. The bungling host (58)--------------------- ----------- 111
36. Rabbit issent with medicine_-------------------------- -- 112
37. Man and Rabbit (71)-------------------------------------- 113
38. Man and Rabbit..-------. ----..----------------.....- 113
39. Rabbit and the old man..------------------------------- 114
40. A war story (from A. S. Gatschet)--------------------------- 115
41. Walnut-cracker.-- ------- ----------------- 115
42. The unfaithful wife (73) ------------------------------ 116
1. Origin of the Indians..-------------------------------------- 118
2. Origin of the Alabama Indians-----.-------..----------------- 118
The flood (2)..-----------....... -------------------------.. 121
4. The swinging grapevines (21)---------------- ------------- 121
5. Fire (12)---- --------........ -----------------------.. 122
6. Another fire story--------------------- ---------------- 122
7. The rescue of the sun (67)-------------------------.....----. 123
8. How water was lost and recovered (13)------------------------- 123
9. Thunder (45)---------------............................... 124
10. The monster deer (46)--------------- ------------ -------.... 124
11. The deer taboos (47) -----------...-------................. 126
12. Bead-spitter (7, 10) --------------------..--- 126
13. Big Man-eater and the persimmon tree (11)---------------------- 129
14. The obstacle flight (9)-------.------..------ -------------- 131
15. The obstacle flight (second version) (9) ------------------------- 133
16. Lodge Boy and Thrown-away (3)....-------------------......... 133
17. The orphan (6).------------..---------.--- ................. 134
18. The orphan (second version) (6, 62).----------------------..... 136
19. The celestial skiff--------.----- ------------------------ 138
20. The men who went tothe sky (23)-------- ------------------ 139
21. The men who went to the sky (second version) (23)-.------.-----.. 141
22. The men who went to the sky (third version) (23) --------------- 142
23. The friends...............------ --------------........ .--- 143
24. The dead wife..-- -------....... .-------....-------- 144
25. The hunter and his ghostly visitants ------------------------- 145
26. The ghost.-----------.....------------..........------- 145
27. The owl wiveas--------------------- ---------------- 146
28. The man and the ghost (24)---------------------------------- 147
29. Adventures with supernatural beings (41) ----------------------- 147
30. The sapia ...--------------........ .----------------. 148
31. The pygmies (28)------------------------------------ -- 149
32. The Bear People (29)--------------------------- ---- ------ 149
33. The Bear People (second version) (29) ------------------------- 150
34. The bear's revenge (30)---------------.-------------------. 150
35. The alligator benefactor (31)--------------------- --------- 151
36. The alligator benefactor (second version) (31) ------------------- 151
37. The man and the alligator------------------------------ 151
38. The owl and the hawk (32)---------------------------------. 152
39. The owl and the hawk (second version) (32)---.---------- ------ 152
40. The big lizard --------------------------------------153
- 41. The black snake (34).---.---------------. .--------------..... 153
42. The woman who turned into a snake (35)------------------------ 154
43. The eagle's nest (27)...-------------------.------------------ 154
44. The man who rescued his wife by strategy------------------------ 154
45. A fight between the Alabama and the Choctaw-------------------. 155
46. The girl captives..-----------------........ .--------------.. 155
47. The Alabama and Choctaw wars.----------.-------------------- 156
48. A war between the Alabama and the Choctaw----.. --------.-----. 156
49. The captive Alabama -.....--------------...---..--.--...---- 157
50. Crane and Humming Bird race (50)---------------------------. 157
51. Terrapinraces(57)------------------------- ---------------- 157
52. Opossum (49)--------------------------------------------- 158
53. Terrapin and the wolves (49).------------- -------------------158
54. Rabbit and Big Man-eater (65)------------------------------- 159
55. Rabbit and Big Man-eater (second version) (65)----------.-----.. 160
56. Rabbit kills Big Man-eater..------------------.---------..--.. 161
57. Thetarbaby (63).------------------------------------ 161
58. Rabbit and the box (66)------------------------------------- 162
59. The bungling host (58) ------------------- ------------- 162
60. Theflighttothetree (76) ----------------------------------.- 163
61. Money-spitter (77)...-------------------.--------------. ---- 163
62. The monster--------------------------------- .---. 164
63. Story of the mule's return ---------------- -----.-- 165
64. Some short stories ...-----------------------.----....------. 165
1. The orderingof the months and seasons --- ---------------- 166
2. The Pleiades (18)-----------------------------------... 166
8. The Stars-in-a-row ------------------------- 166
4. The star husbands (17)---.....------......-------------..... 166
5. A story of the origin of corn and tobacco------------------------- 167
6. Corn woman (4)..--------------------------------------- 168
7. How the water was lost and recovered (13)_-------------------- 168
8. The submarine people (14)--------........------------------- 168
9. Sickness-. .---------------------------.----------------- 169
10. Thesixbrothers (11)_.------.------.----..-------------- 169
11. The still crawling sister.------ -------------------------- 170
12. Bead-spitter (7, 10)-.------.....-----------------------.... 172
13. The story of an orphan (7) _-------------.-----------------..- 175
14. The wicked mother-in-aw (8)--------------.----------------- 177
15. The orphan boy and Rabbit (6, 62)---------- --------------- 178
16. The tory of Crow (3).--.....---------.. ------------------.. 181
17. The obstacle flight (9)_--.----.....-----------------.---. 182
18. The obstacle flight (second version) (9) ----------------------- 183
19. Thunder and Lagatonhona...----------------------- 184
20. Thunder (45)....------.- ---------..----------------. 184
21. The giant elk (46) --------------------------- ------- 186
22. The giant deer (46)--------------------------------------- 186
23. The hero from under the water ---------------------------- -- 186
24. Pigeon-Hawk brings down the iron (22) ----------------------- 189
25. The monster black snake (34)-- --------------- ------------- 189
26. Story of two brothers who tried to restore their sister to life (23).... 189
27. A story of the Bear lan (29) -..--------.. -------------------- 190
28. The orphan and the bear (36) -...---.------------.------------- 191
29. The bear's revenge (30)-....---..---------------------------- 192
30. The mannd the deer women (47)-.-----------...-------------- 198
31. The man and the eagle (27)----------------------------................................ 198
32. The old dog saves his master (25) .------------..--------------- 194
33. The pigeon hawk's gift (32)-..-----------..------------------- 194
34. The owl persecutors (37)-..--------------.. --------.--------- 195
85. The owl persecutors secondd version) (37) -------------------- 195
36. The monster lizard (33)..---......--------------.----------- .196
37. The story of Life-eater ...----..---.-----... ---------- 196
38. The man who treated a ghost (24)--------------------------- 197
39. The owl and the turkey------------------------------- -- 198
40. The story of Owl and little Yellow Mouse-..------------------ 198
41. The story of WAhgalanoh--------------- ------------- 198
'42. The story of Opossum.-------------------- --- ------ 199
43. The story of Opossum (second version) ---------------------- 200
44. Opossum and Panther in partnership (64).------------------ 200
45. Opossum and Skunk (48)-------------.......----------------- 200
46. Panther and Rattlesnake-..----..------------------ --. 201
47. Tadpole and Crawfsh--------------------------------- 201
48. The wolf and the terrapin (57) ------------------------------ 201
49. Crane and Humming Bird (50)------------------------------ 201
50. The ooneit of Tcikteinigi-...------------------------ 20
51. Locust and Ant ------- ------------------------------ 202
52. The dogand the heron (78)-...------------------------...... 202
83. rabbit obtains fre (67)-.-------.-------.-- ---.------- --- 208
54. Rabbit and the river (55, 62, 66)----------------------------- 204
55. Rabbit fools Big Man-eater (65)-------------------------------205
56. Rabbit and Big Man-eater swap (64)---.-------.. -------------. 206
57. Rabbit plays pranks on Big Man-eater (65)---_------------------ 207
58. Rabbit and the ducks (56)-.----....--------------------...... 208
59. The tar baby (63, 66) ----------------------------------- 208
60. Rabbit and the turkeys----------------------------------- 210
61. The bungling host (58) -- --- --------------------- 210
62. Rabbit and Buzzard ------------------ ---------------- 211
63. Rabbit fools Wildcat (69)---------..... ------------------- .. 211
64. Theflight to thetree (76)----------- ------------------------ 211
65. Money-spitter (77) --------------- ----------- ----------- 213
1. The flood (2)--......---------------------.................. 214
2. The rolling head (16)..---------------- ------------------- 215
3. The cannibal's seven sons (20)------------------------------- 218
4. The cannibal woman (19) --------------------------------- 219
5. Lodge Boy and Thrown-away (3)----------.---------------.--.- 222
6. Lodge Boy and Thrown-away (second version) (3)----------------- 227
7. The origin of corn (4, 5)--------------......------..----- ---- 230
8. Corn Woman's son (4, 6, 54, 55)------------------------------- 230
9. The panther child (6, 7).----------------------------------- 234
10. Thunder. --- ---------------------------------- 239
11. Adoption of the human race---------------------------------- 240
12. Adoption of the human race (second version) ------------- ---- 240
13. The cannibal (56)----------------------------------- --- 241
14. The Pleiades (18)-- ----------------------------- 242
15 The hunter and his dogs (25)--------------------------------- 243
16. Adventure with a tie-snake (26)------------------------------- 245
17. The Ukteni--..--------............. ---------------------- 245
18. The TlnuwA (27)---- ---------------------------- ------- 246
19. The pygmies (28)----------------------------------- 247
20. The frog that lost his wife----------------------------------- 248
21. The panther and the crane -------------------------------- 248
22. The opossum (48).------------------------------------- 249
23. The wolves and the fawn (49)--------------------------------- 249
24. Terrapin and Deer (57) ----------------------------------- 252
25. The fox and the crawfish--------------------------------- 252
26. The crane and the humming bird (50)-------------------------- 253
27. The owl and the perch.... ----------- -------------------- 253
28. The turtle --------------------------------------- 254
29. Turkey and Wildcat ----------------------------------- 254
30. The bungling host (58)------------------- --------------- 254
81. Rabbit and Alligator (59, 60)--------------------------------- 255
82. The wolf and the rabbit (61, 62)------------------------------- 256'
33. Thetarbaby (63)---------------------------------- ---- 258
34. Rabbitand Wildcat (64) ----------------------------------- 259
35. Rabbit and Man-eater (65).----------------------------- ----- 259
86. Story of a bison..--.----------------.....---------------- -. 261
87. The bison helper-.------------------------------------ 261
88. The mosquito------.. -----------------------------. 262
89. The Indian Munchausen (74)-------------------------------- 262
40. The twelve Irishmen (75)--.-------------------------------- 264
41. The two Irishmen- -------------------- ---------_----- --- 265
42. Jack and the beanstalk..-----.------------------------ -- 265
43. The simpleton..---------------------------- ------- 266
MYTHS AND TALES OF THE SOUTHEASTERN
By JOHN R. SwaITON
The greater part of the accompanying material was collected by
the writer between the years 1908 and 1914. Among the Creek
myths, however, are included most of those secured by W. O. Tuggle
many years ago, the originals of which are preserved among the docu-
ments in the Bureau of American Ethnology. The rest were taken
down at various places and from various persons, and for the most
part in English, no systematic attempt having been made at what
might be called a Creek collection. The Alabama stories are from the
Alabama Indians living in Polk County, Tex., and the Koasati stories
from some of the same informants and from the Koasati near Kinder,
La. The Hitchiti stories were obtained from a few speakers of the
Hitchiti language in the northern part of Seminole County, Okla.,
part of them having been recorded directly, while part were written
down in the original by an Indian. The Natchez collection, so called,
was secured from one of the few remaining speakers of the ancient
Natchez tongue residing near Braggs, Okla., a man named Watt Sam.
This informant had drawn not merely upon his own people but upon
his Cherokee and Creek neighbors, and it would now be impossible
to say how much of the collection is pure Natchez, or, indeed, whether
any of it may be so denominated. These stories and those from the
Hitchiti, Koasati, and Alabama were also recorded in text form.
No attempt has been made to separate these stories into classes,
but the following general order has been observed. Stories which
deal with natural phenomena or the doings of ancient native heroes,
such as might more properly be called myths, have been placed first.
Next have been entered stories of visits to the world of the dead, of
which there are few, as it happens, except in the Alabama series.
Then come stories detailing encounters between men and animals or
supernatural beings in animal form. After these have been placed
tales dealing with happenings among the animals, concluding with
all of those having to do with the Southeastern trickster Rabbit.
Then appear stories-or other stories-known to have been bor-
rowed from the whites or Negroes, or such as probably had such an
origin, and at the end a few war tales of miscellaneous character.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
The native attitude toward these was, of course, various, some no
doubt having been originally sacred legends embodying actual beliefs,
while others were told for amusement. Only in the Natchez series
have I any absolute clew as to which were considered sacred and the
reverse. My Natchez informant stated that certain stories, among
which he included numbers 2, 4, 5, 9, 13, 18, 23, 30, and the stories
about the tie-snake, must be told only during cold weather. Other-
wise bad luck would follow. This list was communicated to me before
I had collected all of the Natchez stories here given and it is, therefore,
defective. It is of value only as indicating that such a distinction was
made. It is surprising that such tales as "The Bungling Host" and
"The Wolves and the Fawn" should be included.1
1. How DAY AND NIGHT WERE DIVIDED
The animals held a meeting and No-koos-see (Nokosi), the Bear,
The question was, how to divide day and night.
Some desired the day to last all the time; others wished it all
night. After much talk, Chew-thlock-chew (Tciloktco), the ground
"I see that Woot-Kew (Wotko), the Coon, has rings on his tail
divided equally, first a dark color then a light color. I think day
and night ought to be divided like the rings on Woot-Kew's tail."
The animals were surprised at the wisdom of Chew-thlock-chew.
They adopted his plan and divided day and night like the rings on
Woot-Kew's tail, succeeding each other in regular order.
No-koos-see from envy scratched the back of Chew-thlock-chew
and thus caused the stripes on the back of all his descendants, the
2. BEAD-SPITTER AND THROWN-AWAY2 (3, 10)
Bead-spitter (Konapkeso'fki) lived in a certain place. Two
young women heard the name and, thinking that it must belong to
some person, started out to find him. They traveled an entire day
and when it was getting dark met Rabbit. "Where are you going?"
he said. "We are going to Bead-spitter's." "Ku ku ku ku," he
exclaimed, "you are naming somebody." "We do not know him,"
they replied, "but we thought there might be such a person and so
we set out to find him." "What do you want of him?" "We want
some beads." "You can't go until morning," said Rabbit.
"Remain here all night." They did so, and Rabbit slept with one of
SSome of the stories included in this bulletin were printed in The Journal of American Folk-Lore
vol. xx no. c a, 1913.
SThis story wa "made into a parable" by the Indians, e., it was referred to in speech and med
to point moral, etc.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHASTERN INDIANS
them. In the morning he had disappeared, but when he came back
he had a mouthful of beads which he blew all about. The one he had
slept with gathered them up and began stringing them, and she said
to the other, "You string some of these beads also," which she began
Rabbit had taken these beads from the young buzzards while
their mother was away, and when she came back they told her what
he had done. At that she became angry and started off to Rabbit's
house. There she called out, "Pasikl'lyI' (a story name of Rabbit)
what have you done to my children? You have done them great
When the young women heard these words they pulled off their
beads, dropped them upon the ground, and started away. Late that
evening they came upon Ground Squirrel (Tciloktco), and he said
to them, "Where are you going?" "We are going to Turkey-killer's
(Pin-1i'dja's)," they answered. "It is a long distance," he replied.
"You had better stay all night." They replied that they had been
deceived before and hesitated to do so, but he answered that he
was no "underminer," and he urged them to remain because it was
late. "As you come near the dwelling of Turkey-killer, you will
begin to find turkey feathers, at first only a few and as you go on
more and more. They will be deeper and deeper and when they
are over your heads you will have arrived at his house." "Then, we
think we will stay with you," they answered. They did so, and set
out again in the morning, but found that during the night Ground
Squirrel had gotten inside of the dumplings (odj5't&dja-haga) they
carried and eaten them all out.
By and by they came to the feathers which lay deeper upon the
ground as they proceeded, and when these were over their heads they
came out into the yard of Turkey-killer's house. "Whither are you
traveling?" said Turkey-killer. "We heard that there was a bead-
spitter and we wanted some beads. That is why we came." "I am
the one," he answered, "but I cannot provide the beads until to-mor-
row morning and you must remain all night."
So the young women spent the night at that place. After day-
break the man came to them and said, "Was anything wrongful done
to you while you were on the way?" The one with whom Rabbit had
slept denied it. "Then everything will be all right," he said He
gave a new sofki riddle to each of them and continued, "Go to the
creek and dip up water and if your story is true you can bring them
back full but if it is false the water will run through." So they went
down to the creek and dipped their riddles into it, but when they
took them up the water ran through the riddle of the woman with
whom Rabbit had slept, while that in the other remained. When
she brought it to the house the man told her to sift, and as the water
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
came through it turned into beads. Then he told both of them to
string these beads, but while he kept the one who was honest as his
wife, he sent the other back.
Some time later Bead-spitter's wife was with child. Her husband
was a great hunter and was off continually. One time he crossed
the river in a canoe and went off hunting. When he came back,
however, he found his canoe had been taken back to the side on which
stood his dwelling. He shouted to his wife to come over and fetch
him but she did not reply and he was obliged to swim across. In a
window of his house he saw what appeared to be his wife painted and
dressed in fine clothes and he said to her, "I shouted to you for a
long time but it seems that you were too busily engaged in combing
your hair to hear me." Then he punched at her with the butt of his
gun and she fell back out of sight. He went in and then found that
what he had taken for his wife was only an image of her. During
his absence she had been eaten by a Kolowa ("Gorilla") who had after-
wards set up the image. The Kolowa had, however, left the woman's
abdomen, and on opening it the hunter found a baby inside, still
alive. He saved it and took care of it, throwing the afterbirth into
a thicket back of the house.
He fed his child, which was a boy, on gruel and soup. After some
years had passed the child wanted a bow and arrows, and his father
made some small ones for him. He was much surprised, however,
when his son insisted that he make two bows with a blunt arrow and
a sharp one for each. The man's suspicionswere aroused at this and
so, when he started out hunting one day in accordance with his cus-
tom, he stole back and watched the house. Presently he saw another
boy come from the afterbirth, join his son, and play about with him.
It was the first boy's twin.
Then the father crept away and began to plan how he should cap-
ture the second boy. First he thought he would turn himself into
an arrow stuck in the ground at the edge of the yard and he did so,
but when the wild boy came up he said, "That is your father," and
he slunk away so that the man could not get him. Next the man
turned himself into a ball of white grass such as is blown along the
road by the wind, and the first boy said, "Let us see which can get
it," but the wild boy answered, "That is your father." The third
time the man assumed the form of a flying feather with the same
result. But finally the man got hold of him, he became tame, and
both stayed there until they were grown up.
One day the man said to his two sons, "If the canoe is on your
side of the stream and someone shouts to you to ferry them across, it
will not be I. Do not do it. A wicked old woman ate your mother,
and that is the one who will shout. So do not go for her."
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
After their father had left them the old woman came down to the
other bank and called to be ferried across. Then the wild boy said,
"Did not father say that if someone called out we were to take the
canoe over and fetch her?" But the other answered, "No, he said
'if anyone shouts do not take it over because that will be the one who
devoured your mother."' But the wild boy, whose name was FA-
tcasigo (Not-doing-right), insisted on going, and after they had dis-
puted for a while he said, "If you do not agree to go I will chop you
with father's ax." The other was frightened at this and went with
When they got to the place where the old woman was standing
she said, "People always carry me on their backs and put me into
the canoe," so FAtcasigo brought her down on his back. When she
got into the canoe she said, "They always keep me on their backs
while I am in the canoe." And when they landed on the other side
she said,"They always take me out on their backs." But when FA-
tcasigo stood on land with her she began to shout "Kolowa', Kolowa"'
and stuck fast to him.
At that Fatcasigo became angry and punched her, but his fist
stuck fast. He hit her with his other fist and that also stuck. He
kicked her with one of his feet and that stuck. He fell down on the
ground and kicked her with the other foot but that stuck. Then he
butted her with his head and that stuck. His brother got sticks and
beat her with them but they merely stuck to her, so that he finally
became angry and struck her with his fists, whereupon he too became
stuck to her like his brother.
Presently the boy's father came home and shouted from the other
side of the stream to be taken across. When he found that he was
unable to arouse anyone he swam over. Seeing the fix into which
his two sons had gotten, he said, "Did not I tell you not to take
the canoe across? Now I expect you will get some sense into your
heads." He went into the house, prepared his dinner and then heated
a quantity of water which he poured over the old woman. The
boys were melted loose and the old woman flew away shouting
Before the man started out again he said to them, "You do not
seem to have much sense, but I will tell you that up in that tree
yonder are some eggs. Do not climb up there and play with them."
After he had started off, however, Fitcasigo said, "Did not he tell
us to climb up into that tree and play with the eggs?" "No," said
his brother, "He told us we must not." They disputed over it for
a while until finally FAtcasigo said, "If you do not agree I will chop
you with father's ax." "Go ahead, then," said his brother, so they
climbed up into the tree, brought down the eggs, and began playing
with them. While they were doing so a storm overtook their father
BUBBAU OP AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
out in the woods, and he came back and ordered them to replace the
eggs in the nest. As they were engaged in doing this the lightning
struck all about and they shouted "Sindadik, sindadik," and came
Next time the hunter started off he said nothing to his sons and
Fitcasigo said, "Father is very angry with us. Let us follow him
and see what he does." Then they discovered that he had bear, deer,
and all other sorts of game animals shut up in a corral, and after
he left it, they went to the place, opened the gate, and let them
all out. Then they came back to the house so quickly that they
reached it before him.
The next time their father went to his corral he found his animals
had been let out and his anger was very great. He said to his sons,
when he got home, "On the other side of the stream lives a man
named Long-finger-nails (Kocacup-tcpko) who has some tobacco.
Go to him and get me some in exchange for this lead." So they set
out with the lead but on the way Fatcasigo said to his companion,
"He is sending us there because he is so angry with us that he wants
us to die." After they had gone on for a while they came to a deep
lake which they could not cross. An Alligator, floating close to the
shore, called out, "What are you doing?" They replied, "Our father
told us to go to Long-finger-nails for some tobacco and we are on the
way to get it." "He sent you to something very bad," said the
Alligator. "He wants him to devour you. I will put you across,"
he added, and he did so. Then he said to them, "Let the elder boy
remain behind while the younger slips up and places lead in Long-
finger-nails' basket, taking out the tobacco and saying, 'I am
exchanging lead for your tobacco.' Then he must run back as
fast as he can."
The boys did as they had been directed and when the younger
uttered the words which had been given to him Long-finger-nails
made a grab for him with one hand. But in doing so he ran his
finger nails so deep into a post that it took him a long time to get
them out. Meanwhile the boys got back to the Alligator, mounted
on his back and were nearly across the lake before Long-finger-nails
reached the opposite bank. The Alligator let them land and dis-
appeared under the water before their pursuer caught sight of him.
Then the monster said to the boys, "You had a very narrow escape.
Who set you over?"
When the boys brought their tobacco in to their father, who had
thought they were killed and eaten by that time, he said to them,
"Well, did you make the trade?" "Yes, here is the tobacco," they
said, and upon this their father got up and started off.
Then FAtcasigo said to his brother again, "Our father is very
angry with us. He is going to get some one to help him kill us.
We will also be prepared." So they collected quantities of bees
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
and stinging insects of all sorts and filled the house with them.
"When it is time for him to come back we will set watches for him,"
they said, and they did so. The outermost picket was the Blue Crane
(watula). The next was the Wild Goose (ahakwa). The next was
the Pelican (sasa'kwa hA'gi).1 The last and nearest were Quails
(kowaigi). The Crane was stationed farthest out because it has the
loudest voice. The Wild Goose was next because it has the next
loudest voice. The Pelican was next because its voice is third
in strength. Quails were placed last because they make a noise
with their wings when they fly up. After making these arrange-
ments the boys lay down and listened.
By and by the boys heard the voice of the Crane and they said,
"He is coming." A little later they heard the voice of the Goose,
and they said, "He has gotten that far." Then the Pelican shouted
and they said, "He is getting closer." And finally the Quails flew
up with a whirr and they said, "He is right here; let us make ready."
So they climbed up on a beam inside of the house and began throwing
down bees, wasps, and other stinging things, and they kept this up
until the house and yard were full of them. These settled all over
their father and his warriors until they had stung them to death.
Then the boys stood up on the beam and said, "Our father must
be lying somewhere about; let us go down an; hunt for him." By
and by they found him and said, "Our father is lying here." The
boys had their bows and arrows with them, and when they found
their father they took off his breechclout and rubbed an arrow over
his buttocks. At once he flew up in the form of a crow, shouting
"Ga ga ga ga." Thus the crow was once a human being. It eats
watermelons and corn and is very destructive. It is very much
afraid of a bow and arrow because its buttocks were once rubbed
with an arrow. For this reason people used to keep a bow and
arrows about to scare it away.
After that the boys said, "We must be bad boys. We had better
separate." "Do you want to go to the east or west?" said Fitcasigo
to his elder brother, and the latter answered, "I will go toward the
east." The younger said, "I will go to the west, and whenever
you see a red cloud in the west you will know that I am there." The
elder brother replied, "And whenever you see a red cloud in the
east you will know that I am there." That is the end.
3. THE ORPHAN (43)
An orphan was walking about shooting arrows. One day he
came to the lower end of a creek where the water was deep and
heard a noise like thunder. Looking closely he discovered a Tie-
' o my m trpntr. oIaghrldgael Haodg asi th. lsimlln, iwa U tIhe .Mnv, mnfkttia thata.
bag." Saa'kwahi'g man "made like a gooe."
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
snake and the Thunder-being fighting, and when they saw him both
asked him to help them. The Tie-snake spoke first, saying, "My
friend, help me, and I will tell you what I have learned." The boy
was about to aim at his antagonist when the Thunder said, "Don't
shoot me. Kill the Tie-snake. There is a spot under his throat and
it is there that his heart is. If you shoot him there you will kill
him." Upon hearing this the boy aimed at the white spot and
killed the Tie-snake. In this way he obtained all of the Thunder's
power, but the Thunder told him not to tell anyone where he was
Some time after this some people went bear hunting, taking the
orphan with them. It was in winter when the bears were hibernat-
ing. Two camps were formed, one consisting of the boy's uncles.
While they were there an owl was heard to hoot and the orphan
said, "The hooting of that owl is the sign of a bear." His uncles
said they did not believe it. "He doesn't know anything," said
one of them, but the boy declared, "I am right." His brother-in-law
believed him, so he said that they two would go out after it. They
set out next morning and, sure enough, discovered a bear in a hole
in the ground. They killed it and brought it back to camp. The
Thunder gave this orphan such power that all that he foretold came
to pass. If he told the hunters a certain kind of game animal was
in a tree it was actually there and they got it.
Some time later war broke out. The orphan said he could fight
without help from anyone, and they told him to go ahead by himself.
"I will certainly do so," he answered. The brother-in-law who
had confidence in him also went along in the party. When they
got close to the hostile camp, the boy went on ahead while the others
sheltered themselves behind trees. Then the orphan caused thunder
and lightning all over the camp of the enemy. Some were killed
and the rest ran about in helpless terror, so that the boy's followers
ran up and killed all of them.
Later there was another war and those who knew the orphan
wanted him to lead. When they got close to the enemy, he told
his companions to remain at some distance. Then he went nearer
and began to circle round a tree. As he did so lightning played all
about and struck all over the camp of the enemy, killing every one
in it. The orphan was never seen afterwards, and so they thought
that he went up in the midst of the thundering to the sky. Therefore,
they claimed that the Thunder was an orphan child.
4. THUNDER HELPER (43)
A boy went along on a hunting party with three of his uncles.
While they were away from camp he took charge of it, prepared
sofki for them and did any other work that was necessary. The camp
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
was on a small stream and one day he heard a kind of roaring in this
stream. He went in the direction of the sound and saw something
standing up over the water, part way up which another creature
had wrapped itself. The latter was white about the neck. The
thing it was wrapped about was quivering and making a thundering
noise. This was Thunder and the creature coiled about it was a
Tie-snake or Strong-snake (Stahwanaia). Each of the contestants
asked the boy to help him, saying, "My friend, help me."
The boy did not know at first which being to assist, but finally
he aimed an arrow at the white neck and pierced it, whereupon the
snake loosened its coils and fell into the water dead. Then Thunder
said, "You are just a boy, but you shall always be my friend."
Then the boy went back to camp, and presently his uncles returned
from hunting. Thunder had told him that when they all went home
from their camp he must walk behind his uncles, and he did so. He
added, "When you get home, ask your oldest uncle to give you a
medical course (a fast for four days), and if he refuses ask the others
in turn." So the boy asked- the oldest uncle, but he said, "You are
too young." He asked the next younger and he refused. The
youngest, however, said he supposed he had better do so, and he did.
In those days the Indians were always going on war expeditions and
when the fast was over the boy said to his uncle, "Let us travel,"
meaning "Let us go to war." When they got close to the enemy's
town the boy told* his uncle to remain where he was for a while.
Then he went off into the woods a short distance and made a circle
and came back in the form of a rainbow. His uncle followed him
and the boy went along making it thunder and lighten until by his
powers his uncle saw him destroy the entire town. After that they
5. THE ORIGIN OF CORN (4)
It is said that corn was obtained by one of the women of the
Tamdlgi clan.1 She had a number of neighbors and friends, and when
they came to her house she would dish some sofki (a native dish
mide from corn) into an earthen bowl and they would drink it.
They found it .delicious, but did not know where she got the stuff
of which to make it. Finally they noticed that she washed her feet
in water and rubbed them, whereupon what came from her feet was
corn. She said to them, "You may not like to eat from me in this
way, so build a corncrib, put me inside and fasten the door. Don't
disturb me, but keep me there for four days, and at the end of the
fourth day you can let me out." They did so, and while she was
there they heard a great rumbling like distant thunder, but they did
not know what it meant. On the fourth day they opened the door
as directed and she came out. Then they found that the crib was
I See Story 7
BUREAU OF AMERICAN THNOLOGY
well stocked with corn. There was corn for making bread, hard
flint corn for making sofki, and other kinds. She instructed them
how to plant grains of corn from what she had produced. They did
so, the corn grew and reproduced and they have had corn ever since.
(Told by Jackson Lewis.)
6. THE ORPHAN AND THE ORIGIN OF COBN (4, 6)
An old woman was living in a certain place. One time, when it
was raining, she found a little blood in the water, laid it aside care-
fully and covered it up. Some time afterwards she removed the
cover and found a male baby under it. She started to raise him,
and when he was old enough to talk he called her his grandmother.
When the child was 6 or 7 years old his "grandmother" made a
bow and arrows for him and he began going out hunting. The
first time he came back from the hunt he said to her, "What is the
thing which jumps on the ground and goes flopping along?" "It
is a grasshopper," she said. "Go and kill it and bring it to me,"
and he did so.
The next time he came in from hunting he said, "What was the
thing I saw flying from tree to tree?" "It is a bird. Go and kill
it and bring it to me to eat."
Next time he returned from hunting he said, "What is the shiny
thing with long legs and slender body which I saw run away?"
"That is a turkey," she said. "Go and kill it and bring it to me.
It is good to eat."
Next time he said, "What is the thing with a woolly tail which I
saw climbing a tree?" "It is a squirrel. It is good to eat," she
said, so he killed it and brought it in.
The next time he said, "What is the thing with long legs, short
body and tail, a blackish nose and long ears?" "It is a deer. Go
and kill it and bring it in. It is good to eat." This is how he found
out the names of all these creatures.
The next time he returned from hunting he said, "I saw something
with big feet, a big body sloping forward, and big round ears hut
looking as if it had no tail. What is it?" "It is a bear," she replied.
"Go out and kill it and bring it in, for it is good to eat." And so
The next time he said, "I saw a big thing which has long hair
halfway down the shoulders but nowhere else except at the end
of the tail. It had its head close to the ground and when it raised
it I saw that it had short horns and big eyes. What is it?" "That
must be a bison," she said. "Go and kill it and bring it in. It is
good to eat." So he killed it and brought it in.
After that he stopped questioning his grandmother regarding the
animals because he had learned about all of them, and he could now
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
hunt by himself and so make his living. He went out hunting all
of the time.
The old woman warned him, however, not to go to a big mountain
which they could see in the distance.
The old woman provided corn and beans for them but did not tell
him where she got them and after a while he became curious. One
time when she was out of corn and beans and he was about to go
hunting she told him that she would cook sofki and blue dumplings
against his return. He started off but instead of going hunting slipped
back to the house and peeked through a crack. Then he saw his
grandmother place a riddle on the floor, stand with one foot on each
side of it and scratch the front of one of her thighs, whereupon corn
poured down into the riddle. When she scratched the other thigh
beans poured into the riddle. In that way the orphan learned how
she obtained the corn and beans.
Afterwards the orphan went off hunting, but when he came back
he would not touch the food. His grandmother asked him if he
was in pain or if anything else was the matter with him, urging him
to eat. When she could not persuade him, she said, "You must
have been spying upon me and have learned how I get the corn and
beans. If you do not want to eat the food I prepare, you must go
away beyond the mountain which I forbade you to pass." Then
she told him to bring her some live jays and some live rattlesnakes
with which she made a kind of headdress, and she also made a flute
for him. As he walked along wearing the headdress and blowing
upon the flute the birds would sing and the snakes shake their rattles.
Then his grandmother said to him, "Now, all is ready for you.
Start along on this trail, but before you leave lock me up in this log
cabin and set it on fire. After you have been gone for some time
come back to look at this place, for here you were raised." She had
provided in advance that he was to marry the first girl whom he
The orphan did as his grandmother had directed, and when he
reached the other side of the mountain he came upon numbers of
people playing ball. When they saw him all were pleased with his
headdress of jays and rattlesnakes and stopped to look at him.
Rabbit was among these people, and when he saw how all were
attracted by the orphan he wanted to be like him, so he persuaded
the orphan to let him travel along in company. Before they had
gone far they came to a sheet of water, and Rabbit said, "There are
many turtles here. Let us go down into the water and get a lot of
them." The youth agreed and Rabbit said, "When I shout 'all
ready' we will dive in." But, at the appointed word, instead of
diving into the water, Rabbit went to where his companion's head-
dress and flute were lying and prepared to run off with them. Before
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
he could get away, however, the youth came out and called, "Why
are you doing that?" "It is so pretty that I was just looking at it.
When I say 'Ready' let us dive again." The youth did as had been
agreed, but Rabbit jumped out of the water, seized the headdress
and flute and ran off with them.
The youth collected many turtles and started on carrying them.
Presently he came to a lot of people who liked him as well as those
he had met before he lost his headdress and flute and they
treated him well. After he had spent some time among them he
traveled on until he came to a house. He put his turtles into a hole
in the ground and then approached the house. He found a young
woman living there whom he married. Then he said to his mother-
in-law, "There are some turtles outside in a hole in the ground.
Bring them and cook them for us." So she went to the cavity and
found it full of turtles which she brought back with her.
After they had finished eating, someone came to them and said
that Rabbit had been arrested for stealing the youth's property. The
youth went to the place and as soon as he came up the jays and the
rattlesnakes, who had been absolutely silent while they were in Rab-
bit's possession, began to make a noise, the jays to sing and the snakes
to rattle. He put on his headdress once more, took his flute, and
started home, the birds and snakes singing and rattling for joy at
being restored to him. The people who held Rabbit threw him down
among a lot of dogs but the dogs were asleep and he ran off. The
dogs awoke at once and began smelling around but they could not
After the youth had gotten home he said to his wife, "Let us go
down to the creek. I want to swim. By crossing four times I can
poison all of the fish there." His wife told him to do so and, as he
was able to accomplish everything which he undertook, he performed
this feat also. He killed all of the fish in that stream. Then he told
his wife to call all of the townspeople, and they came down in a
crowd and had a great meal off of fish.
After the youth and his wife had gotten home the former said that
since he was feeling happy she must wash her head and comb her hair
and part it in the middle. When she had done so, he told her to go
into the house and stand perfectly still in a window looking out.
Thereupon he seized an ax and struck her in the parting, splitting her
into two women who looked just alike.
When Rabbit heard what the other man had done, he wanted to
imitate him, and said to his wife, "Let us go down to the creek. I
want to swim and when I cross four times the fish will come to the
surface." "Well, go and do so," she said. So Rabbit swam across
four times. When he dived he struck a minnow and stunned it, so
that when he came out he found it mulling about as if it had been
rMTH OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
poisoned. He told his wife to call all of her people down to get fish.
She did so, but, finding only one minnow lying at the edge of the
water, they became angry with Rabbit and went home.
As soon as Rabbit and his wife returned from the creek, Rabbit
said, "Wash your head, part your hair and stand in the window."
She did this; he struck her on the parting with an ax and killed her.
Some time later the youth said to his wife, "Let us go over to the
place where I grew up, for I want to see it." They went there, and
when they had arrived found that all sorts of Indian corn and beans
had grown up in it. That was where the corn came from. So the
corn was a person, that old woman, and if it is not treated well it
will become angry. If one does not "lay it by," i. e., heap up the
soil about it in cultivation, it calls for its underskirt. The laying
by of the corn is the underskirt of old lady corn.
7. THE ORPHAN AND THE ORIGIN OF CORN (4,6).
In early days the Indians lived in camps, and when they got tired of
one place they moved off to another. The men would go out hunting
and the women would go to dig mud potatoes. One time, while they
were living this way, each clan encamped by itself, an old woman
came to one of the camps and said, "I would like to warm myself on
the other side of your fire." They said they had no place for her and
added "Maybe they will give you a place at the next camp." But
the people at the next camp said the same thing, and so it was with
all of them until she came to the last, which was the Alligator camp.1
There they said to her "Why, there is plenty of room here. You can
stay here." Next morning the men started out hunting and the
women went for potatoes, leaving the children at home. Now this
woman was Corn itself and, while they were away, she made hominy
out of herself and fed the children with it. When the grown people
came home the children said "Why, this woman had plenty of food.
She fed us all while you were gone." Then the leading man said
"Tell her to have plenty of food and I will eat when I come back."
So the children told her, and she made blue dumplings and all kinds
of foods made from corn. The children said "Why, she shelled it off
from those sores," but he answered "All right, I will be hungry and
eat it." When he returned he feasted with the old woman and
thought the new food good. Then she told him to build two cribs
with an entry between them, and she said "At night, just at dark,
put me at the door of one and push me in, and come right away."
He did so and could hear a roaring that night. Next morning,
when he went to the cribs, they were both filled with corn. It was
* S stof &. The A llgator, T&amhl, and Turkey clans wun confided as ptaotinUy idktil.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
in this way that flour corn and flint corn originated. The same old
woman also told the man not to drop the corn around or waste it.
One time some people were living in a certain place, and they
noticed that the dripping from the eaves of the house (I do not know
whether this was during a rainstorm or not) were red. So they picked
up some old pieces of pottery which had been dripped upon (called
paski') and put them under the bed. During that night they heard
something under the bed crying like a child, so they drew out what
they had placed there and found it was a baby. The old woman who
found him took care of him and nursed him until he grew up. When
he got to be about four feet tall, she made a bow and arrows for him,
and he wandered about shooting. A long way off from where they
lived was some rising ground, and the boy was told never to go to that
and look beyond it. When the boy went out hunting for the first time
he came in and said to the old woman, "Some things with blue heads
came running." "Those were turkeys," she said; "We can eat them.
Kill them. They are game." The next time he came in he said, "I
saw some things with white tails." "We eat those. They are good,"
said the old woman. When he got back with these various things he
would find the old woman with white dumplings and other corn foods,
and he wondered how she got them. One time he came back and,
instead of entering the house, peeked through a crack. Then he saw
the old woman shake her body, and when she shook it the grain
poured out of her.
By and by the young man went over to the rising ground which he
had been warned not to cross and looked over. On the other side he
saw people playing ball. When he came back the old woman offered
him some food but he would not eat and she said," You scorn me, then."
He had seen men and women on the other side of the hill, and he did
not care for her any more. Then the old woman told him to find a
rattlesnake and a blue jay. Out of these she made him a fife (flute).
That was to be an ornament for the top of his head. Then she told
him to kill the trees all about to make a field. "When you get through,"
she said, "take me and drag me all around over that place and burn
me up, and after three months come over and look at me."
The boy did as the old woman had told him, and afterwards he put
on the headdress she had made for him and crossed the rising ground
again. There he met a Rabbit who made friends with him. They
went on together and presently they came to a pond where there were
turtles, and Rabbit said, "Let us go in and get some turtles." So
they got ready, and when Rabbit said "Dive" they dived together
under water. Rabbit, however, instead of remaining down there get-
ting turtles, came out right away, seized the youth's headdress and
ran away with it. Meanwhile the youth collected a number of turtles
which he tied to a cord and brought ashore. He found that Rabbit
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHECABTERN INIANS
had disappeared with his headdress, but he took the turtles he had
caught and went along until he came to a house. Putting his turtles
into a hole which had been dug near by he went to the door and said
to the old woman who lived there, "You had better make a fire and
cook those turtles, and send round to invite all of your neighbors."
She did so and had a feast. After the feast all met at the square
ground. When Rabbit came there wearing his red coat (?) and head-
dress, the rattlesnake and jay called out, "The rumor is that Pasakola
has stolen that man's cap." He struck them with his flute to make
them stop, but they kept on calling just the same and trying to get
to their true master, so the people took them away and gave them to
After that the youth took the old woman's daughter as his wife.
One day he went down to the river with her and washed his head in
the stream, and all of the fish floated up intoxicated. Then he said to
his wife, "You had better tell your mother to come down and cook this
fish." So the old woman went down to the creek and found lots of
big fish there, and she told the young men to go all around the edge
of the town and notify everybody to come to the feast. All did so.
By and by the youth told his wife to comb her hair in the center, and
when she had done it he seated her on the doorstep, took an ax, and
with one blow cut her in two so cleverly that he made two women out
After that Rabbit thought that he could do the same things. So
he went down to the creek and washed his head and told' his wife
(who was sister to the wife of the other man) to tell her mother to go
down and get the big fish there. She went down, but therewas nothing
there. Then Rabbit had his wife comb and part her hair, seated her
on the doorstep and struck her on the head, killing her instantly.
By and by the youth recalled what the first old woman had told
him about going back to see where he had dragged her about, and he
did so. He found the whole place covered with red silk corn (prob-
ably yellow corn). Wormseed and cornfield beans were also growing
in this field. So he used the wormseed as a "cold bath" (medicine)
before he ate the corn and the beans, and that is why they now take
it before eating corn in busking time. (Told by Big Jack of Hilibi.)
8. THE ORPHAN AND THE ORIGIN OP CORN (6)
An old woman lived alone. She walked along a certain path
until it became hard and smooth. At one place a log lay across
the trail. One day as she stepped over this log she saw a drop of
blood in her track. 'Stooping down, she carefully scraped up the dirt
around the blood and carried it home. She put the blood and dirt
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
in a jar. She looked in the jar occasionally and discovered that the
blood clot was growing. After several months she saw that it was
beginning to look like a human being. In 10 months it was devel-
oped into a boy. She took him out of the jar and dressed him.
The boy grew. She made him a bow and arrows and told him to
go and kill birds. He went and killed birds.
When he grew older she said, "Go and kill squirrels." He went
and killed squirrels. Again she said, "Go and kill deer." He went
and killed deer.
One day on his return from hunting she gave him new food to eat.
The boy wondered where she had obtained this delightful food. He
asked her, but she refused to tell him.
One day she warned him not to go beyond the mountain which
could be seen from their house.
He thought there must be something strange beyond the moun-
tain. He went there. He beheld a lovely sight in the valley beyond
When he returned home he sat by himself and looked lonesome.
The old woman said: "You have been beyond the mountain. I
will make you a garment and let you go. Go to the woods and bring
me a singing bird."
He brought the singing bird. She made him a flute and taught
him how to play on it. She made him a headdress and put it on
his head. He played on the flute and the singing bird flew on the
headdress singing to the music of the flute.
She said: "When you go beyond the mountain you will come to
a stream, and the first house beyond the stream is the home of three
women. The woman who cooks something for you will become your
wife. Marry her, and when you come back to see me all will be
changed. You will not see me; you will see something growing where
my house stood. When you come again it will be ripe. Build a
rock house and gather it. Come when you need something to eat
and take your food out of the rock house."
Ife went across the mountain. He crossed the stream, stopped
at the first house and saw three women. One of them offered him
food which she had cooked. She became his wife. He lived with
her people. He saw that the people were suffering for food. He said:
"Follow me to the stream." They followed him. He took some
pieces of an old log and threw them into the stream. He played
on his flute and the bird sang.
Soon the fish came to the surface of the water and the people shot
them with arrows and had a great feast.
Chufee (Rabbit) saw the young man lay aside his flute and head-
dress and stole them and ran away.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIUNS
The people pursued him and found him trying to play on the
flute, but he made no music. Because it refused to sing he struck
at the singing bird and injured its feathers.
Chufee thought he could win a wife if he could only make music.
He failed. The people took from him the headdress, with the singing
bird, and gave it back to the young man.
One day the youth and his wife went to his old home. Behold,
all was changed. The house was gone. Where it had stood were
some tall green stalks. The old woman was not there.
Again he and his wife returned. The stalks were dry and the
grain was hard. He built a rock house and gathered the grain and
put it into the house.
Again he returned and found all the birds gathered around the
house. They were trying to tear the house down.
The Owl said: "Let me knock it down." He flew at the house
and struck it with his head. He made himself humpshouldered by
the blow. He could not knock it down.
The Eagle said: "Let me knock it over." He sailed at the house,
but flew over it.
The Hawk said: "I can knock it down." He flew at the house.
He knocked it down. The blow drove his neck in and ever since
he has had a short neck.
The birds all came and ate up the grain. The man saw some
crows flying and fighting in the air. They let some grains fall. He
took them and carried them to his new home. He planted the grains
and from them sprang corn.
9. THE ONLY SON AND RABBrr (6)
A widow had an only son, whom she cautioned never to pass
beyond the mountains, which were in sight of her home. "My boy,
never pass the mountains, never go beyond," was her constant
One day while hunting he reached the top of the mountains and
on looking into the valley beneath he saw a lovely city, surrounded
by green meadows, lakes, and groves. He was tempted to visit so
lovely a spot and yielded. He saw scenes of beauty and fair
When he returned home in the evening he sat by himself and
looked lonesome and his mother saw from his manner that some-
thing unusual had occurred.
"My son, you have passed beyond the mountains." "I have,
mother; I had beautiful visions."
"Ah," sighed his mother, "that is why I warned you. All who see
the lovely city are never contented elsewhere. I knew home would
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
lose its attractions when you wandered over the mountains. Since
it must be so I will do all I can for you."
The next day she made for her son a wonderful costume. She
sent him to the forest to catch all manner of singing birds. She
made for him also a flute. When all of her preparations were com-
pleted, she arrayed her son in the new costume and arranged for him
a peculiar headdress, on which sat the singing birds.
"Now try your flute," she said, and at the first sound of the flute
the birds began to sing, keeping time to the music of their master.
"Go, my son, to the beautiful city beyond the mountains. When
within the city, ask for the council of the king and as you enter the
council ground play on your flute, while your singing birds accompany
He passed the mountain and as he approached the city he began
to play, while the birds sang. The crowd which gathered and watched
the stranger with the wonderful birds told him where the king dwelt.
He entered the council, playing on his flute, while his birds sang.
A seat of honor was offered the musical stranger and all were
enraptured with his music. Ere he had been there long, no honor
was too great for him and everyone strove to do him some kindness.
Soon it was rumored that the daughter of the king was to be given as
a bride to the young stranger.
One day he invited the king and his council to go with him to a
river near the city. On reaching the stream he quickly cast aside
his costume, plunged into the water and dived under and crossed the
river four times, when all the fish came to the surface and were killed
with arrows and a great feast was enjoyed.
The Rabbit, envious of the wonderful stranger, had followed the
crowd and while all were intent on killing the fish, he stole the costume
of the musical youth and ran away to the woods. On coming out
of the river the garments could not be found. No one knew what
had become of them.
The next day when the council was assembled, behold the Rabbit
strutted in, puffing and blowing with all his might at the flute and,
as the birds would not utter a note, he hit at them and said: "Why
don't you sing?" He was dressed in the costume of the stranger
and before he could be seized he said: "Well, come with me to the
river and let us enjoy another feast."
Away he ran and the council followed him. In he jumped, casting
the costume and flute on the ground, and though he crossed four times
under the water not a fish appeared.
As his head came above the water they all cried:
It is the lying Rabbit.
It is the lying Rabbit.
Seize him, seize him.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
He was tried by the council and chased from the council ground
as an envious and rascally deceiver.
The king's daughter was married to the wonderful stranger and,
as their hands were joined, the singing birds flapped their wings and
sang with wild melody.
10. THE ORIGIN O1 TOBACCO (15)
There was an old man who went to the square ground of his town
to take the black drink every morning and carried something to eat
with him. One morning as he was eating this by the creek where
he had stopped for the purpose, he felt like defecating, and therefore
he went over to a log which lay at some distance. When he got
there, however, he saw a pretty little plant growing. A man and
a woman had lain at that place, and this plant was the result. The
old man brushed the rubbish away from it and returned home.
Each time he came by after that he went to it, and he took the dry
lower leaves and smoked them. The people at the square ground
learned of it through him and said, "That is a mighty good thing.
We had better 'take that and smoke it." The first name of the
plant was "coeuns" (haisa). After they learned of it and came to
value it they made it a warrior (tisikaya), and gave it the name
hitci ("finding") as a war name. I do not know the history of the
hitci pHkpagi, which is the greatest medicine there is.
11. THE ORIGIN OF TOBACCO (15)
A young man wanted to marry a certain girl very much. One
time when a party to which they belonged was out she was riding a
pack horse and was lost along with the man. He told her that he
wanted her and would take her to his camp if she would marry him,
which she consented to do. Later there was another hunt and the
man went to the spot where he had first lain with the woman.
He saw a very pretty plant growing there. He went back to his
people and told them what he had seen. Then he showed the plant to
them and told them how it had come about. They said, "We shall
call it hitci, and when we smoke we shall call it the same as quum
coimus (haisa)." This was the beginning of tobacco.
12. THE ORIGIN OF TOBACCO (15)
A man was courting a woman and they were seated on the ground
at a certain place. Some time afterwards the man came back to
the spot and saw a small weed growing up just where the woman
had been sitting. He went several times, until the weed got to
be of some height. Now he began to care for it. When it was
IUREAUI OF AWERICAN MTKNOIA)GY
about a foot high he took off some leaves and smelt of them and
they smelt good to him, and others he would throw into the fire,
finding the odor they gave forth in burning very agreeable. He
cultivated this plant until it gave forth seed. Tobacco was gotten
in this manner, and since this man and woman were very happy
when they were there and were very peacefully inclined toward each
other tobacco has ever since been used in concluding peace and
friendship among the Indian tribes. (Told by Jackson Lewis.)
13. MAN-EATER AND THE LITTLE GIRL (9)
Once there was a beautiful girl who lived with her brothers on
the bank of a river. Her youngest brother was named Kut-che-he-
lo-chee (probably Katcilutci, Little Panther-foot).
The Lion, Istepahpah (Man-eater), came near their house in a boat
and landed. He asked the little girl to enter his boat, but she refused,
He told her he had some young lions in his boat and begged her to
come and see them. She consented and entered his boat. Then
Istepahpah pushed his boat from shore and carried her away to his
home. On reaching home .Istepahpah put her in his wife's charge.
The next day as he was starting off on a hunt he said to the girl:
"Take some acorns and wash them in the stream. I love acorns.
And make soup of them with my meat. Wash them before my return."
After Istepahpah went away his wife said to the little girl: "I am
sorry he brought you here. He treats me cruelly and he will treat
you the same way. When he fails to obtain any game, he eats a piece
of my flesh with his acorns. He will punish you in the same way.
I wish you to escape."
She called Kotee (Koti), the water frog, from the stream and
asked him if he would take the girl's place and wash the acorns.
Kotee said he would. She instructed him to answer Istepahpah,
when he asked if the acorns were washed, "No."
She then helped the girl to climb over the house and told her to run
to her brothers' house.
When Istepahpah returned he called out to the girl, "Have you
washed my acorns? Kotee answered, "No."
Again Istepahpah asked, "Have you washed my acorns?" Kotee
Istepahpah, not understanding this, went down to the water and
Kotee, hearing him approach, jumped into the stream.
Istepahpah, thinking it was the girl, plunged in after, but he could
see her nowhere. He said in gentle tones: "Little girl, why do you
run away from me?"
After searching in vain he came from the stream and went to his
MYTHS OF THE BOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
Istepahpah. possessed a Motarkah, a wheel, which could find any-
thing which was lost. He threw Motarkah from him and it ran a
short way and returned. He tried several directions, but Motaikah
came back to him.
At last he threw Motarkah down in his yard. It went over the
house and started off in a straight course, following the trail of the
girl. Istepahpah followed Motarkah, for he knew the girl had gone
Soon they came in sight of the little girl, who was running and
singing. "I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house before they
catch me. I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house before they
While Kut-che-he-lo-chee was playing he thought he heard his lost
sister's voice in the distance. He said to his brothers, "I hear my
Kut-che-he-lo-chee insisted that he had heard her singing in
Nearer she came, pursued by Motarkah and Istepahpah, and again
she sang as she ran: "I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house
before they catch me. I wonder if I can reach my brothers' house
before they catch me."
Kut-che-he-lo-chee was now convinced that he heard his sister's
voice. He called his brothers and persuaded them to go with him.
They went and now heard their sister crying in distress: "I wonder
if I can reach my brothers' house before they catch me. I wonder if
I can reach my brothers' house before they catch me."
They said to Kut-che-he-lo-chee: "You can stay here. You are
too young to help us. Remain behind."
But Kut-che-he-lo-chee would go with them. They now saw their
sister pursued by Motarkah and Istepahpah. As they came nearer
the brothers shot arrows at Motarkah, but could not stop it.
Their sister passed them and ran to the house. Motarkah followed.
Kut-che-he-lo-chee ran to Motarkah and struck it with the little
wooden paddle he used in parching his food and Motarkah rolled to
one side and stopped. Istepahpah still came on. The brothers
shot at him but could not kill him. Then Kut-che-he-lo-chee ran to
Istepahpah and struck him on the head with his little wooden paddle
and killed him. His brothers said Kut-che-he-lo-chee was the bravest
of all and had saved their sister's life.
14. THE WATER PANTHRB (LEOPARD)1
A girl whose father and mother were dead lived at a certain place
with some relatives. Every day she went for water to a spring, the
trail to which ran through a deep hollow. One time, after she had
'See versions in my paper on Socal Organlation nd Socals Usgs of the Indiansthe the ek Con-
federac (Forty-econd Ann. Rept. Bur. Amer. Ethn., pp. 9-72). The water panther was identified
by my Informant with the leopard.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
grown up, a Water Panther (OI-kStca) appeared to her there and she
came to be with child by him. As she had been very carefully watched
the people did not know what to make of this. Some said, "Let us
kill her," but others replied, "No, it was probably nature."
Finally the woman gave birth to three Water Panthers, and then
some of the people again said, "Let us kill them." "No," replied
the others, "their mother is a human being," and after consultation
they agreed to let them live.
The woman saw her Water Panther husband from time to time and
she reported what had been done. She said she was very anxious
because some of the people had threatened to kill her young ones.
Then the Water Panther said, "Let the friends of the young ones
separate from the others and live by themselves," so they moved off
to another place. Afterwards the old town in which the enemies
lived sank and the place turned into a great pool of water. The
posts of the hot house continued to stand out above the water of the
lake for some time afterwards. That town is thought to have been
Coosa, although it is possible it may have been Fus-hatchee. It is
called Kosa-taliksumgi, "Sunk Coosa." The people who wanted
the young Water Panthers killed were taken into the dwelling of the
Water Panther farther beneath the waves; what became of the others
15. How THE ALLGATOR'S NosE WAS BROKEN
"In the old days," said Fixco, the Seminole, "all the animals
determined upon a big ball play. The four-footed animals, with
the Alligator for their chief, challenged the fowls, with the Eagle at
their head, for a game. Sides were chosen, the poles put up, the
ground measured off, and the medicine men conjured the balls.
"The day came and they all met on the ground. The animals ran
around their poles, all painted and dressed up, while the birds flew
and screamed around their poles.
"At last the ball was tossed into the air and the game began.
The Alligator caught the ball as it came down and, grasping it in
his teeth, ran toward the poles. The birds in vain attempted to
snatch it from him and at last gave it up in utter despair. The
Eagle, however, soared aloft and circled in the air till almost out of
sight, and then like an arrow he swooped to the earth and struck the
Alligator on the nose and broke it. The Alligator's wife had run
along with her old man and was shouting at the top of her voice:
'Look at the little striped alligator's daddy, just look at him,'
while all the animals shouted in triumph.
"But when the Eagle struck the Alligator all was changed. The
Alligator's teeth opened on the ball and the Turkey poked his head in
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
among the teeth, pulled it out, and ran to the poles of the birds and
threw the ball between them.
"The fowls won the game and ever since that time the Alligator
has had a sunken place on his nose where the Eagle broke it."
16. STORY OF THE BAT (52)
The birds challenged the four-footed animals to a great ball play.
It was agreed that all creatures which had teeth should be on one
side and all those which had feathers should go on the other side
with the birds.
The day was fixed and all the arrangements were made; the ground
was prepared, the poles erected, and the balls conjured by the medicine
When the animals came, all that had teeth went on one side and
the birds on the other. At last the Bat came. He went with the
animals having teeth, but they said:
"No, you have wings, you must go with the birds."
He went to the birds and they said: "No, you have teeth, you
must go with the animals." So they drove him away, saying:
"You are so little you could do no good."
He went to the animals and begged that they would permit him
to play with them. They finally said, "You are too small to help us,
but as you have teeth we will let you remain on our side."
The play began and it soon appeared that the birds were winning,
as they could catch the ball in the air, where the four-footed animals
could not reach it. The Crane was the best player. The animals
were in despair, as none of them could fly. The little Bat now flew
into the air and caught the ball as the Crane was flapping slowly
along. Again and again the Bat caught the ball, and he won the
game for the four-footed animals.
They agreed that though he was so small he should always be
classed with the animals having teeth.
17. THE FRIENDLY DOGs (25)
A man away from home found himself sitting in the Mikos' bed in
a strange square ground. There was no one about except an old
Dog, which stood by the fire. This Dog came up to him and said,
"Don't you have a notion to go hunting? If you go, the young
boys say they will go with you. If you want to go I will go and see
the boys and see if they mean what they say." The houses were
close around this square and he could hear the dogs collecting. By
and by the old Dog came back, and said, "My old woman is going and
she told me to get something to eat." So the Dog gathered some bran
BUREAU OF AMEBICAN ETHNOLOGY
in a clay pot and started along with it. When the man reached the
appointed place an old bitch came up with some puppies. Then
the young dogs began coming in and they kept coming until there
was a large number of them. The old Dog said, "Take the puppies
along with you," but the other dogs scattered out on the hunt. He
went to the place appointed along with the puppies and pitched his
camp, and the dogs began coming in, bringing terrapin, skunks,
squirrels, etc. By and by they heard the old Dog coming barking
and yelping, and finally he reached camp with a turkey gobbler.
Then the old Dog said, "Cook that turkey, but save our shares for
us and a little for the puppies." He did so and they went on to the
main hunting ground. There they killed deer, and they made a
drive and killed bear. They remained there until the puppies got
fat and grew into big dogs. One day the old Dog, who was sitting
on the opposite side of the fire, came around to him and said, "Your
wife has taken another husband, but, if you wish, we will do what
you say." Then the whole pack of dogs came in and started off one
at a time. He could hear their footsteps on the leaves as they ran
off and by and by he heard only their howling until they got out of
hearing. But the old Dog, who had remained behind, said, "They are
close by." Presently he said, "The work has begun. ... They
have finished them up now. ... They have started back." Near
daylight he could hear the dogs barking in the distance and at dawn
they got in with their mouths and feet all bloody. After that the
old Dog said, "Now if you feel like going home, we will go." He
had a great many pelts'and hams tied together, which he took along,
and, accompanied by the dogs, he started for home. When they
got into the edge of the settlement, however, the Dogs said one by
one, "I am going home," and they dropped off one at a time until
only the old Dog remained. The latter advised him to go to the house
of an old man who had a granddaughter and said, "I will go with
you." As they got near the old Dog said again, "They will say
'Your mate was taken by a man and they went to the field house
(tcAbofa tcuko).'" The woman had told the people to say this.
The old Dog also said "They will give you a big fanner of dumpling
bread but do not eat it. Say to them'My old Dog is hungry,' and
throw it out to me. Then they will fix up another for you." Things
happened as the old Dog had said, and when the Dog ate the dumplings
he went out to the edge of the yard and died. They told the hunter
that his wife had gone, but said, "Here is a nice young girl who will
suit you." So they gave her to him and he married her. (Told -by
Big Jack of Hilibi.)
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
18. THE HUNTER AND His DOGs (25)
A man lived with his wife and a number of dogs. One time he
got sick, and his wife would stay away all day, starving him and his
dogs almost to death, and when she got back she would beat the dogs.
One day the oldest Dog came to him and said, "Can't you go hunting?"
"Oh, no," he answered, "I am really not able to." There was a
creek close by and a boat there, so the old Dog asked him if he could
manage to get down to the boat. "No,"he said. "All of us together
could take you on the bed and carry you down." "If you will do
that, I will go," he answered. Then the dogs carried down his kettle,
gun, shot pouch, etc., and put them on board. Afterwards they
got him ready, took him down, and put him in the boat. Then the
old Dog sat in the bow of the boat, and he sat in the stem and paddled,
while the rest of the dogs ran along on the bank. When they got
to the first camping place the dogs came up with lots of squirrels,
terrapin, turkeys, etc., and they took him out of the boat and carried
him up the bank. Then they brought his things to him and he cooked
what they had brought, and all ate. At daybreak they carried him
down to the boat and they went on down the river. They did this
every day until he got stronger and able to sit up. By and by he
was able to stand up and walk about. One day the old Dog said,
"If you will go down this hollow a little piece, we will make a bear
drive." When they heard the old bear at bay the Dog told his master
to let it get on a little farther. It repeated this several times, and
finally said, "This is about the place," upon which he fired and
killed it. It was a fine animal and he skinned it and cut it up
into smaller pieces, which the dogs carried to camp along with the hide.
The chunks of bear fat were fried down to cracklings and they had
plenty to eat. By this time he was able to go hunting himself.
One day the old Dog spoke up from the other side of the fire, saying,
"Your wife was beating and starving you to death because she had
another man. He was in the field house (tcabofa tcuko) (in the corn-
fields). If you want anything done we might do it." He answered,
"If you see what is best to do, do it." Then the old Dog spoke to the
younger dogs, and they started off howling. He remained on the
opposite side of the fire, however. About midnight he said, "They
are nearly there." Then, "They have gotten there." "They have
seized him." "They have done the work." The man said to himself,
"If he says so I suppose it is so." By and by they could hear the
dogs howling and about daylight all came in covered with blood.
"We have done the work," they said to the old Dog, and he answered,
"That is all right." Some time after this the old Dog said, "If you
think it is time to go back, we will go." So they piled the meat and
skins into the boat, the old Dog got in the bow, and they started on up
BUIRAU OF AMErICAN ETHNOLOGY
the river. Then they came to a place where lived an old couple
who had a girl, and the old Dog said, "That is the placewhere we
will stop. When we get there tie the boat and take us up to the
house." He did so, and the people in the house said, "Your wife
found another man for herself, but the wolves came and killed him."
The old Dog had also said to him, "They will give you a pan of sofki,
but say, 'No; my dogs are hungry,' and they will give you a second
dish. Say to the old woman, 'We have a little meat down at the
boat. Go and fix and use that.'" When she started down to get
it the young dogs all ran down and helped her stow away the meat
in the cribs. She said, "Those are the smartest dogs I have ever
seen. Your wife has gone. Take this girl here for your wife." So
he married the girl. (Told by Big Jack of Hilibi.)
19. THE MONSTER LIZARD (33)
A number of men went a long distance into the country and
encamped. While they were hunting about some of them discovered
an hatcikliba (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, "HatcAkliba, 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 "KaihgA', Kaihga'."
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, Hatcfkliba, 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.
IThis is now the name for the green lizard.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
20. THE HuNTEB THE MONSTER LIARD, AND THE PANTHER (33)1
A man and his wife camped out in a certain place with many
dogs in order to hunt. The dogs would trail a bear and when they
had brought it to bay they would bark in a peculiar manner, where-
upon the man would come up and kill the bear. In this way he got
a number of them.
During this time he hunted in all directions from his camp except
toward the southeast, and finally he started off in that direction.
There he found a piece of flat land running down to the bottom land
and, just beyond, a very rough, rocky place. Presently he heard
his dogs bark near the rocks and supposed they had found a bear,
so he started in the direction of the noise. When he got near, however,
he saw something dart out from among the rocks, seize a dog and
carry it back. It was a huge lizard. Then the man turned round
and ran back toward his camp. When he had covered about half
of the distance he stopped and listened. It sounded as though
but few dogs were left. After a short time he stopped again to
listen, and now he heard but one dog bark. The next time he stopped
he heard none. When he had gotten still farther he looked back
and, the ground being open behind him, found that he was being
The hunter soon discovered that the big lizard was certain to
catch him, so he dropped upon the ground and lay flat upon his
chest. When the lizard came up he heard it panting like a tired
dog. It took him in its mouth and started to carry him back to its
den. The man looked from time to time to see how near they were
to the place, and at last he saw that they were close to the place
from which he had started running. There he noticed something
moving about. He thought that in a moment the lizards were.going
to cut him in pieces and eat him, but when they reached the place
where the thing moved he heard something making a scratching
noise in a tree near by. The lizard heard it also and threw the man
down, but the latter continued to lie still-as if he were dead. The
noise which he had heard was made by a Tiger (panther) which
now jumped down upon the lizard. The lizard tried to seize it
but the Tiger quickly sprang out of reach and then jumped down
upon it again and immediately back upon another tree. Each
time the Tiger scratched the lizard and hurt it very badly, so that
it soon ran away with the Tiger in pursuit. The Tiger chased it
straight back to its den, scratching it all the way.
The man did not dare to move, however, and thought that the
Tiger would eat him up when it returned. He did not know it had
come back until it was close by and he heard it say, "Are you dead?"
STh hero of ths rry can not have belonged to the Panther lan, because the panther aled lhm'my
fri"d." H he been f tih m an oe wouldd have md "my brother "
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At first he did not reply, but presently the Tiger added, "I am here.
You are not going to die, for I will protect you." Then the man
answered, "No, I am not dead." "Well, get up," said the Tiger,
but the man remained where he was until the animal lifted him to
his feet. But then the man staggered about in a circle four times.
The Tiger lapped him all over (or let his saliva run all over him) and
said, "Can you stand on your feet?" "No," the man answered.
"Then come and climb upon my back and I will carry you." The
man told him he thought he would be too heavy, but the Tiger
answered, "Ohb I can carry you. Sometimes I carry two deer and
I can carry you just as easily." So the hunter climbed up on the
Tiger's back and started with him for camp. On the way they came
upon the shot pouch which he had dropped when he was being pur-
sued, and later on the gun. The Tiger told him to pick them up and
carry them with him. After they had reached a place close to his
camp, the Tiger set him upon the ground and told him to go the rest
of the way himself. The man invited him to come to his camp and
get all the food he wanted, but the Tiger answered that he could get
plenty. Before parting from the hunter, however, he said, "My
friend, I have two nephews whom you must never disturb." "Who
are they?" asked the man. "One is Wildcat and the other House
Cat. House Cat is the lesser. You must not tell anyone what I have
said to you." (However, at a later time the man did tell some
people about it.) After that they parted and the man returned to
The summer after this the same man was on a hunt and heard
turkeys gobbling. He discovered one of them sitting at the top of
a pine tree and was preparing to shoot at it when he noticed some-
thing crawling up the tree toward it. This he found was a wildcat,
and, remembering what the tiger had said to him, he gave up attempt-
ing to shoot the turkey and stood watching. Presently the wildcat
sprang at the turkey but missed it and fell from the top of the tree
to the bottom. It struck the ground and he heard it cry, "Wa+o,
wa+o, wa+o." Remembering what the tiger had done for him, the
hunter ran to the place to see what he could do for this animal.
He found that it had knocked out an eyeball, and when he came
near, said, "Have you hurt yourself?" On hearing the man speak,
however, the wildcat, who was trying to put his eyeball back in
place, pulled it out, threw it away, and ran off.
21. THE HUNTER, THE MONSTER LIZARD, AND THE PANTHER (33)
There was a great hunter who owned many dogs, with which he
would beat up a bottom and frequently kill bear. One time he
heard them barking and thought they had discovered a bear, but
when he reached them he found them around a hollow tree on which
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
an hatcdkliba lived. The hatckliba would come out, take a dog,
and carry it back into his den. Then the man ran off, and when he
got nearly out of sight he could hear a few dogs still barking. The
number was presently reduced to one, and soon this one stopped.
Then the man looked back and saw the hatcukliba coming after
him, glittering as it came. When it came jumping up to him he
shot it, but it seized him by the middle, knocked his gun out of his
hands, and started back with him. He was not hurt, but he thought
that when it got him to its young ones, they would eat him up.
The hatckliba took him down a valley and as they passed between two
pine trees, he caught sight of something yellow and thought, "Now
they are going to devour me." What he had seen, however, was a
Panther which jumped upon the hatckliba and made the hatckliba
let go of him. Then it jumped back upon the tree. Every chance
it got the Panther would jump down upon the hatc~kliba and then
back to the tree, and in this way it tore the hatcekliba's back to rags
and killed it. Then the Panther came to where the man lay and the
latter thought he was going to be eaten, but the Panther said,
"Are you dead yet?" "No," he answered, "I am not dead yet."
"Well, get up." So he got up, and the Panther marched around him
mewing like a cat, and said, "Nothing will disturb you. Stay there."
The man started a fire, and the Panther brought up some wood for
him. Then it went off, killed a deer, and brought it back. So he cut
up and roasted the deer, and, after he got better, the Panther said to
him, "Never kill anything of my species. Get your gun and go
By and by the man took a notion to hunt and discovered a turkey
on a tree. He discovered, however, that a wildcat was creeping
toward it, so he stopped and watched it. But, when the wildcat
jumped at the turkey, it missed and fell to the ground with a squall
as if it were hurt. It seemed to be in pain, and in fact the man saw
that one of its eyes was out. When he came up to help it, however,
the wildcat pulled out its other eye and threw that away also and ran
away. This is said to signify the separation of man and beast.
22. THE RACING SNAKE (34)
One time two men were off hunting, and one of them said to the
other, "They say there is a very swift snake, seldom seen, from
which nothing that he pursues can escape, but I believe I could get
away from him. If you find one, let me know."
Some time later his companion saw something glittering on the
side of a hill, and when he returned to the other hunter he said, "I
thought I saw on the side of a hill the kind of snake about which
you were speaking. I will show him to you." The other thought
at first that he was joking, but he insisted, so they started off to find
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him. When they reached the place the man who believed he could
overcome this snake prepared himself. He stripped off his clothing,
prepared his bow and arrows, and started up toward the snake.
As he went by, the snake chased him. There were coils and coils
of him which made a shrill noise as they were dragged along on the
The man ran on ahead whooping, this whoop being his charm.
When his companion saw the huge snake in pursuit of his friend
he wished that he had not brought him there. Presently they got
so far away that the man's whoop could be heard no longer, although
the noise made by his pursuer was still audible. By and by they
circled around and came back again, and they kept making circles
back and forth, sometimes nearly out of hearing and sometimes
After a time the whooping stopped and also the noise made by
the snake traveling along the ground. The person looking on was
sure his friend had been killed, but the contrary had happened.
There was a big pine log lying in such a situation that the man could
pass under it and he went under and over too fast for the snake
to catch him. Instead, the snake wrapped himself up about the
log and the man shot at him until he killed him. He was made
strong by means of his magic formula.
23. THE MAN WHO BECAME A SNAKE (35)
Two men went hunting together. They traveled all day and when
they encamped for the night exchanged stories with each other.
One said that if you mixed together the brains of a black snake, a
black squirrel, and a wild turkey and ate them you would turn into
a snake. The other replied, "If that is the case I believe I will try
it." "That is the story," said his companion, "and I do not believe
it would be well to try it." The other was anxious to test its truth,
however, so he got the three different kinds of brains, mixed them
together, and ate them. "I have eaten the things we were talking
about," he said to his comrade, and the latter answered, "When I
told the story I did not think you would do that. You have done
wrong." They were very fond of each other.
Then the hunters lay down to sleep and during the night the
one who had eaten the brains called out, "My friend, the story you
heard was a true one. It is coming to pass." From his thighs
down he was already a serpent. The next time he spoke to his
friend his entire body had turned into a snake. He told him to
go along with him, saying, "I must now find a place to which I
can retire." They went on until they came to a small, deep pool
made by an uprooted tree, and the Snake said, "When you return
to camp move some distance back. Come to see me in the morning
and discharge your gun and we will have a talk before you go home."
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
The hunter did as he had been directed and when he returned to
the place next day found that the pool had expanded into a large,
deep pond. He discharged his gun and the Snake came up in the
middle of the sheet of water. Then he sank out of sight and soon
came crawling up the bank. He said, "When you get through hunting
and return home tell my parents of the accident which has befallen
me. If they want to come to see me tell them to discharge a gun
at this place. Tell my parents not to be afraid of me. I am their
Thefriend could do nothing more, so he returned home and related
what had happened. But all thought that he had killed his friend
and they would not be satisfied until they saw for themselves, so
they went back with him. He conducted them to the place where
their camp had been and said, "Right here is where he lay when
he turned into a snake." Then they went to the shore of the lake
and discharged a gun. The Snake then showed himself in the middle
and disappeared again. "That is he," said the man. "He will come
out right here at the edge of the water and you must not be afraid
of him." So the father and mother sat down there side by side.
Presently the Snake came up and crawled over them and then
returned and laid its head against its mother's jaw. It shed tears,
but could not speak. It wrapped itself around them in all kinds
of ways and then unfolded and returned to the lake. The parents
wept but they could not help themselves, so they returned home.
That was what they call the tie-snake.
24. THE MAN WHO BECAME A SNAKE (35).
Two young men once went out hunting together. One was a jolly
fellow, the other more thoughtful. The former always wanted to do
everything he heard of anyone else doing. As they were going along
the sober one said he had heard that if anyone ate the brains of a male
squirrel and of a gobbler he would turn into a tie-snake. The jolly
one said, "I have a notion to try that." The other tried to dissuade
him, but he went secretly and ate these brains. After they had made
their camp that night and had gone to sleep the thoughtful youth
was awakened by hearing his companion groaning and acting as if in
misery. He asked him if he were sick, but the young man answered,
"No, I am not sick, but that thing you told me not to eat I ate." His
friend answered, "The old Indians always told people not to do that."
He made a light and found that his companion was already becoming
a tie-snake. When the transformation was completed the Tie-snake
asked him to go and look for some water. His friend went and re-
ported that all he could find was a small pool. The Snake followed
him to it and curled himself up in the water. Then the Snake told
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him to go to his mother and tell her that he had become a snake, but
that she must not be afraid and must come and see him. Before
he started off the youth told his snake friend that when he returned
he would give four whoops as. a signal for him to come out of the
water. Then he went away. When he came back, along with his
companion's mother, he found that the pool had become a big lake.
They sat down by the shore of this lake and he uttered four whoops.
At first the water in the center of the lake began to rise up, and at
the fourth the Snake came right up to his mother. Then they saw
that horns had grown upon his head like those of a stag. Hisfriend
tried to talk to him but he could not reply. He merely laid his
head across his mother's lap. Then the friend tied the Snake's gun
across his horns so that it could not slip off, and told him that he
should stay there and see what would happen. So he and the
Snake's mother started home and the Snake disappeared in the
(My interpreter, Sanford Scott, told me that he had heard a story
of two young men who caught a queer fish in a pond and one of them
who ventured to cook and eat this was turned into a tie-snake.)
25. THE MAN WHO BECAME A SNAKE (35)
Two old men once went hunting and camped at a certain spot. One
of them was very fond of fish and said, "I want some fish." Just
then they noticed water dripping from the top of a tree near by, and
the man who was fond of fish said he would go up to see what caused
it. Arrived there, he found water in the top of the tree and some
fish swimming in it, splashing the water over by dashing around.
He said, "That is what I have been wanting," and threw them
down. Then he climbed down and ate them. The other said,
"There may be something wrong about fish found up in a tree that
way," but his companion cooked and ate them nevertheless. The
other did not like fish, so he did not touch them.
But after the first man had eaten he stretched out and said that
his bones ached and that something was the matter. The other said,
"I told you they might not be good but you would eat them." Then
the body of the fish eater began to assume a curious shape, more and
more like that of a snake, until he had altogether turned into one. He
could still talk, however, and he said, "I have many kindred. Tell
them I will be at the square ground (tcuko liko) and ask them to
come there." Then he went into a little stream near by, whereupon
the water bubbled up into a great boiling spring. The man that
turned into a snake belonged to the Deer clan.
At the time appointed the kindred of this man assembled at the
square ground to see him, and when he came it was with a powerful
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
current of water as if a dam had broken and they were all swept away;
perhaps they were turned into snakes. Thus the water snake was a
kind of person. These water snakes had horns of different colors,
yellow, blue, white, green, etc.1
26. THE MAN WHO BECAME A SNAKE (35)
Two men went to war, but after they had had some encounters
with the enemy one of them fell sick and they decided they had better
return home. While they were camping about on their way back the
one who was sick said that he wanted something very much. "What
is it?" asked his companion. "Fish," he replied. Later, when his
companion was away from camp, the sick man found a place where a.
tree had been uprooted, leaving a hollow filled with water, and in
this was a fine fish. He cooked this, ate as much as he wanted of
it, and saved some for his friend. When his friend returned he said
to him, "You know how much I wanted some fish. I found one and
have eaten a part but I saved some for you. I discovered it in some
water at the root of that tree that is blown over." But his friend
answered, "It might not be good, but as long as you have eaten some
take the rest." So the sick man finished it.
Soon after this night came on and they lay down on opposite
sides of the fire. But some time in the night the sick man called
out to his friend repeatedly until he awoke him. "What is the mat-
ter?" said his friend. "I have a curious feeling," replied the other.
"Look at me and see what is wrong." So the well man lighted a
pine knot and examined his companion and he found that he had
turned into a snake from the hips down.
The snake man said, "Do not be afraid of me. There is a spring
over yonder and when it is morning you must accompany me
thither. Take along two pine knots. I will call out when I get
tired." By morning the sick man had turned completely into a
serpent which hung from one tree to another above him. When his
friend struck the two pine knots together he came down and the
other led the way toward the spring. About noon the Snake called
out and his human companion stopped. After a rest they again set
out and, sure enough, they arrived presently at a nice little spring.
Telling his companion to remain where he was, the Snake went down
into the water and as he did so the sides caved in all about so that the
spring expanded into a big water hole in which the man stood ankle
After that the man went home and when the mother and sisters
of his friend saw him come alone they thought that the other had
been killed in the war. "He has not been killed," he said, "but has
i See aso Forty-seoond Ann. Rept. Bar. Amer. Ethn., pp. 71-72.
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turned into a snake and made for himself a water hole. If you
wish we will go to see him." So all of them set out. There was
now a big blue water hole at the place, and when they arrived their
guide got his knots, which he had placed somewhere for safe-keeping,
and struck them together in the water, making a great wave. Then
the Snake came out in the middle of the pond. He had blue horns.
After circling about in the water he came to land near them and
laid his head in his mother's lap. They hung the belt and.other
ornaments he had used on his horns. Then he circled the pond again
and when he came back seized his youngest sister and carried her
down into the water with him. Ever after people avoided that pond.
It was a fearful place and about it were snakes of all sorts.
27. THE MAN WHO BECAME A SNAKE (35)
Two friends went out hunting. They came to the shore of a great
lake, and on the shore found a big egg, which one of them brought back
to camp. His friend told him it might not be good, but he said "I am
going to cook it anyhow." So he cooked and ate it, and then the
two lay down to sleep on opposite sides of the fire. During the night
the one who had eaten the egg awakened his companion. "My
friend, what is the matter?" said the other. "Look and see what is
the matter with me." His friend looked and saw that the legs of the
other were glued together. By and by the same one called to his
friend to look at him again, and he found that from his body on down
was the tail of a snake. At daybreak he said again, "Look at me
now," and behold he had turned completely into a snake which lay
there in a big coil. Then the Snake said, "You must leave me, but
first pilot me to the hole from which we got water." They got there
and the Snake went in, whereupon the earth, trees, and everything else
caved in, producing a big water hole. Then the Snake raised his head
out of the water and said, "Tell my parents and my sisters to come
and see me." So the friend went home and told them, and they
asked him to guide them back to the place where the Snake had been
left. When they got to the shore the Snake showed himself in the
middle of the pond. He came to the bank and crawled out, and he
crawled over the laps of his parents and his other friends, shedding
tears. Then he returned into the water and they went home. So
the tie-snake was created from a human being.
28. THE KING OF THE TIE-SNAKES (41)
A chief sent his son on a message to another chief, and delivered
to him a vessel as the emblem of his authority.
The son stopped to play with some boys who were throwing stones
into the water. The chief's son threw his vessel upon the water
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
and it sank. He was frightened. He was afraid to go to the neigh-
boring chief without the vessel, and he did not like to return home
and tell his father of the loss. He jumped into the stream and, reach-
ing the spot where the vessel had sunk, he dived into the water.
His playmates waited a long time for him, but he did not reappear.
They returned and reported' his death.
When the chief's son was beneath the surface of the stream the
Tie-snakes seized him and bore him to a cave and said to him:
"Ascend yonder platform." He looked and saw seated on the plat-
form the king of the Tie-snakes. The platform was a mass of living
Tie-snakes. He approached the platform and lifted his foot to
ascend, but the platform ascended as he lifted his foot. Again he
tried, with the same result. The third time he tried in vain. The
Tie-snakes said," Ascend."
He lifted his foot the fourth time and succeeded in ascending the
platform and the king invited him to sit by his side. Then the king
said to him:
"See yonder feather; it is yours," pointing to a plume in the
corner of the cave. He approached the plume and extended his hand
to seize it, but it eluded his grasp. Three times he made the attempt
and three times it escaped him. On the fourth attempt he obtained it.
"Yonder tomahawk is yours," said the Tie-snakes' king.
He went to the place where the tomahawk was sticking and reached
out his hand to take it, but in vain. It rose of itself every time he
raised his hand. He tried four times and on the fourth trial it remained
still and he succeeded in taking it.
The king said: "You can return to your father after three days.
When he asks where you have been, reply: know what I know,'
but on no account tell him what you do know. When he needs my
aid walk toward the east and bow three times to the rising sun and
I will be there to help him."
After three days the Tie-snake carried him to the spot where he
had dived into the stream, lifted him to the surface of the water, and
placed his lost vessel in his hand. He swam to the bank and returned
to his father, who was mourning him as dead. His father rejoiced
over his son's wonderful restoration.
He informed his father of the Tie-snake king and his message of
proffered aid. Not long afterwards his father was attacked by his
enemies. He said to his son: "You understand what the king of the
Tie-snakes said. Go and seek his aid."
The son put the plume on his head, took the tomahawk, went
toward the east, and bowed three times to the rising sun.
The king of the Tie-snakes stood before him.
"What do you wish?" he said.
"My father needs your aid."
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Go and tell him not to fear. They will attack him, but they shall
not harm him or his people. In the morning all will be well."
The son returned to his father and delivered the message of the
king of the Tie-snakes.
The enemy came and attacked his town, but no one was harmed.
Night came. In the morning they beheld their enemies each held
fast in the folds of a tie-snake, and so all were captured and the
chief made peace with his foes.
29. THE STORY OF THE TURKEY (39)
-(To le collection)
The Seminoles have a story about the Turkey, who was once the
king of the birds and flew high in the air like the eagle. He would
swoop down on the council ground and bear away a man. Then
people devised a plan to catch him. Four men were to roll four
big balls along the ball ground, so as to attract his attention as he
circled in the air above them, and four swift warriors were to watch
the Turkey as he came down and seize him. The Turkey was seen
flying in the clouds over the council ground and at last down he
swooped, having the scalp of his last victim hanging at his breast.
All of the warriors were afraid to touch him, but an old dog seized
him by the leg and they then killed him.
Ever since then the turkeys have been afraid of man, but more
alarmed at dogs. The turkey gobbler still wears the scalp lock at
his breast as a trophy of his former valor.
30. THE MONSTER TURTLE
One summer seven men set out on a hunting expedition. It was
hot and they became very thirsty before they reached their camping
place. While they were traveling along, longing more and more for
water all the time, they came upon a monster bull turtle (ld'dja liko).
They said to one another, "This is a creature certain to make for
water," so they followed him. After a while one of the hunters
said, "Let us get on his back," and he proceeded to do so. Five of
the others followed him, but the seventh said, "It might not be good
to do that," so he walked along behind.
Presently they came in sight of a big lake and when the turtle
reached its shore the men on his back wanted to get off, but they
found that they had stuck to him and could not get away. So they
remained standing on. the turtle with their guns by their sides and
were carried into the lake. The man on foot watched the turtle
until it got out into the middle of the lake, but there it disappeared,
leaving only numerous bubbles. He remained looking at the lake
for some time and then returned home.
When the man who had escaped reached town he told the people
that in spite of his warning his companions had climbed upon the
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
back of a turtle and had been carried by him straight into the water,
so that he had to return to town without them. The men who had
been carried away had numerous relatives, who quickly assembled
at the square ground. There they sang a song to the accompani-
ment of a kettle drum (A'lgaswin~'ga) and a gourd rattle (saoga) and
then made one step toward the lake. They did the same thing the
next night and made another step toward the lake. In this way they
approached the lake a step at a time until they reached it, and on
the edge of the water they continued their song with the same accom-
paniment. Finally there was a disturbance in the middle of the
waters and a snake came out. He approached them and laid his
head very humbly in front of them, fut they told him he was not the
one they wanted and he went back. They continued their singing,
and presently another snake came out. "You are not the one,"
they said, and he went back. By and by a third snake came out,
which they also sent back under water.
The fourth time, however, there was a great swashing of the water
and out came the monster turtle, which also laid his head humbly
before them. Then they debated what he might be good for. "He
might be good for some purpose," they said, and they divided him
up, entrails and all, leaving only the shell. The other parts they
took to use as medicine and all returned with them to the town
rejoicing. "The medicine they thus got was used with the song of
the waters as a kind of revenge."
31. THE MONSTER TURTLE (44)
The people were on the warpath. They wished to select a place
at which to fight. They saw a large rock and decided to fight
standing on that.
An old warrior said: "It is no rock. An evil spirit has blinded
your eyes. That is the Big Terrapin," but the warriors called him
a coward and told him to go back and sit with the women.
They ascended the rock, but soon it began to move. They became
alarmed and tried to descend, but found that their feet were fastened.
The Big Terrapin crawled into the sea and drowned the warriors.
The old warrior returned and told of the fate of his comrades, but
no one believed him. He said, "Come and see the trail of the Big
Terrapin leading into the sea."
They followed him and traced the trail to the sea. Then they sent
for the medicine man, who made medicine and began to blow and
Soon the frogs came out of the sea. He made the medicine
stronger, and, while he was blowing, the little terrapins came out of
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Athe sea. He made the medicine still stronger, and as he blew and sang
a great noise was heard in the sea and out came the Big Terrapin.
They built a pen of logs, caught him, and burned him up.
32. THE BIG ROCK MAN
The people were engaged in a war. Whenever they were on the
point of winning the victory the Big Rock Man came to the rescue of
their enemies and saved them from defeat.
They called a council to devise measures to conquer the Big
Rock Man, but in vain. They could not hurt him. Their arrows
bounded from his body.
Then they consulted the Wise Rabbit.
"Shoot him in the ear," said the Wise Rabbit.
In the next fight they aimed their arrows at his ear and one struck
him in the ear and killed him.
33. THE WOMAN AND THE MONSTER EARTHWORM (40)
A man, accompanied by his wife, camped far from town in a
region where there was an abundance of game. But when her
husband was out hunting his wife went to a pine log and had inter-
course with a big earthworm living in it. Finally, however, the
man discovered what she was doing, roped the earthworm, and killed
it. Then he took his wife home and left her. His sisters said to him,
"Why are you quitting her? She seems to be pretty far along in
pregnancy." But he went away from her because he thought that
she was not with child by him, and indeed, when her time came,
she gave birth to earthworms. The women tried to take care of her,
but when numbers of worms came out they ran out and burned
down the house in order to kill them. However, some of these
worms burrowed into the ground, and ever afterwards they have
continued to live there.
34. THE FAWN, THE WOLVES, AND THE TERRAPIN (49)
An Indian woman told how the Terrapin's eyes became red.
A beautiful Fawn met a Wolf one day who asked how he came to
have such pretty spots all over his body. "I got under a riddle
(sieve) and they put fire over it, and that made the pretty spots."
"Will you show me how I can do that?" asked the Wolf. The
Fawn consented. Then the Wolf obtained a large riddle, and lay
down under it and the Fawn built a fire and burned him to death.
After the flesh had decayed, the Fawn took the bones of the back and
made a necklace of them. One day the Fawn met a pack of Wolves,
who said to him: "Where did you get that necklace?" but he refused
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHMEARSTE INDMINS
"What is the song we hear you singing as you gallop over the prai-
rie?" asked they. "If you will stand here till I get to the top of
yonder hill I will sing it for you."
Ya-ha ya-ha----------------Wolf, wolf
Cheearsook, chesarsook---------rattle, rattle,
Kah-ke-tul----------------The ravens only
Soolee-tul-----------------The buzzard only
Methl-methl.---------------- fluttered, fluttered.
Charnur-tul----------------The flies only
Choon-tah-tul --------------- The worms only
Witter-took ---------------- wiggled
When the Wolves heard this song they howled in anger and said:
"We missed our mate. He is dead and those are his bones. Let
us kill his murderer."
They started for the Fawn, who, seeing them, sped away for life,
the bones rattling as he ran. He came to a basket maker and begged
him to place him under a basket, but he refused. Then the Fawn
came to a man who was getting bark to cover his house. "Oh,
hide me from the Wolves," he begged, but the man would not. He ran
on and came to a Terrapin who was making a spoon. "Tell me
where to hide from the Wolves," said the Fawn. "No," replied the
Terrapin, "I must not take sides." However, the Fawn saw a stream
just ahead and on reaching it he jumped up and lodged in the fork
of a tree and could not extricate himself.
The Wolves passed the man who was making baskets and the man
who was getting bark to cover his house and came to the Terrapin,
who told them the way the Fawn had gone.
When the Wolves reached the stream they could trace the Fawn
no farther. They looked in the water and there saw him. They
tried to go into the water to catch the Fawn but failed. In sorrow
they began to howl. As they raised their heads in howling they saw
the Fawn in the tree. They held a council to see how they could
get the Fawn out of the tree. One Wolf said: "I know a man who
can shoot him out"; so he sent for the man. Then he went to the
Terrapin and brought him, and the Terrapin (aid he could kill him.
He began to shoot arrows at the F6wn. He shot every arrow away
and missed the Fawn. Afterwards while walking around the tree
Yaha, wolf; Ifoln bone; tM, only (other infornt ed tim, listed of t). te kito, to ettle;
kake, Trav; amflmt, futtea sll, bmEard; ta, common y; snm, to bus; tonta, worm; witttak,
BUREAU OF AZmERCAN ETHNOLOGY
the Terrapin found one of his old arrows sticking in the ground near
an old log. "This was one of my best arrows," said he. So he shot
at the Fawn with this old arrow and killed him.
Then the Wolves took the body and divided it into pieces. "We
must pay the man for shooting him," one said, so they offered the
Terrapin a piece of one leg. But he had some complaint in his leg
and the medicine men had told him not to eat the leg of any animal.
He whined out: "I can not eat leg; it will make my leg hurt, and
I shall die."
When they offered him a shoulder he whined out: "I can not eat
shoulder; it will pain my shoulder, and I shall die."
"He does not want any." they said, and went away carrying all
of the Fawn.
After they had gone the Terrapin looked around and saw that
there was blood on the leaves, so he gathered the bloody leaves into
a big bundle, saying: "I'll carry them home." He reached his house,
threw down the bundle, and said to his wife: "There, cook it for the
children." Then she unrolled the bundle but saw nothing. "Where
is it?" she asked. "Way inside," replied he, so she separated the
leaves, but finding only the blood, she threw it into his face. He called
to the children to bring him some water, but as they were slow, he
crawled around with his eyes closed and found the lye and washed his
face in that. Some of this got in his eyes and made them red, and
ever since terrapins have had red eyes.
35. How THE TEBRAPIN's BACK CAME TO BE IN CHECKs (53)
A woman was beating sofki in a mortar out in her yard when she
heard someone calling to her and making fun of her. She stopped and
looked around, but saw no one. She began beating the corn again,
and again heard the voice ridiculing her. She stopped and searched
but in vain. Again she heard the voice, which seemed to come from
under the wooden mortar, so she lifted the mortar and there found a
Terrapin. As he was the guilty one, she took the pestle and beat
him on the back until she broke his shell into little pieces and left
him as dead. After she left, the Terrapin began to sing in a faint
Char-teelee-ee (tcatiili) ---...----------------I come together.
Char-tee-leeee----------------------------I come together.
Char-tee-elee--------------------------- I come together.
Char-tee-ee-lee.-------------------------I come together.
The pieces came together as he sang, but his back always looked
scarred, and terrapins have ever since then had checkered backs.
MYTHS OF THE BOUTBEABSTERN INDIANS
36. How THa TElaAPIN's BACK CAME TO BE IN CHzECK (53)
A Terrapin went hunting and met a woman. She accused him of
having slandered her. He denied it, but when they passed a hollow
tree into which he thought he could crawl, he said: "Yes; I did it;
I am the man."
He tried to crawl into the tree but his shot bag got caught and he
stuck fast. The woman caught him and beat his back to pieces.
By and by the ants came and he said:
I will give you my blood,
I will give you my fat,
If you will help me mend my back.
They consented and brought him some tar with which he mended
his shell, but it was always in checks, and he never afterwards had any
fat, nor any blood.
37. WHY THE OPOssUM HAS NO HAIR ON HI TAIL
When there was a great flood all the animals were put in the ark,
except the male opossum. A female opossum climbed up on the side
of the ark and when the waters rose, her tail hung down into the water.
When the waters subsided it was found that all the hair on her tail
had come off and ever since then the opossum's tail has been without
All of the male opossums were drowned, so this female went off
alone feeling ashamed, and coiled herself up as if dead. Her nose was
near her side, and after breathing a long time in this position little
opossums appeared in her pouch, and thus the young opossums have
been born ever since.
38. WHY THE OPOSSUM HAS NO HAIR ON HIr TAn. (49)
The Raccoon met the Opossum, and the Opossum said: "How did
you make such pretty rings on your tail?"
The Raccoon replied: "I wrapped bark around my tail and stuck
it into the fire."
Then the Opossum got some bark, wrapped it around his tail, which
then had hair on it, and built a fire. He stuck his tail into the fire
and burned all of the hair off and ever since then opossums have
had no hair on their tails.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
39. THE RACE BETWEEN THE CANE AND THE HUMMING BIRD (50)
A Humming Bird challenged a Crane to a race. The Crane con-
sented and selected the course from the spot on the stream where
they then were to a spring at its head.
When the word was given the Humming Bird flew swiftly up the
stream but soon lost sight of the water and found himself in the
woods. Then he returned to the stream and decided to fly over the
water, always keeping in sight of it.
The Crane knew the course of the stream and when the Humming
Bird arrived at the spring he found that his rival had been there for
40. RABBIT GETS MAN-EATER OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE
Rabbit and Man-eater met and they got to bragging about the
nature of their excrement. In order to prove their contentions
they sat down side by side, closed their eyes, and defecated. Before
Man-eater opened his eyes, however, Rabbit shifted the excrement,
and when they got up there was a great pile of bones under him.
"That is my kind of excrement," he said. When Man-eater got up
he found his looked very different and exclaimed, "That is not my
kind at all. There is something wrong."
Afterwards they went down together to a creek called Sprinkling-
(hot-ashes) Creek (Tofogaga hatci). They camped there for the
night, making a good bed of coals before they went to sleep. While
Man-eater slept Rabbit got up, sprinkled some coals where he had
been lying and threw a lot over Man-eater. Then he began to brush
ashes off of himself so that Man-eater found him doing it when he got
up badly burned.
However, Man-eater mistrusted him and gave chase to him.
By and by they came to a creek which Rabbit jumped across. Then
Rabbit kept jumping back and forth across it, pursued by Man-eater,
and as he did so the creek got wider and wider, until finally Rabbit
was left on one side and Man-eater on the other.
This story is used as a medicine song in cases of cholera morbus.
41. RABBITrr GETS MAN-EATER OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE
Lion used to live on this side of the ocean where he killed people
and ate them. Therefore, the people got Rabbit to get him over to
the other side. Rabbit went to meet Lion and said, "I know where
you can find lots of people to eat. I eat them myself." "You poor
little thing," said Lion, "what can you eat?" Rabbit said: "They
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
will come ashore in a boat from a vessel, and you can eat them, but
first we will hang up long pieces of bark about the fire." So they
went out and collected many pieces of dry bark which they hung up
around the fire in order to be ready to cook the people whom they
killed. By and by both went out after human flesh, and, when they
came in, Lion said: "I have all I want. It doesn't look as if you had
eaten anything good." "The only way to prove that," said Rabbit,
"is to sit side by side with closed eyes and defecate. Whoever passes
human bones has eaten human flesh." They did so, and Lion
defecated human bones, while Rabbit passed only balls of grass,
but before they opened their eyes again, he changed the places of the
excrement. The Rabbit said: "You do not know where to go."
After that Lion did not want to be with him any more, but Rabbit
persuaded him to stay. That night they prepared to sleep on oppo-
site sides of the fire. While they were preparing Rabbit said: "What
do you say when you are asleep?" "I snore," said Lion. "What
do you say?" "I say 't if,' "said Rabbit. After they had been lying
down for a while, Lion began to snore, and Rabbit saw that he was
fast asleep. Then he got up, set the dried barks on fire, and threw
then down on top of Lion. Lion was so badly burned that he jumped
into the ocean and swam away, and he did not stop swimming until
he reached the other side, where he is to-day. (Told by Silas
42. RABBIT GETS MAN-EATER OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE
The Rabbit was traveling from west to east and met the Lion going
from east to west. The Rabbit was very fond of the ladies and felt
jealous of the Lion and wanted to get rid of him.
"What," said he to the Lion, "do you eat as you travel?"
"I eat a variety of things," said the Lion, "I eat everything as I
go. What do you eat?"
"Oh, I eat a variety too, just like you. Suppose we travel together."
They turned and went along in company. "We will camp to-night,"
said the Rabbit as they journeyed along, "at a creek called 'Throwing-
hot-ashes-on-one.'" As night came they reached the creek. A fire
was made and they sat and talked for some time. When they grew
sleepy the Rabbit said:
"What sort of noise do you make when you sleep?" The Lion
imitated a coarse heavy snore, and asked the same question of the
Rabbit. "Oh, I just say n-o-ch, n-o-ch, n-o-ch" (the first syllable
of the Muskogee word meaning "sleep").
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
Each took one side of the fire and the Lion soon heard the Rabbit
saying n-o-ch, n-o-ch (sounding "nutz, nutz"). He thought the
Rabbit was asleep and before long he fell asleep and began to snore
Meanwhile the Rabbit peeped at him constantly and finally
jumped up. He threw some cold ashes all over himself. Then, taking
a broad piece of bark, he threw a mass of hot ashes and coals on the
Lion, who rose with a roar, exclaiming: "What's the matter?"
"Oh, I told you this creek was called 'Throwing-hot-ashes-on-one.'
Look at me. Let's jump across the creek," and away he jumped
across the stream, followed by the Lion. "Now back again," and
across they went again. "Now again," and the Lion jumped again,
but the Rabbit stood on the west bank. Suddenly the banks sepa-
rated and the stream widened into an ocean. The Lion wandered
along the bank, trying to cross. At last he met a Crane and said to
"How can I cross to the other bank?" "Just climb on my back
and I will stick my bill in the other bank so that you can walk over,"
replied the Crane. The Lion jumped on the Crane's back, but when
he walked out on his neck the Crane cried out in pain:
"Oh, you are breaking my neck." After several similar attempts
the Lion returned to the eastern bank and never was able to cross
the big water to the western side. So the Rabbit got rid of his rival.
43. RABBIT GETS MAN-EATER OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE
OCEAN (65, 67)
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 maintaiining that he could
because he was so clever. These last said to him, "If you can over-
come 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 hftci)." "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 hitci)." They
N MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTEIBN IND)IANS
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
lay 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 ex-
claimed. 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 some one 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.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
44. RABBIT STEArL Fmr (67)
All the people came together and said: "How shall we obtain fire?"
It was agreed that Rabbit should try to obtain fire for the people.
He went across the great water to the east. He was received
gladly, and a great dance was arranged. Then Rabbit entered the
dancing circle, gaily dressed, and wearing a peculiar cap on his head
into which he had stuck four sticks of rosin.
As the people danced they approached nearer and nearer the
sacred fire in the center of the circle. The Rabbit also danced nearer
and nearer the fire. The dancers began to bow to the sacred fire,
lower and lower. Rabbit also bowed to the fire, lower and lower.
Suddenly, as he bowed very low, the sticks of rosin caught fire and his
head was a blaze of flame.
The people were amazed at the impious stranger who had dared
to touch the sacred fire. They ran at him in anger, and away ran
Rabbit, the people pursuing him. He ran to the great water and
plunged in, while the people stopped on the shore.
Rabbit swam across the great water, with the flames blazing from
his cap. He returned to his people, who thusoobtained fire from the
45. RABBIT TRIES A GAME OF SCRATCH WITH WILDCAT
The Rabbit was hopping down a trail one day when he saw a track
in the sand. He looked at it and said:
"That animal has no claws like these," and he then held up one
of his forefeet and looked with admiration at his claws.
Soon he overtook the Wildcat, who was sitting in the trail. "Sure
enough," he said, "he has no claws. He is the animal that made the
tracks. I will have a little fun out of him."
"Let's play scratch," said he to the Wildcat. The Wildcat smiled
and said, "Very well." "I will have the first scratch," insisted the
Rabbit. "All right." So the Rabbit hopped close to the Wildcat and
gave his hardest scratch and then looked at his claws, expecting to
see them full of hair, but not a single hair did he scratch out.
"Well, he has no claws and can't hurt me," thought the Rabbit,
arid he called to the Wildcat, "Now's your time."
The Wildcat reached out one of his forefeet and gave a quick grab
at the Rabbit's back and jerked the skin from his body.
(Others say he jerked his tail off.)
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
46. RABBIT GETS A TURKEY FOR WILDCAT (64)
Wildcat was always catching and eating young rabbits, so that none
of them grew up. Therefore, Rabbit went to Wildcat and told him
he knew of a plan by which Wildcat could get some turkeys to eat.
He told him to lie down on his back and feign that he was dead. Then
Rabbit went to the Turkeys and told them that he had killed a wild-
cat, and that he was a big singer, and that they should come and dance
about the Wildcat while he sang for them. So the Turkeys went with
him and began to dance around Wildcat. As Rabbit sang he said,
"Catch that big red-legged one. Catch that one with the necklace."
The Turkeys thought he was fooling and they became more venture-
some, until the biggest among them jumped up on top of Wildcat and
trotted up and down on him. Upon this Wildcat jumped up and seized
the gobbler. "Now you can see that I am your friend," said Rabbit.
This is why a turkey always comes up and peers curiously at anything,
and if an animal or man lies still it can get it.
47. RABBIT GETS A TURKEY FOR WILDCAT (64)
A Rabbit was overtaken by a Wildcat, who threatened to kill and
eat him. The Rabbit said: "Do not kill me; I will bring you a
turkey." The Wildcat consented to let Rabbit try, so he ran into the
woods to find the turkey, first telling the Wildcat to lie down and
pretend he was dead.
Rabbit soon found some Turkeys and told them the Wildcat was
dead and proposed that they all go and dance and sing around his
body. The Turkeys agreed and went with Rabbit and when they saw
the Wildcat's body stretched on the ground and his mouth and eyes
looking white as if he were flyblown (for Rabbit had rubbed rotten
wood on the edges of his eyes and mouth) they were satisfied that he
was really dead.
Rabbit took his place at the head of the Wildcat and began to beat
his drum and to sing while the Turkeys danced around him.
After the song and dance had continued a while they heard Rabbit
"Jump up and catch the red leg, Jump up and catch the red leg."
"Why, he is dead and cannot jump," they said, but they objected,
so he promised not to say that any more.
So Chaffee [Tcufi] sang and drummed away and the Turkeys again
danced around their enemy's body; but soon Chaffee sang in a low
"Jump up and catch the biggest, Jump up and catch the biggest."
The Turkeys stopped their dance, but too late, for the Wildcat
jumped up and caught the biggest gobbler. Rabbit ran away to the
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
woods and the Turkeys pursued him, threatening to kill him for his
trickery. They chased him round and round the trees till at last
one of the Turkeys bit at his long tail and bit it off, and ever since
that time all rabbits have had short tails.
48. RACCOON GETS A DEER FOR PANTHER (64)
A Panther met a Raccoon and was about to eat him, when the
Raccoon said: "I am a little fellow. Do not kill me. It would
not do you any good to eat me. Let me find a way for both of us
to get plenty to eat."
The Panther agreed, and the Raccoon said: "You make out you
are dead. Lie down and stretch out. I will get some rotton wood
and stuff it into your eyes, mouth and nose, to look like flyblows.
Then I will tell the Deer that you are dead, and get a crowd of them
to come and dance around your body. I will sit at your head and
beat the drum and sing, and when a big buck comes near I will
touch you and you can jump up and cut his throat so that both of
us will have plenty to eat."
The Panther lay down and the Raccoon stretched him out and
putting the rotten wood into his eyes, nose, and mouth, ran off to
tell the Deer of the Panther's death. He met an old Deer and
said: "The Panther is dead; come and see him."
But she was very shy, and replied: "If he is dead, let him stay
Soon the Raccoon met a Fawn and told of the Panther's death,
and the Fawn came near the Panther's body, looked, and then ran
to tell the Deer that their enemy was dead.
A crowd soon gathered, and the Raccoon took his seat at the
Panther's head and proposed a dance. He beat his drum and
sang a song:
Ching a ching
Ching a ching
Ching a chin, ching.
Then the Deer danced around the dead Panther. By and by a
fat buck danced near, and the Raccoon touched the Panther, who
jumped up and killed the buck.
49. RABBIT ENGINEERS A TUG OF WAR BETWEEN Two TIE-SNAKES (70)
Two Tie-snakes lived on opposite sides of a river bend, unknown
to each other. Rabbit, however, knew that they were both there,
so one day he went to one of them and said, "Let us get a grapevine
and have a tug of war against each other." The snake agreed and
they appointed a time. Then Rabbit went over to the Tie-snake
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
on the other side of the bend and made the same agreement with him.
After that he got a grapevine and at the time appointed carried
one end to one snake and the other end across to the other. Marks
were set to see which could pull the other across. Then Rabbit
stationed himself in the middle and shook the vine, and they began
pulling, each thinking that Rabbit was at the other end and they
thought he was much stronger than they had taken him to be. Each
in turn pulled the other near the mark when the other would drag
him back. Finally they went around the bend and discovered each
other. They were angry with Rabbit and made it a rule that he
should not have any water, but he turned himself into a speckled
fawn and in that shape went down and drank all that he wanted.
50. RABBIT ENGINEERS A TUG OF WAR BETWEEN Two TIE-SNAKES
Rabbit was in the bend of a creek and a Snake on either side of
the bend, and the Rabbit used to drink water there. One time
after he had been drinking water he said to one of the Snakes, "I
can pull you out of the water." The other did not believe he could,
so they agreed to seize a grapevine at either end and pull against
each other. Then Rabbit went over to the other Snake, said the
same thing to him, and made the same arrangement. He agreed
with them to utter a whoop when he was ready to begin the contest.
So he got the grapevine, gave one end to one Snake and then carried
the other across to the other Snake. Then he whooped and the
Snakes began pulling against each other, one being pulled out of the
water for a minute and then the other. Finally they thought,
"Rabbit can't be as strong as that," so they looked up, and saw
Rabbit was fooling them, and afterwards they would not let him get
51. RABBIT ENGINEERS A TUG OF WAR BETWEEN TWO TIE-SNAKES
One day a Rabbit saw a Tie-snake in a pool of water and proposed
a trial of strength, which the Snake, to honor the little fellow, accepted.
The Rabbit ran over the hill to another pool of water and made a
similar arrangement with another Tie-snake, fixing the same time
for the trial to begin. He obtained a long vine and put an end in
each pool and gave the signal. Then the Snakes pulled against each
other until they were amazed at the Rabbit's strength, and each
fell on the same device to find out how the Rabbit was pulling so
hard, which was to crawl out of the pool slowly, pulling all the while
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and gradually ascend the hill, where the Rabbit had agreed to stand.
So they shortened the vine and crawled to the top of the hill, where,
behold! the Snakes saw each other and no Rabbit at all, for he
had concealed himself as he saw them coming up. After talking it
over, the Snakes agreed that the Rabbit should not be allowed to
drink any more water and accordingly the decree went forth to all
the Tie-snakes, who are kings of the water, that the Rabbit should
drink no more on account of his deception.
Day after day, as the Rabbit went to drink, the Tie-snakes ordered
him away. Finally he adopted this plan to fool them. He found
the skin of a fawn and putting it on he approached a pool of water
and began bleating like a young fawn in distress. A Tie-snake
hearing the cry, crawled out and asked why he cried.
"Because the Rabbit says I can never drink any more water, for
all the Tie-snakes have so ordered," said the pretended fawn.
"It is one of his lies," said the Snake, "it is only the Rabbit who
was ordered to drink no more. Such a pretty little creature as you
are can always get all the water he wishes."
So the Rabbit went to the pool and drank his fill.
52. RABBIT ENGINEERS A TUG OF WAR BETWEEN TIE-SNAKE AND
Rabbit saw a Tie-snake in the water and challenged him to a trial
of strength. The Tie-snake laughed at him, but consented.
The Rabbit said: "I will bring a vine, and when you feel me jerk
Afterwards Rabbit went over the hill and met Istepahpah, the Man-
eater (the Lion), and proposed to pull against him, and Istepahpah
consented. Rabbit fixed the same time for the Tie-snake and Iste-
pahpah; and when that time arrived he got the vine and put one end
in the water and running over the hill gave the other end to Iste-
pahpah, saying, "When you feel me jerk, then pull."
Presently he went up on top of the hill and jerked the vine. The
Tie-snake began to pull and Istepahpah, feeling the jerk, also pulled.
Each was surprised and pulled harder and harder.
Rabbit enjoyed his deception and watched his victims pull until
both were tired, and astonished at the strength of such a small animal.
(This same story is related of the sea cow and the elephant.)
53. RABBIT ENGINEERS A TUG OF WAR BETWEEN Two BISON (70)
One time Rabbit met two Bison lying on opposite sides of a hill.
He went to one of them and said, "Let us see which is stronger.
Let us pull against each other. People always extol your strength.
I am small but I believe I am stronger than you." At first the Bison
said, "I don't bother with little things like you," but finally he agreed
MYTHS OF THE SOTEaTEIAnRN INDIANS
to pull against him. Then Rabbit went to the other Bison and made
similar arrangements with him. He procured a grapevine, extended
it across the hill to the two Bison, and stationed himself at the center.
When he was ready he gave a whoop and the Bison began to pull
against each other. First one Bison would pull his opponent nearly
to the top of the hill and then the other would do the same to him,
Rabbit whooping in the middle every little while.
But after a time the Bison began to think that something was
wrong, so they walked around the hill and met. They said, "Rabbit
has made sport of us. We will not let him drink any water out of
our tank." After a while, of course, Rabbit got very thirsty. Then
he met a very pretty Deer and asked him for the loan of his shoes.
He put them on and went down to the tank where the Bison were.
He said to them, "I learn that you have forbidden the Rabbit to
'drink water here but I suppose you will let me." They looked at
his tracks and, seeing they were not those of a rabbit, said, "It is
only Rabbit whom we have forbidden to drink here. He played us
a trick. You may drink." So Rabbit drank and, coming on back
to the Deer, he pulled off his shoes, saying, "That is the way to
54. RABBIT FooLS ALLIGATOR (70)
Rabbit went to a pond of water where Tie-snake lived and said:
"I want to tell you that Alligator might hurt you." When Tie-
snake came out to him he said: "Alligator said to me, 'If I come
down to his place I will tear him up.' Said Tie-snake: "Let
him show me." Then Rabbit went to the pond where Alligator
lived and said: "Mr. Tie-snake says he is going to tear you up."
"Let him show me," said Alligator. Then Rabbit arranged to have
the two animals pull against each other to see which was the stronger;
so he got a long vine and had Tie-snake take hold of one end and
Alligator of the other. They pulled against each other for a long
time, but neither was able to get any advantage, so they finally
concluded to call it off and become friends, and stay in the water
together, which they have done ever since. By and by Alligator
discovered that Rabbit had deceived him.
One time after this Rabbit came to Alligator and said: "Mr.
Alligator, you say you have never seen Trouble." "No." "Well,
you go over to that sage grass and lie down in it and you will see
Trouble." So Alligator went over there and lay down, and Rabbit
went away after telling him at what time in the day Trouble would
come. Then Rabbit went off and set fire to the grass until he had
Alligator entirely surrounded by it. By and by the fire came to
Alligator, who ran back and forth but was badly burned. On account
of this trick he put hounds on the trail of Rabbit, who finally took
refuge in a hollow tree in which Alligator shut him up tight. Then he
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
went away to get an ax, leaving Owl on guard. After Alligator had
gone Rabbit said: "What are you doing?" "I am on guard." "Oh,
I thought you and I were friends. Do you use tobacco?" "Yes,
but I have none." Then Rabbit offered Owl some tobacco, but,
when Owl came to get it, Rabbit squirted tobacco juice into his eyes
and ran away, and Alligator never did get him.
55. RABBIT FooLs ALLIGATOR (70)
The Alligator was sunning himself on a log when the Rabbit said
to him: "Mr. Alligator, did you ever see the devil?" "No, Mr.
Rabbit, but I am not afraid to see him," replied the Alligator.
"Well, I saw the devil, and he said you were afraid to look at
him," said the Rabbit. "I'm not afraid of him, and you tell him
so," bravely responded the Alligator.
"Are you willing to crawl up the hill to-morrow and let me show
you the devil?" asked the Rabbit. "Yes, I am willing," said the
Alligator. The Rabbit spoke up and said, "Now Mr. Alligator,
when you see smoke rising don't be afraid, the devil will be just
"You need not be so particular about me. I am not afraid,"
said he. "Now when you see birds flying and deer running past
you, don't get scared." "I shall not get scared." "When you hear
fire crackling close to you and the grass burning all around you,
don't get scared. The devil will come along and you can get a good
look at him," and with this advice the Rabbit left.
The next day he returned and told Alligator to crawl out and lie
in the high grass and wait until the devil came. So out crawled the
Alligator and took his position in the grass as directed by the
When he saw the Alligator so far from the water the Rabbit
laughed to himself. He ran across the prairie till he reached a burn-
ing stump, got a chunk of fire, and returned to a spot near his con-
fiding friend, where he kindled the grass and soon had the pleasure
of seeing a blaze all around the Alligator. Then, running to a sandy
place where there was no grass, he sat down to see the fun. He had
not long to wait, for when the smoke rose in clouds and the birds
flew by, and the animals ran for life over the prairie, the Alligator
cried out: "Oh, Mr. Rabbit, what's that?" The Rabbit answered:
"Oh, you lie still; that's nothing but the devil starting out." Soon
the fire began to crackle and roar, and the flames swept over the prai-
rie, and the Alligator called: "Oh, Mr. Rabbit, what's that?" "Oh,
that's the devil's breath. Don't be scared. You will see him
directly." The Rabbit rolled over in the sand and kicked his heels
saw Wo MYTHS OF THE BOUTBEASTERN INDIANS 53
in the air. The fire came nearer and nearer and began to burn the
grass all around the Alligator, and under him, till he rolled and
twisted in pain. "Don't be scared, Mr. Alligator. Just lie still a
little longer and the devil will be right there and you can get a good
look at him," cried out the Rabbit, as he saw the movements of the
Alligator. But the latter could stand it no longer and started down
the hill to the water through the burning grass, snapping his teeth and
rolling over in pain, while the Rabbit laughed and jumped in delight,
saying, "Wait, Mr. Alligator, don't be in such a hurry. You are
not afraid of the devil." But the Alligator tumbled into the water
to cool his roasted skin, and wondered how the Rabbit could stand
such awful scenes.
56. TERRAPIN RACES (57)
Rabbit said to Terrapin, "Let us have a race." "All right," replied
Terrapin, "Let me get ready for it and let us race across a ridge."
"I can beat you," said Rabbit. "I can beat you," said Terrapin,
and both boasted of what they could do. Terrapin said that he
would have a little white feather in his head by which he could be
When he went away to get ready, Terrapin stationed another
Terrapin halfway up the hill, a second at the top, and a third in the
valley beyond, while he himself went to the starting place. Imme-
diately after they began racing Terrapin pulled the feather out of his
head and turned aside into the bushes. Rabbit, however, saw the
Terrapin halfway up the hill and kept on. This Terrapin disappeared
in the same way and then Rabbit saw the Terrapin at the top.
But when he saw at the top of the hill the Terrapin he supposed he
was racing he gave it up and ran off into the bushes.
57. TERRAPIN RACES (57)
The Deer and the Ground Terrapin ran a race. The Terrapin
stationed a second Terrapin at the beginning of the course, and two
more at intervals along the course, while he himself sat at the end.
Each time the Deer called out to know if Terrapin was there a
Terrapin answered, and so with the one at the end.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
58. TERRAPIN RACEs (57)
A Terrapin dared a Deer to run a race. On the appointed day
they met and agreed to race over four hills. The Terrapin wore a
white feather in his cap. Then he went off and found three other
Terrapins and stationed them on the tops of other hills, one on
When the word was given the Deer ran swiftly down the first
hill and up the second hill. Just as he was ascending the second
hill he saw the white feather of the second Terrapin disappearing
over the second hill. He ran faster but could not see the Terrapin,
as he threw away his feather just before the Deer reached him.
Deer ran down the second hill and as he ascended the third hill he
saw the white feather of the third Terrapin disappear over the
crest of the third hill. Then the Deer ran from the track and gave
up the race.
59. TERRAPIN RACES (57)
The Terrapin proposed to the Wolf a race, and he scornfully
accepted. The race was to begin at the top of one hill and to extend
to a fourth hill. That night the Terrapin summoned all his kinsfolk
to help him and they were to take their stations all along the route,
each to wear a white feather on his head.
The time came, the word was given, and when the Wolf reached
the top of the second hill he saw a Terrapin ahead of him running
down the hill, the white feather waving in the grass. He soon passed
him, but, on reaching the third hill, there was the Terrapin still
crawling ahead. He ran himself out of breath, but, on reaching
the last hilltop, to his mortification there sat a Terrapin at the
stake, his plume waving in triumph.
60. TERRAPIN RACES (57)
One day the Deer was lying in the grass chewing his cud, when a
Terrapin crawled near. The Deer looked at him moving slowly
along, and said: "Why, brother Terrapin, you crawl as though you
are sick. Why don't you go faster?"
"Oh, brother Deer, I like to go this way. I can run fast, and I
can beat you running," replied the Terrapin. The Deer laughed.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
"When do you want to try it?" he asked. "Any time. How will
tomorrow suit you?" responded the Terrapin.
So it was agreed that they should have the race the following day.
They selected the ground and chose the Rabbit as judge. The Ter-
rapin went to see all his friends that evening and told them that the
honor of the family was at stake and appealed to them to aid in
maintaining it. All having said they would, he continued, "Now
here is my plan. I will meet the Deer to-morrow on the ground we
picked out, and tell him I prefer to run through the grass and let him
run along the trail. Well, this is the way we can beat him. I will
start off at the word through the grass and you will be stationed in
the grass along the way, and when you hear the Deer running on the
trail, you can run a little way and stop. If the Deer calls out 'Oh,
brother Terrapin, where are you?' you can tell him 'Here I am crawl-
ing along in the grass,' and the last one can crawl up to where the
Rabbit will be sitting, when he hears the Deer coming, and claim
the race." They all agreed that this was a fine plan, except the
Terrapin who was assigned to the last station, and he said the Deer
would know he. was not the same Terrapin and would suspect some
trick. So the first and the last Terrapin exchanged places, the last
being cautioned to hide in the grass near the starting place so that
the Deer could not see him plainly. They separated and the Ter-
rapins all took their places along the race course.
The next day the Deer galloped over the prairie and, reaching the
starting point, called out: 'Oh, brother Terrapin, where are you?"
"Here I am," answered the Terrapin hiding in the grass. "Well,
are you ready?" asked the Deer. "Yes," said the Terrapin, and at
the word the Deer leaped forward. Hearing no sound in the grass
after going some distance, he called out, "Where are you, brother
Terrapin?" One of the Terrapins answered, "Here I am down in
the grass crawling along."
The Deer was surprised, so he ran faster and called out, "Oh,
brother Terrapin, where are you?" Another Terrapin answered,
"Here I am, just a-crawling through the grass." So the Deer ran
with all his might and did not stop till he reached the Rabbit. But
just as he thought he had won the race, he saw the Terrapin crawl
up to the end of the course. The Rabbit decided that the Terrapin
61. THE BUNGLING HOST (58)
The Bear invited the Rabbit to dinner. When he came the Bear
called his wife and said: "Have peas for dinner. The Rabbit loves
peas." "But there is no grease with which to cook them," said the
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
"Oh," said the Bear, "that's no trouble. Bring me a knife."
She brought the knife and the Bear took it and split between his
toes, while the Rabbit looked on in wonder. "No grease between
my toes," said the Bear. "Well, I know where there is some."
So he cut a gash in his side and out ran the grease. His wife took
it and cooked the peas, and they had a fine dinner and vowed always
to be good friends.
The Rabbit invited the Bear to take dinner with him the next
"Where do you live?" asked the Bear. Pointing to an old sedge-
grass field, the Rabbit replied, "Way over yonder in that big white
The Bear started the next morning and sought in vain for the big
white house, but while wandering in the sedge came near stepping
on his new friend who was sleeping in his bed.
"What's that! What are you tramping over me for?" cried the
Rabbit as he was awakened by the footsteps of the Bear.
"Oh, I am trying to find your big white house." Laughing at the
joke, the Rabbit invited the Bear to be seated, and said he would
have dinner ordered. He called his wife and told her to have peas
for dinner. "But there is no grease." "That's a small matter.
Bring me a knife," proudly exclaimed the Rabbit. When his wife
came with the knife, he held up one of his forefeet and split between
his toes. "What, no grease? Then I know where I can find it,"
and he gave a thrust into his side. But the blood gushed out, and
he fell to earth with a scream. The Bear cried, "You little fool,
your side is not like mine," and, lifting his friend all covered with
blood, he put him on his bed. "Send for the doctor, Doctor Turkey
Buzzard," said the Bear to the Rabbit's wife, who was weeping
bitterly, while the little Rabbits gathered around in tears. "Run for
the doctor," she said to one of the little Rabbits, and away he
ran at the top of his speed.
Then Dr. Buzzard came in haste and said, "What a sad sight;
he must be kept quiet. Carry him to the top of his house and put
him in a room where no one can come except his doctor, and in four
days you may enter and see him." His orders were obeyed. But
soon the Rabbit was heard screaming in agony. Running to the
room, the door of which was closed, the wife asked, "Oh, what's the
matter?" "Nothing," said the Buzzard, "I'm merely dressing his
wound." Again the screams were heard, but fainter, and the Rab-
bit's wife asked, "What makes him scream so?" "Go away. I'm
sewing up the cut in his side." No more screams were heard. After
four days the Rabbit's wife opened the door and there lay a few
bones and a pile of hair. The Buzzard had eaten the Rabbit.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
62. How RABBIT WON HIs WIFE'S SISTER FOR HIS SECOND WIFE
Rabbit was lying down with his head in his wife's lap and she was
gently rubbing it. Presently her sister, who lived with them, a beau-
tiful girl, rose and said, "I must go after the water," and went out.
Then Rabbit jumped up and said to his wife, "I must go and attend
to my business." He ran across the stream and hid in some low
Then the girl came to the stream and began to get water. Rabbit
in a disguised voice asked her from his concealment:
"Is Par-soak-ly-ah (Pasikola, his own name) at home?"
"Yes," she replied, looking in the direction of the voice, but not
"Tell Par-soak-ly-ah that all the people have agreed to undertake
a big bear hunt, and they have sent me to tell him to be sure to come.
He must go ahead and select a camp and build a fire. No man is to
carry his wife, but every man must take his wife's sister."
The girl ran to the house, and Rabbit ran around a different way,
and, when the girl came in, he was lying with his head in his wife's
The girl related what she had heard, except the point about every
man carrying his wife's sister. Then Rabbit waited a while and
said "Is that all?" She then told it all. Rabbit's wife said:
"I will stay at home. You must go, my sister, on the bear hunt.
Both of you must go. Then Rabbit's wife made all things ready for
them, and Rabbit and the girl went to the appointed place, reaching
it just before the sun went down.
Rabbit built a fire and swept the ground. He expressed great
wonder that the other hunters did not come.
"I am disappointed," said he, and running to a log, he jumped on
it, and looked in every direction to see if the hunters could be seen.
The sun went down and Rabbit complained bitterly that the hunt-
ers had not come.
As it grew dark he said, "Let us go to sleep. You make your bed
on that side of the fire and I will make mine on this side."
He had selected a place for the girl where there was an anthill,
and when she lay down she could not sleep. She tossed and scratched
but could not sleep. Then Rabbit began his wooing, and succeeded in
winning his second bride.
63. TURKEY, TURTLE, AND RATTLESNAKE (42)
(T gle colleion)
Once upon a time the beasts, birds, and reptiles held a council to
devise means of destroying their enemy, Man. It was decided that
he must die. The Rattlesnake, being the most poisonous, was chosen
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
to kill him; the Turtle was selected to bite off his scalp lock; while
the Turkey was to run away with it. In accordance with this arrange-
ment the three repaired to the cabin of Man during the night and
while he was asleep. The Rattlesnake coiled himself up near the
door, so that he could strike Man as he came out, the Turtle took a
position round the corner of the house, and the Turkey stationed him-
self behind it.
When morning came Man awoke and stepped out. The Rattle-
snake heard him coming and when he was sufficiently near struck his
fangs deep into his leg. Man fell down and died. Then the Turtle
crawled up to his head and after much labor bit off the scalplock,
and the Turkey seized it and ran off with it. In his race he acciden-
tally swallowed the scalplock, and ever since a scalplock has grown
from the breast of the Turkey in honor of that event.
64. THE TAsKS OF RABBIT (54, 68)
Rabbit went to the Master and asked him for wisdom. He said,
"I haven't much sense and want you to give me more."
Then the Master gave Rabbit a sack and told him to fill it with
small red ants. "Fill it," he said, "and I will teach you sense."
The Master thought that if he did not have any sense he couldn't
get one ant into the sack. Rabbit went to the anthill and said,
"The Great Master has been saying that you could not fill this sack,
but I said you could. What do you think about it?" They
answered, "We will fill it," and as they were very anxious to show
that they could do so, all went in, whereupon Rabbit tied it up
and carried it to the Master. "Here it is," he said, "now give me
The Master said, "There is a big Rattlesnake over yonder.. If
you bring him here, I will impart to you some knowledge." He
thought if Rabbit was really ignorant he would not know what to do.
Rabbit went off, cut a stick, and went to find the snake. Then he
said to it, "The Master says you are not as long as this stick, but I
say you are longer." "I think I am longer. Measure me," said the
snake. So Rabbit measured him by laying the stick beside him with
its sharp end toward his head and as he was doing so ran the point
into his head and killed him. He carried him back to the Master
on the end of the stick.
Next the Master said, "There is an Alligator over yonder in the
lake. Bring him to me and I will give you knowledge." So Rabbit
went to the lake and called out, "Halpata hadjo, halpata hadjo."1
The Alligator came up in the middle of the lake and poked his head
above the water. "What's the matter ?" he said. "An ox has been
killed for the Master and they want you to come and get timbers for
S"Alligtor hadjo" s an honorary name btowed on the reptile
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
a scaffold on which to roast it." So Alligator came out of the water
and followed Rabbit. Before they had gone far Rabbit turned
round and struck him with a club. The Alligator started for the lake
and although Rabbit pursued him, beating him all the way, he got
safely back into the water.
After that Rabbit went off and lay down on the hillside in the
sunshine for some time. Then he went and called to the Alligator
once more, "Halpata hadjo, halpata hadjo, halpata hadjo." The
Alligator came out in the middle of the lake as before and said,
"What's the matter?" "Pasikola (story name of Rabbit) was sent
here some time ago and nothing has been seen of him, so they told
me to come and see what had happened to him." The Alligator
answered that some one had come to him before with such a story and
had beaten him. "They thought he might have done something of the
sort," said Rabbit, "for he is a mean, devilish kind of person. They
told him to get you to bring the forked pieces for a scLffold on which
to roast an ox and as he didn't come back they sent me to find out
what had happened." Upon that the Alligator came out of the
water again and they set out. As they went along Rabbit said,
"That Pasikola is very bad and they ought not to have sent him.
He has no sense. Did he beat you very badly?" "He beat me a
great deal, but did not hit a dangerous place." "If he had hit you in
a dangerous spot would you have lived?" "No; it would certainly
have killed me." "Where would one hit to hurt you?" "If one
struck me across the hips it would finish me." And so, having
learned what he wanted to know, Rabbit presently struck the Alli-
gator across the hips and laid him out dead. Then he picked him
up and took him to the Master. And when the Master saw him he
said, "You have more sense now than I could impart to you."
65. THE TASKS OF RABBIT (54)
Rabbit came to Christ and asked him for more knowledge. He
was given a sack and told to get a lot of Blackbirds which were
making a noise some distance away.' So Rabbit went to the Black-
birds and said, "People say there are just a few of you. You could
not fill up this sack, could you?" And so, to prove that they were
very numerous they flew into the sack until it was filled, and he
carried them to Christ.
Then Christ said to him, "If you bring the Rattlesnake I will
give you more knowledge." Then Rabbit went home, saying to
himself, "That Snake is a pretty bad creature." But after thinking
over the matter for a while he got a dogwood arrow and made it
' Ti begniWg cems to be badly garbled, but the aetenceo covey the meanW.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
very sharp. He went out with this very early in the morning and
climbed to the top of a big rock. Presently he saw the Rattlesnake
and called to him, "My friend, are you asleep?" There was no
reply and he called out again, "My friend, are you asleep?" He
repeated these words several times, and presently the Rattlesnake
said, "Yes, I was asleep. I was out hunting all night and lost a lot
of sleep, so I was making up for it." Rabbit replied, "I have seen
Christ and he says you are not as long as this arrow, but I think
you are longer. Let me measure you and see if I am not right."
The Rattlesnake answered, "I am pretty sure I am longer than that
little arrow, but it looks sharp as if it would not be good." "Well,
lie perfectly still and I will take pains not to hurt you. Now, shut
your eyes and keep them shut." So Rabbit began measuring him,
but when he got as far as his head he ran the arrow through it and
pinned him to the ground. Then he ran off, coming back as soon as
the Snake stopped making a noise with his rattles. He picked up
his arrow and the snake and took the latter to Christ, who said,
"If I were to impart to you any more knowledge, you would set the
world afire." He then seized him by the tail and threw him into a
brier thicket, saying: "That shall be your home."
66. THE TAsKs or RABBIT (54)
Rabbit was discontented. He went to Esarketummesee (Hisakita
imisi), the Life Controller, and said:
"I am unhappy. The other animals are better provided than I
am for offense. When I am attacked I can only run."
Esarketummesee said: "Go and bring yonder Rattlesnake to me."
The Snake was coiled and ready to strike. The Rabbit approached
him and said:
"Esarketummesee has ordered me to take your measure, and,
if you will get out of your coil, I will see how long you are."
The Rattlesnake felt flattered at this and stretched himself at
full length. But Rabbit had provided a stick and a string, and
quickly tying the stick to the snake near his head and tail he took
him and ran away to Esarketummesee.
"Well done," said he. "Now, go and bring yonder swarm of
Gnats which you see flying in the air."
Rabbit ran to the place and sat under the swarm and while the
king of the Gnats was playing ball with his young men Rabbit said
to him, "You have a large band, and Esarketummesee has sent
me to count them. If you will enter this bag I will count as they
go in." Rabbit saw that they all followed their king, as the bees
follow their queen.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
The king felt flattered at this and entered Rabbit's bag, all his
young men following him, whereupon Rabbit tied the bag and ran
away to Esarketummesee, where he threw it down.
Then Esarketummesee said to Rabbit, "See what you have done
by using the faculties I gave you. Go and use the powers I have
bestowed upon you and you will fulfil the destiny I designed for you."
67. WHY THE RABBT STEALS (60)
In the beginning all the animals held a meeting and agreed that
each should select a tree the fruit of which should belong to the
descendants of the chooser. The first choice fell to the Rabbit,
who went down to a river and ran slowly up the bank looking first
at one tree and then at another. At last he stopped under a sycamore
tree and, seeing the large balls hanging from its limbs, he chose the
sycamore. All the other animals picked out such trees and fruits
as they liked, the Raccoon taking muscadines and the Opossum
persimmons, till all the different fruits'were taken. Then the Rabbit;
becoming hungry, ran down to his big tree and hunted on the ground
for some of the fine balls, but none were on the ground. He looked
up into the tree and there were hundreds on the limbs. Thinking
some would fall in a little while, he sat under the tree and waited.
Night came and he hopped away home hungry. Next day he came
back and looked again on the ground. None of the balls had yet
fallen. He sat under the sycamore all that day and again had to go
to bed hungry. The third day he came to his tree and his body was
thin and his eyes were big, and they got bigger looking while he longed
for the balls to fall to the ground. His body got thinner and his
eyes bigger and all his descendants have been like him. He waited
till he nearly perished, and at last he decided to go around at night
and steal from the other animals, as there were no more trees from
which he could select. In this way the Rabbit learned to steal for a
living and he has always kept up the habit.
68. WHY THE OPOSSUM LOOKs ASHAMED (60)
One time an Opossum got very hungry. He went about the
world hunting something to eat. At last he looked up into a tree
and saw some big balls hanging low down on the limbs. They looked
so fine that he danced around the tree for joy.
After his dance hejumped up and caught one of the balls and
mashed it in his mouth. It was very bitter, for ft was an oak ball.
He felt so bad that he crawled away, lay down, and made out that
he was dead. Whenever anyone comes where he is, he remembers
his mistake and feels ashamed of having been so badly deceived.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
69. How RABBIT GOT THE WIDOw's DAUGHTER
An old woman had a beautiful daughter with whom Rabbit was
in love. So he went to the old woman and asked to marry her. But
the old woman made excuses, saying that the girl was not old enough,
did not understand housework, etc. Rabbit thereupon went off
and made a plan, which he proceeded to carry out. He took a
cane and made a hole in the back of the fireplace so that the sound
could come through the fire. Then one night he got behind the
fire and spoke through his cane, saying: "Anyone who has a growing
daughter and does not allow her to marry will surely die, will surely
die." Then the old woman was frightened and said to her daughter:
"Listen to this. When he comes back you had better.marry him."
And so Rabbit got the girl.
70. How RABBIT GOT THE WIDOW'S DAUGHTER
(T. e collection)
Once there was a widow who had a very beautiful daughter. She
had many lovers but still remained single.
The Rabbit, an old bachelor, lived near by and fell in love with
the widow's daughter. He thought he stood no chance, as he was
so small and insignificant, especially as he knew more likely beaus
had been rejected, but he determined to see what cunning could
accomplish. So with this end in view he made a new blowgun of a
cane, and, seizing his opportunity, he slipped up to the chimney of
the widow's house, made a hole in the back of the chimney near the
ground, penetrating the fireplace on the inner side, and then inserted
his blowgun in this opening. The night after he had completed his
device he ran up and put his ear to the other end of the blowgun
and listened to what the widow and her daughter were saying.
"My daughter, why do you not marry? I am getting old and you
'ought not to reject all your lovers."
"But mother, none of them suits me."
"You are too particular, my daughter."
Soon he heard the widow tell her daughter to run to the spring for
water. Then he razi through the weeds to the spring and lay con-
cealed near by in the grass.
The pretty girl came singing down the trail and, while she was
getting the water, the Rabbit sang out in a low, deep, monotonous
tone: "Hok-te mar-pe hum-ke ehe-sekart elun, elun, elun-n-n-n."'
(The girl who remains single will die, die, die.)
She was alarmed, and looked in vain to see who spoke the awful
words. She drew a long breath and soon in a quick frightened man-
'Hokti, woman; maniti, young; hamki, one; ilsikat, without a husband; Ilan, shall die.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
ner began dipping up the water again. Forthwith the Rabbit slipped
through the grass to the other side of the spring and sang out in the
same voice: "Hok-te mar-pe hum-ke ehe-sekart elun, elun, elun."
In alarm the pretty girl ran to the house and cried to her mother:
"Oh, mother there was an awful noise at the spring and I could see
"What was it, and what did it say?" she asked. The Rabbit was
at his blowgun listening.
"It said in a low deep voice 'Hok-te mar-pe hum-ke ehe-sekart
elun, elun, elunt'"
"I told you so," exclaimed her mother.
"And then I heard it on the other side of the spring, and I ran
here." "Yes, I told you to marry and you wouldn't do so."
Suddenly the Rabbit sang through the blowgun in the fireplace:
"Hok-te mar-pe hum-ke ehe-sekart elun, elun, elun."
"That is it."
"Oh, I hear it," the widow screamed in terror; "you will die.
You must marry and shall marry the very first one who asks."
"Yes, yes I will," said the daughter.
Rabbit had carried his point and so away he ran in glee to his
home and summoned his aunt, saying to her:
"I wish to marry the widow's daughter and you must go at once
and make the offer of my hand."
The old lady went to the widow's home and no sooner had she
entered than the widow told her of the strange occurrence. When
the story was finished the widow added:
"I have told my daughter that girls ought to marry and I am
determined she shall accept the first offer." *
"I have come to propose my nephew, the Rabbit," said the visitor.
The widow hesitated. The silence was broken by a sound from
the ashes in the fireplace: "Hok-te mar-pe hum-ke eee-sekart elun,
"Yes, he shall have her. Take her, take her for the Rabbit's
bride," the widow cried.
So they were married, and thus the Rabbit won the widow's beauti-
71. RABBIT FooLS CoYoTE (69)
The Rabbit and the Coyote were great friends. One time when the
Rabbit was traveling along he saw a colt lying asleep in the road. He
went on and came to the Coyote and said, "I see something good for
you to eat over there. If you wish I will drag him out'of the road to
a place where you can make a feast off of him, while I go and get my
own food." The Coyote said, "All right," so they went along to the
place where the colt was lying. Then Rabbit said, "I am not strong
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
enough so I will tie his tail to yours and help you by pushing." Then
Rabbit tied their tails carefully so as not to awaken the colt, took the
colt by the ears, and began lifting him. Upon this the colt woke
up and started to run off, dragging the coyote after him. The Coyote
struggled frantically, but all he could do was scratch on the ground
with his claws. Rabbit shouted after him, "Pull with all your might."
"How can anyone pull with all his might," answered Coyote, "when
he is not standing on the ground?" By and by, however, the Coyote
got loose, and then Rabbit had to run to cover.
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 he 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 he 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 he 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 get
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
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEATERN INDIANS
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
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
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 tails 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.
73. RABBIT RIDEs WOLF (61, 71)
An old woman lived in a certain place with her daughter whom
Rabbit wanted to marry. One time he visited them and assured
them that he had some property, including a riding horse, and he
said, "Some day I will ride him past."
Then he found Wolf and said to him, "My friend, there is to be
a big council up here and I want to go but I am unable to walk."
Wolf answered, "Get on my back and I will carry you." Rabbit
wanted to ride by the house where that girl lived so as to show her and
her mother that he did have a horse. After he had mounted he said,
"I might fall off. I could hold on better if I had a bridle." But after
the bridle was put on he said, "That does not quite suit me. It
would be better if I had a saddle blanket." After he had gotten
that he continued, "It is not quite right yet. It would be better if
I had a saddle." And a saddle was prepared for him. "I am not
yet quite suited," said Rabbit. "It would be better if I had spurs."
So he made some spurs out of sand burs (oklaf5'na). Then he
mounted and they set out, passing by the house where the girl lived.
Rabbit then told Wolf that they wanted all who liked fresh meat
to come up. Afterwards he rode on down to a thicket and said to
Wolf, "The people are gathered right down below. I will fasten
you here." After he had done so he went on out of sight and began
making a noise by drumming on a log. Then he came back to Wolf
and said, "I made a mistake. They said to bring up everyone who
eats fresh meat and we will kill them." The Wolf was terribly
frightened when he heard that and broke his halter, and away he
went out of sight.
When Wolf found how he had been fooled he tried to find
Rabbit to get even with him and by and by he discovered him in
a peach tree. He ran up to him, saying, "I have been wanting to
find you for some time and now I have done so." Upon hearing
this Rabbit looked off toward an old house which could be seen from
there and called, "Here is the one you have always wanted." The
Wolf became frightened again and ran off.
I My lnktmmnt volunteered the information that at the end of a story al of the listener wold spit.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
Sometime later Wolf came upon Rabbit once more but Rabbit
discovered him first and running up to a tree which was bent over,
said, "My friend, I am holding up this tree because if it falls the
earth will pass away. Come and hold it while I go for help. It is
tiresome." So Wolf took Rabbit's place and held up the tree until
he got tired, while Rabbit escaped.
74. RABBIT RIDES WOLF (1)
The Rabbit wanted to get a wife and the Wolf was courting at
the same house.
The Wolf being finer looking made the better impression, so Rabbit
one day said to the ladies:
"The Wolf is my riding horse."
They did not believe him, so he told them he would prove it by
riding him there the next day.
Then Rabbit went to the Wolf's house and said to him: "Let us
go courting to-morrow."
The Wolf agreed and Rabbit told him to call for him the next
day so that they could go together. But when the Wolf called at
the Rabbit's house Rabbit pretended he was too sick to go. He
said: "I can not walk, but if you will carry me on your back I will
go." The Wolf consented to carry him on his back, so Rabbit got
up and they started. As they were ascending a hill the Rabbit fell
off and complained that he was still sick and that he could not stay
on unless the Wolf consented to let him put on spurs. The Wolf
agreed and Rabbit put on his spurs to steady him as he sat on the
As they went along Rabbit said:
"Suppose you make out you are my horse. You know a horse
always gets the most to eat and has the best time. Wherever we
stop I promise to bring out your dinner first, before I eat."
The Wolf agreed and they went on in a friendly way.
When they got in sight of the house of the ladies, who were look-
ing for them, Rabbit said:
"Now, we must make a good appearance as we go up near the
ladies and you must caper and dance gaily."
The Wolf said he would do so, and, as they approached the ladies,
Rabbit stuck his spurs into the Wolf's side and up he dashed in fine
style. Then Rabbit fastened his horse to a post, walked up to the
ladies and said:
"You see I told you the truth. There is my horse."
They were pleased at this and so he won his bride.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
75. THE TAR BABY (63)
A man missed peas from his garden and, after vain efforts to catch
the thief, he made a tar-person and put it in the garden near the peas.
A Rabbit had been coming every night for the peas and the tar-
person was quickly discovered by him. Stopping near, he said:
"Who's that? What's your name?" and, receiving no reply, he
hopped close to the figure and said: "If you don't speak I will hit
you." He struck the tar-person and his paw stuck. Again he
asked, "Why don't you speak? Let go of my foot or I will hit you
harder," but the second paw stuck as he hit him again. "I have
got another foot, stronger than these, and I'll hit you still harder,"
and the third time he hit the tar-person. "I have got one more foot
and I will have to kill you if you don't let go of my feet." He
kicked with the last foot and that stuck fast. The Rabbit then
struck with his head and it stuck.
Next morning the man came into his garden and, when the Rabbit
saw him, he called out "Oh, I have caught the thief who's been
stealing your peas. Here he is."
"Yes, I see the thief," replied the man, "and I intend to kill
him." Seizing the Rabbit he pulled him away from the tar-person
and carried him to a stake near a pigpen. There he securely fastened
the Rabbit, saying:
"I will go to the house and get some boiling water to scald you."
As soon as the man had left a Wolf came along and, seeing the
Rabbit tied, asked him what it meant.
"Oh, this man wanted me to eat up all these pigs in the pen and
because I could not do so he tied me here."
"I can eat them for him," said Wolf, "let me take your place."
"All right," responded the Rabbit, so the Wolf untied him and
took his place at the stake and was in turn tied by the Rabbit, who
ran away and crawled into a hollow tree. When the man returned
and saw the Wolf, "So," he said, "you are at your old tricks and
have changed yourself so as to look like a wolf. Well, I will scald
you anyway." He poured the boiling water on the Wolf, who
howled in pain and finally broke the string and ran off. Then he
sat at the foot of the very tree in which the Rabbit was concealed
and as he licked his scalded hide the Rabbit reached down and stuck
a splinter into him. Jumping up, the Wolf exclaimed, "I wish
the ants would stop biting me and adding to my afflictions"
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
76. RABBrr DECEIVES THE OTHER ANIMALS (72)
The Rabbit was under arrest and, when brought before the assem-
bled council of all the other animals, he said to them:
"I have a great message to deliver to all of you. God has appeared
to me and he has told me that he intends to destroy the world,
because you animals are so wicked. The only way for you to
escape is to choose me to rule over you to guide you aright. God
will destroy the world in a short time if you do not act better."
The animals greeted his speech with laughter. "You are such a
great liar," said they, "that we know this is another trick."
"Well, all you have to do is to wait and see," replied the Rabbit.
with a solemn look.
"We are not afraid of your lies."
The following night, after the council had separated, the Rabbit
sought out the king of the Partridges and said to him:
"I have a plan by which you can save me from this trouble and
I can be of great service to you. If you will help me I will see that
you and your subjects shall have the privilege of roving over the whole
world and eating where you will instead of being restricted to one
kind of food, as you now are."
"What can I do?" asked the king of the Partridges.
"This. Go and gather all the Partridges into one immense flock
and to-morrow, when the council meets, station your subjects to the
south of the council ground and, at a certain signal from me, let every
Partridge fly into the air and flutter with all his might, and make as
much noise as possible."
The king of the Partridges consented.
"On the second day," continued the Rabbit, "carry your subjects
to the east of the council ground and act likewise when you see me
stand before the council and give the signal. On the third day go
to the north, and on the fourth day be in the west, but remember to
keep out of sight all the time, and on each day make a louder noise
than on the preceding day. Do this and the world shall be your feed-
Then they separated.
The council assembled again and summoned the Rabbit, who came
smiling and bowing and said: "I love all of you, and am sorry to
know that your wickedness is leading you to destruction. God will
not permit such wicked animals to live. To-day, I fear, you will
hear a warning in the south. If you do not heed it and turn an inno-
cent brother loose, then, to-morrow, the warning will become louder
in the east. On the third day the sound of coming down will be
beard in the north and, if you still persist in your persecution, a terrible
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
rumbling in the west will precede the world's destruction, and then,
on the fifth day, the world will be destroyed."
For this the animals jeered at him and cried, "Oh, what a lie.
Tell us another."
Then the Rabbit turned to the south and gave the agreed signal
when a strange low, rumbling sound came from that direction.
The animals looked at one another and whispered, "What is that?"
"God's warning," replied the Rabbit.
Some said: "Let's let him go. He may be innocent." Others said,
"It's one of his tricks. He is a cunning little rascal."
The second day came, and the Rabbit said, "You are doomed.
To-day another warning will come from the east." He gave the sig-
nal and there was a louder thundering than on the previous day.
Some of the animals became alarmed at this and said, "Perhaps
he's speaking the truth this time. Maybe the world will be destroyed."
"It is one of his tricks," said others. "But how can he make such
a noise? He is here and the noise is yonder."
The council separated without a decision. On the third day the
Rabbit appeared with a solemn air and, when called on, said:
"You still refuse to do me justice. The warning will come to-day
from the north." Hardly had he spoken, when there came a tremen-
dous roar, shaking the air and ground, and the animals trembled in
"Let him go, let him go," shouted many to their leaders.
It was decided to wait one day more and if no trick could be dis-
covered the Rabbit should be let go.
On the fourth day the animals came slowly to the council ground
and cast fearful looks to the west. The Rabbit, amid profound silence,
was led out.
"Alas," said he, "what a fate-all the animals to be destroyed when
one act of justice could save them," and suddenly from the west came
such a fluttering, buzzing, quivering, shaking roar that all the animals
"Let him go, let him go. He is right. The world will be destroyed."
So they let him go, and away he hopped to the king of the Par-
tridges. "The world is yours," said he, "Go where you will and eat
Ever since then partridges have roved over the whole world, whereas
they had no such privilege before that time.
77. RABBIT ESCAPES FROM THE Box (66)
The Rabbit had so often deceived mankind that a council was
held to try him and, being found guilty, he was condemned to death
by drowning. A box was made and he was put into it, carried to
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
the banks of a stream and left there for a while. A little child came
to the box during the absence of the people and, discovering the
Rabbit, asked him what he was doing there.
"Oh, I am listening to the sweetest music in the world," said he.
"Let me get in there too," begged the child. So the Rabbit told
the child how to open the box, and once out and the child fastened
in, away he ran to the forest. When the people returned they lifted
the box and threw it into the stream and said: "There, we will never
be troubled by the Rabbit again." The next busk came, when every
criminal is free to return, and hardly had the dancing ground been
swept clean when in jumped the Rabbit, all dressed in red, and
danced with the pretty girls, while all the people stood amazed.
"Did we not drown him?" they said. "We put him in a box and
threw him into the water, yet here he is." Being asked how he came
back the Rabbit replied: "I am glad you threw me into the water.
I did not die, I went to a beautiful country, where there were thou-
sands of pretty girls who begged me to stay, and I am now sorry I
came away from them." The young warriors crowded around him
and did not tire of hearing of such a lovely land. They begged him to
show them the way, and he selected those whom he most envied and
told them to prepare boxes in which they could be placed. When
all were ready their friends carried them to the stream and the Rabbit
ordered them thrown in. Again the busk rolled around and anxious
friends awaited the return of the young warriors, but they did not
come. At last the boxes were found on an island and in the boxes
were the bodies of the ill-fated young men. A little box was also
found containing the bones of the child. Then it was known that
the Rabbit had deceived them again. On being questioned he
"I told you I was the only one who had ever returned from that
beautiful country. I warned the warriors, but they would have me
show them the way, and no one can be blamed except themselves."
78. RABBrr's IMPOITIoN Is DETECTED
There were three pretty girls who lived near a spring. Every day
they went to this spring for water. The Rabbit fell in love with
them and frequently came to visit them. One day the news came
that one of the fair maidens was missing. The alarm was given,
but search was made in vain. She could nowhere be found and never
came back. It was suspected that the Rabbit had made away with
her. Not many mornings afterwards another sister was lost. The
same mystery surrounded her fate. She was seen going to the spring
but was seen no more. The hand of the third sister was offered as a
"Z BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY (awB.
reward for the discovery of the fate of the two beautiful girls and for
the killing of the monster who had destroyed them. Many entered
the contest and among them the suspected Rabbit. A warrior
watched the spring day after day, and at last saw an enormous ser-
pent crawl forth, as if watching for his prey. He slew the monster,
cut off his head, and bore it away as a trophy of victory. But the
Rabbit had also seen the monster serpent and after the warrior
had departed with the head, he took up the body of the snake and,
dragging it to the council ground, exclaimed:
"See the monster I killed him. I claim the bride."
Everybody congratulated the Rabbit, and the beautiful girl, arrayed
in rich costumes, was brought forth. But just as the Rabbit ap-
proached to take her hand the warrior stepped within the circle and
"Behold, the monster's head. I cut it off after slaying him, and
I left his body at the spring. I claim the beautiful bride."
She was given to the brave warrior, and the Rabbit was made to
drag about the dead and putrid body of the snake and was also
chased away as a tricky rascal, who made his way in the world by
deception. "Go and live with the dead snake," they said. "You
are corrupt like him."
79. THE FLIGHT TO THE TREE (76)1
Once there was a little boy who lived with his grandmother. He
grew up to be very fond of hunting and had three dogs named "Simur-
sitty," "Jeudawson," and "Ben-boten."' His name was "Tookme."
He killed many bison and that caused them to hold a council at
which two bison agreed to turn themselves into pretty girls and
attempt to destroy Tookme. They went one evening to his grand-
mother's house and, though they made themselves very agreeable,
the old lady did not fancy them and warned her grandson against
them. The dogs growled at them whenever they came near. As
night came on the bison begged Tookme to chain his dogs, for
fear they might bite them during the night. He consented and
chained them, for they said they could not sleep if the dogs were
loose. Tookme was pleased with the girls, but his grandmother
insisted that something was wrong. The next morning the girls said
they must return to their home and asked Tookme to go with them.
"No," said his grandmother, "he can not go." But finally it was
agreed that he should go a part of the way to a certain prairie. When
I This has been published in German by Dr. E. C. Parsns in the work mentioned below (p. 208).
The names of the dogs in this story may be corruptions, and it has been suggested that they ought
to be Pin-Poyr [pin poya), "the turkey destroyer," Choarsur [teo asl], "the deer runner and Nag-
arsur [yans as], "the buffalo rmnner."-Tuggle. This seems far-fetched.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
they came to this prairie, a herd of bison was feeding there. Sud-
denly the girls changed to bison, at whose signal the herd sur-
rounded Tookme. In alarm he stuck one of his arrows in the ground,
when, behold, it turned into a cottonwood tree; and Tookme quickly
ascended it out of reach of the angry bison. They began to punch
at the tree with their horns and continued doing so until it fell. Then
Tookme stuck another arrow in the ground and another cottonwood
tree shot up in the air, into the branches of which he jumped as the
first one was falling. This he repeated until his arrows were all gone,
when he threw down his bow and a tall sycamore sprang up. While
he was in the sycamore he began to call his dogs:
Come to Tookme,
Come to Tookme.
The bison mocked him, saying: "Tookme," "Tookme."
His grandmother was asleep, but the howling of the dogs awakened
her, and running to them she saw them trying to break their chains
and then she heard the voice of her grandson in the distance:
Come to Tookme,
Come to Tookme.
She knew he was in danger, so she broke the chains and away flew
the faithful dogs. They frightened the bison away and rescued their
80. COW AND DoG ARE DISCONTENTED
"I am unhappy" said the Cow to her Maker, "because I see the
sow is more fruitful than I am. Pray make me more fruitful."
God told her to go to a certain fine garden full of vegetables, stay
there all night and return the next morning.
She went into the garden, but instead of sleeping she fed on the
vegetables all night and destroyed the beautiful garden, and when
she went to God in the morning he said to her: "See what destruction
you have caused in one night. Were I to grant your request, the
world could not furnish food for your progeny. Go and be contented."
The Dog came to God and said: "I am required to fight all kinds
of animals, but I am not provided with horns like the cow, or tusks
like the hog. I have only short teeth. Make my teeth long."
Then God said: "Go to yonder pile of skins and pass the night;
come again in the morning."
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
The Dog went. During the night he rose and injured the edges
of all the skins by gnawing them.
When he came on the morrow his Maker said to him, "Behold
what your short teeth have done in one night. Were I to make them
longer, great destruction would result."
81. THE LANGUAGE OF ANIMALS
Formerly men and animals talked to one another and later they lost
the ability to do so, but the great medicine men had the gift. One
time an old woman was much frightened at the sight of a yearling
Bull coming toward her bellowing and she tried to escape. The
Bull reassured her, however, in language she could understand, saying,
"Don't be afraid of me. I am just enjoying myself singing." He
added that she must not tell of her experience or she would die.
After that the old woman knew the language of the animals and
listened to them as they talked together. She was blind in one eye,
and once when she was shelling corn she heard the Chickens say to
one another, "Get around on her blind side and steal some of the
corn." She was so much tickled at this that she laughed out loud.
Just then her husband, who was a very jealous man, came in and
believed she must be thinking of some other man, so he said, "Why
do you get so happy all by yourself?" Then she related her adven-
ture with the Bull and told him what the Chickens had just been
saying, but the moment she finished her story she fell over dead.
82. THE ORIGIN OF RACES'
There is an old story to the effect that some people once came to a
very small pool of water to bathe. The man who entered this first
came out clean and his descendants, the white people, have the same
appearance. He had, however, dirtied the water a little and so the
next man was not quite so clean, and his descendants are the Indians.
By this time the water was very dirty and so the last man came out
black and his people are the negroes.
I See footnote to nxt ato7.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
83. THE ORIGIN or RACES I
Three Indians were once out hunting. One went after water and
found a nice hole of water but was afraid to drink. Another went
down to it, dipped his fingers in, and said, "It is good. Let us go
into it." So he dived in and came out. When he came out he was
white. From him came the white people. The second dived in and
came out darker because the water was somewhat roily. From him
came the Indians. The third dived in and came out black because
the water was now very roily. From him came the negroes. Just
before the first man dived he felt of the rocks and they rattled. He
did not tell the others that this was gold. They went on from there
and the Indian found something else. The white man was told
about this and he picked it up. It was a book. He asked the
Indian to read this but he could not. The white man, however,
could read it, and it was to tell him about this gold. The book gave
him this advantage. "The Nokfilas (whites) were terrible people
to take the lead."
r I In this onneetin the following exerpt from a speech of the Seminole Chief Neamathia (HOnib mas)
to the Governor of Florida is of interest:
"... The Master Io Lie sd 'We win make man.' Man wasmade; bt when he stood up bm his
Maker he was ke The Great Spirit was sorry, he sw that the being b had made was pae and wak;
he took pity on him, and therefore did not unmake him, but let him live. He tried again, or he wa deter-
mined to make a perfect man; but in his endeavor to avoid making another white man, he wet into the
oppoltentreme, and when taecond being re up, and stood before him, hewas bkac T The Guat Sprit
likd the black man las than the white, and he shoved him aide to make room fr another trial Thnit
was that he made the red mae; and the red man pleased him.
". In this way the Great Spirit madethewhite, the black, and the red man, when he pt th upon
th earth. He they were, but they were very poor. They had no lodges nor horses, no toob to work
with, no traps, nor anything with which to kill game. A at ce teeth r tee men, looking up, saw these
large boxes coming down from the sky. They defended very slowly, but at last reached the ground, whfl
these three poor men stood and ooooked at them, not knowing what to do. The Great Spirit spoke and aid,
'White man, yo are pale and weak, tat Imade you first and will give you the first choice; goto the baes,
open them and look in, and eboose which you wil take for your portion.' The white man opened the
boxes, looked in, and aid, 'I wil take this.' It was lled with pens, and ink, and paper, and ompass,
and scb things your people now ae. The Great Spirit spoke aain, and id, 'Black man, made yo
next, but I donot likeyou. Youmaystand aside. The red man ismy verite; he allow me forward
and take the nxt chooe: Red man, choose your prtimn the things of this world.' The red man stepped
boldly up and eho a box filld with tomabawks, knives, war clubs, traps, and sch things as ar iefal
In war and hunting. The Geat Spirit laaed when he sew bow well his red on knew bow to abooe.
Then be said to the negro, 'Yo may have what is Wt; the third box s for you.' That was fBd with
aes and hse, with buckets to carry water In, and log whips for driving on which meant that the gro
most work for both the red and white man, and it has been so ever since."-McKnney and HaIl, Hitory
of the Indin Tribes o North Amerea, r, pp. 8213.
Of coon this s nothing mo than a parable setting forth, as If r historical origin, the actual ooadt
of affhn, and the other stories of the origin of raes are of the same kind. Frm such pables, n dobt,
many mythe had their origin.
According to another writer, the Seminole believed that man was orignaly formed rom the dy; that
the Grat Spirt submitted his reaction to the infence oa fi, bat that his gnorane o the degree of heat
neamary to give condmeny used the first batch to be overbaked, black and erurtb thoe wer the
aboriglns the gro ae. Again the Oreator essayed, bat endeavoring to avoid t error of the rmr
attsami, he plunsd Into another, that of applying too little fe They were in oosueqene but hal
baked,a pale ash olor. Tbe we on r first parents. But nthe third and lst effrtte Grest Master
heated peract models, both n shape and color, producing tothe world the founder o the Indian tribes
Narrative c Voyage to the Spanish Main in the Ship "Two Friends." London 81.)
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOJOGY
84. THE ORDERING OF FIELD WORK (5)
Away back in the first times God lived on the earth with men and
he so arranged it that their hoes, plows, and all other tools worked
without being guided. All a man had to do was to tell the hoe or
plow where he wanted work done and it was done by the tool itself.
One day God was passing a field where some young men were at
work clearing the ground. He asked them:
"What will you plant?" Said they, in derision, "Rocks."
When they returned to the field the next morning it was covered
with enormous rocks, so then they could plant nothing.
Another time God passed a house of mourning where a man was
lying dead in his coffin. He asked: "Why do you mourn?"
"Our friend is dead," sighed they. "He is not dead," said He,
and straightway the dead arose.
Some other young men thought they would deceive their Maker.
They put one of their number in a coffin and forthwith began to cry
aloud. God asked them: "Why do you cry?"
"Because our friend is dead," they said in pretended sadness.
"If he is dead, he is dead," said He, and when the box was opened,
lo, their friend was dead.
Some wicked women passed a field where the hoes and plows were
at work and said, "See what a foolish way to work."
"Since you are not contented with my plan, henceforth do the
work for yourselves," said He, and ever since the women have worked
85. THE DEvIL's TASKs (9, 10)
A man who was pretty well off was very fond of gambling with
cards, and one time he lost everything he owned. Then he deter-
mined to find the devil and get help from him, so he set out toward
the west. On the evening of the same day he met a man coming
along on a mule. The man asked, "Where are you going?" "I do
not know. They say there is a devil and I want to find him." "Why
do you want to see him?" "Because I have lost everything in gam-
bling," said the man. Then the stranger answered, "I am the devil.
If you want me to help you, you must work for me and I am a
pretty hard master, but if you wish you can try." However, the
gambler was so anxious to win back what he had lost that he agreed.
"I have only a quarter," said the devil, "but take it back to the place
where you lost and play again." Then the devil turned back and
the gambler also returned to his home. When he arrived he told the
people who had won from him that he was ready to play again.
"How much money have you?" they asked. "Only a quarter."
I Only the most patently European stories are pointed out in this manner. The actual number o
stories of European origin is very much greater.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
"Why, you can't do anything with that," they replied. However,
they started playing again and before long he won half of his property
back. Then he doubled the bet and won it all, and returned with
it to his home.
Some time later the gambler suddenly thought, "Why, I promised to
work for the devil. I will go and see about it." He went in the same
direction he. had before taken, passed far beyond the place where he
had encountered the devil, and finally came to a house. "Where
are you going?" they asked. "I promised to work for a man and I
am in search of him." "What is his name?" "His name is the devil."
"Down yonder there are three women in swimming. If you can steal
the clothes belonging to one of them, she will take you to him." These
were the devil's daughters. So the man did as he had been advised.
He stole the clothes belonging to one of the women and hid them,
concealing himself also. When the girls were ready to go home, two
of them found their clothes, but the clothes of the third were missing.
The third girl, therefore, remained in the water and called out, "If
some one will bring my clothes back, I will do what he wants." There-
fore, the man brought the girl's clothes to her, she put them on and
then asked him where he was going. "To see the devil," he replied.
"He is our father. Why do you want to see him?" "Iwas beaten
in gambling and he loaned me some money for which I agreed to
work for him." "Our father is a very bad man," she said, "but if
you wish we will take you to him."
When they got home the devil was there and he said to the new-
comer, "You are the man who was to work for me. You have come.
I do not work in the daytime. I work at night, so you can sleep
during the day." The man, therefore, rested all that day, and in
the evening the devil gave him some tools and told him to remove
before morning a high bald mountain which stood opposite. The
gambler found he could do nothing with it, but the irl whose clothes
he had stolen had offered to help him, so he went to her. "I can't
even cut into it," he said. "I will do it for you," she answered, and
they went back together. She took with her a kind of shovel and
when she had thrown a shovelful of earth north, west, south, and
east in succession the mountain was gone. "Lie here until morn-
ing," she said, and returned home.
The devil came at daybreak and the man said to him, "I have
completed that job." "You have done well," answered the devil;
"Go to sleep now and tonight I will give you another job."
So the man rested all of that day and in the evening the devil said,
"Over there in a lot are some horses. I want you to have them all
broken by daylight." The man went to the place and found a big
corral full of horses. He roped one of them but it escaped from him
along with the lariat. As he could do nothing with them, he went
BUREAU OF AMbMUCAN ETHNOLOGY "
to the girl again. She asked what the matter was and he replied,
"I roped a horse and it ran away with the lariat. I can do nothing
with them." Then the girl said, "I will do it," and together they
went to the place. She had a way of knocking them down by hitting
them on the knot back of the head. Then she mounted and rode
each, so that before morning she had all of them broken. She told
the man to wait there until day and then go and tell the devil that
he had accomplished his task. Upon hearing it the devil's wife said
to him, "Why, no one could compete with you formerly, but I think
you have met your match. I think he is going to gain one of your
At the words of his wife the devil became angry and said, "Well,
I will find out to-night whether he can compete with me." He
told the man to retire for the day and in the evening set him another
task. "My wife lost a fine gold ring down yonder in the creek.
You must get it by daylight." The man went to the creek but
could see nothing there except numbers of fish, so he had to come
back to the girl. He told her that he had come because he could
not make the first move toward accomplishing the task he had been
set. "I will do it," she said. "A fish swallowed the ring. Cut me
in pieces and throw me into the water and we will get the ring."
He hated to do that and put it off until after midnight, but at last
he killed her, cut her in pieces joint by joint, and threw all into
the water except a joint of one of the fingers which was left on land.
She was gone for a long time but at length came up in her proper
form bringing a big fish. "Cut that fish open," she said, and when
he had done so he found the ring inside. Then the girl told him to
remain where he was until daylight as he had done before and after-
wards go and tell the devil. She added, "I know that your next
task will be to drain all of the water out of that lake."
The man did as he had been told and when he presented the
ring the devil's wife said to her husband, "You used to brag that
no one could compete with you and here is one man who is
going to do it and win your daughter, and indeed has already done
so." This angered the devil again, but he told the man to rest
until evening. At night the devil came to him and said, "Over yonder
is a big lake. Go and bail the water all out of it." He was given
a dipper and set to work bailing up the water and pouring it off,
but it appeared to him that he was doing nothing at all, so he went
to the devil's daughter once more. As before, she agreed to help
him and they set out. She took with her four hollow reeds and with
each of these she dipped out water toward the north, west, south,
and east in turn, whereupon the lake vanished. Telling the man
to remain where he was and inform her father in the morning, she
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
Therefore, about daybreak the man went to the devil and said,
"I have completed that task you set me." Then the devil said,
"I will give you one of my daughters if you will dance four times
with each of them and pick out the same one four times in succession."
The man picked out the girl who had helped him four times in suc-
cession by means of the missing finger joint, and the devil gave
her to him.
But as soon as the pair retired to their room the girl said, "My
father is very mean. We must leave the house and run away."
They did so immediately, but before they went she left a bubble
of saliva in the middle of the floor. Then they climbed upon the
back of the devil's mule and started off.
In the morning the devil came to their door and called out, but
there was no reply and he thought, "They are probably still asleep."
When he called again the saliva answered for them and thus delayed
him for a considerable time. At last he discovered that they were
gone and he set out after them, but was unable to overtake them
and turned back.
When the man came in sight of his own home, he said to his wife,
"Yonder is my home. I will go on ahead and see it." "If you do
you will forget me," she replied. The man persisted, however,
and sure enough his wife went entirely out of his head. One time
as he was sitting at the table he whirled a biscuit on it which turned
into a dove and flew away. This was the woman he had left. It
flew out into the wilderness, and because it was abandoned it now
has a lonesome way of calling.
86. THE BOY AND THE LION1
A Lion used to kill many people.
In the same country lived a very poor man with five sons. One
time, having nothing to eat, he gave a knife to each of his sons and
told him to go out to earn wages. The boys traveled on until they
came to a place where five roads met. They said to one another,
"We will stick up our knives here and if anyone takes them find out
who it is." So each stuck his knife up in one of the roads, and started
on down the same road.
The smallest boy started off on the faintest trail, and presently
came to a beautiful house with a fence around it. An old woman
came out of this house and said, "What are you doing?" When she
learned that he and his brothers had been sent out to work for wages,
she said, "I have no children. Come and live with me." So the
boy made his home with her.
I Compare preeding story.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
All the time he was there he kept hearing guns discharged. Some-
times he would hear one discharged early in the morning and some-
times it would be late in the evening. "Mother," he inquired, "why
are those guns discharged?" The woman answered, "There is
a big Lion about catching people and they are shooting at it."
"Mother, I believe I will go and see," he said, but she replied, "No;
I think you couldn't do anything. Lions kill people and this one
would kill such. a little thing as you." "Well, I want to see him
very much," said the boy, and he kept teasing her this way until at
last she said, "You have wanted to go for so long that I suppose you
must, though I think you will never come back. I suppose you are
going to take your little dog along." "I am going to kill that Lion,"
said the boy, but his foster mother replied, "He has killed lots of
better people than you and I suppose when you start away from here
it will be the last of you."
The boy set out early next morning and before night came to the
place where the Lion lived. He was sitting in front of a rock
house with rock foundation and rock steps surrounded by a kind of
fence. "My little friend, what have you come for?" said the Lion.
"Come in and let us talk." "That is precisely why I came," said
the boy. The little dog lay down by the door and his master and
the Lion entered, the Lion saying as they did so, "Comeand have a
look through my rooms." So the Lion led him through two rooms
in which were many interesting things. In the third room the Lion
had a great many guns and in the fourth a lot of sabers. "What
do you do with these?" asked the boy. "They are to tickle a person's
neck." "Let me tickle your's first," said the boy, "and then you
can tickle mine," but the Lion refused. "Well," said the boy, "I
will lie on my back and whistle four times and after that, if you can
tickle my neck, you may do so."
Then the boy lay on his back and emitted a long whistle. The
second was still longer, and when he was only halfway through the
third in came the little dog, now grown to the size of a lion, seized the
Lion by the thigh and tore off his leg. In consequence the Lion, who
was about to tickle his guest with a saber, lost his balance and fell
over. The boy encouraged his dog still further and he tore off the
other hind leg of the Lion. "That is what I thought I would do to
you," said the boy.
"If you will keep him away from me and spare my life," said the
Lion, "I will giveyou something good." The boy agreed and the
Lion continued, "Under the place where I am lying is a twenty-dollar
gold piece. As long as you keep this you will have good luck." The
boy hunted for this piece of money but after he had found it he set
his dog on the Lion again. The dog seized him by the throat and bit
his head off, but as soon as he let go the head rolled back and reunited
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
with the body. After this had happened several times the boy got
a saber, split the Lion's jaw with it, and cut out his tongue. Then he
did not revive again.
Afterwards the boy set his house on fire and the domestic cats
which lived with him and were his cooks (inhompita haya) ran off to
the villages. Then the boy himself set out to return to the house
of the old woman, carrying the gold piece and the Lion's tongue.
On his way back the boy came to a man hewing logs, and the man
said, "You passed here intending to visit the Lion. Did you see him?
Evidently you did not or you would not have come back." The boy
answered that he had not only seen him but had killed him. "What
proof have you?" said the man. "Many people greater than you
could not kill him. You are just talking." "That might have been
so with other people, but I killed him." "Then show me something
to prove it." Then the boy took the Lion's tongue out of a little
bag and said, "Here it is. Here is his tongue." "Welll" replied
the man, "I did not think that such a little thing as you could have
killed him, but you have done so. Let me have the tongue." "Do
you really want it?" "Yes." "Well, let me chop your finger off
and I will give it to you." The man agreed, and after the boy had
cut off the end of his finger he took it back to his foster mother while
the man carried the Lion's tongue into the village.
When the old woman saw her foster child return she said, "Did
you find the Lion?" "I found him and killed him and have come
home." "Son, better men than you have gone to kill him and never
returned. What proof have you that you did kill him? Show me
something." So the boy showed her the man's finger and told her
he had gotten it in exchange for the tongue of the Lion. "What else
have you by way of proof?" she asked. "Another sign," he replied,
"is a twenty-dollar gold piece." He showed this to his mother also
and she said, "You are in luck. Go east and provide yourself with
a good home." The word was (or it was reported) that there was
a man living in the east who had a twenty-dollar gold piece which
87. THE ANIMAL HELPERS
A man on a considerable journey stopped to eat his lunch beside
a creek. Then a big black Ant came out and said, "Give me a piece
of bread. Sometime I may help you out of trouble." So he gave it
some bread. By and by he heard some talking in the water, and some
small Minnows came up and said the same thing. He gave the Min-
nows some bread also. Then a red-headed Woodpecker came and
asked for bread, which he again gave to it.
After this the man went on again and came to a town (talofa).
There was a lot of wheat at a certain place in that town, and the
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
people told him that he must move it and put it in barrels by morning
or they would kill him. So they tied him down on the wheat and went
away. By and by up came the black Ant which he had fed and asked
him what the matter was. The man told him, and the Ant immedi-
ately went away and brought back a multitude of Ants, who soon
had the barrels full. Next morning the people paid him for what he
had done, but said that the next night he must dig up a certain tree,
root and all, or they would kill him. This time the Woodpecker came
to him and asked what the matter was. "I am in trouble," he said,
and he related what had been imposed upon him. Then the Wood-
pecker flew up and told the lightning and the lightning came down
and tore the tree up, roots and all, so that in the morning the people
paid him for that. They told him, however, that a horse loaded with
gold had been drowned in a neighboring creek and that they would
spare him if he found it by the following morning. So they tied him
again and laid him on the bank of the creek. By and by the little
Fishes he had fed came and said, "My friend, what is the matter
with you?" He told them, and they went down and brought all the
money to land, but they said that they could not get the horse for
the snakes (hotisAgi)1 alone could do that, and they were only order-
lies (hola'tilgi). They made a pillow of the sack of gold under his
head. The town people paid him for all the work he had done, and
he went home a rich man.
88. A BEAR DRIVE
The grandfather of my informant told the following story. When
his people were still on the Washita they agreed to have a bear
drive, so they prepared "drifts" (fences) of brush and other stuff
leading down to the creek. Then they sent the young people and
all their dogs up the creek while the older men waited behind the
fence. As the bears came on down and encountered the brush they
reared up on their hind legs and were then shot down by the hunters
from behind the screen. Guns were going off and cubs squalling in
every direction. My informant's grandfather was about to shoot the
biggest bear but could not get his gun ready in time and another
shot before him. But the bear ran off and crossed the Washita to
a big prairie at the other end of which was a bluff, the dogs following.
Finally they got him way out on the prairie and after many shots
finally killed him. He was a fine big one and everyone claimed him.
All were disputing over him. There was one man very much behind
the others who came running up to them late. They said to him,
"We are having a great dispute here." Finally all agreed to give
this last comer the hide, which was the most important thing Then
they ceased their contentions and went home.
I This sms to be a metaphorial term meaning thoses one s afraid o." Tedtto is the usal word "or
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
89. A LEGEND RECORDED BY BAxTwAM
The following quotation from Bartram1 gives another mythic
tale, which is added by way of supplement.
"The river St. Mary has its source from a vast lake, or marsh,
called Ouaquaphenogaw, which lies between Flint and Oakmulge
rivers, and occupies a space of near 300 miles in circuit. This
vast accumulation of waters in the wet season appears as a lake,
and contains some large islands or knolls of rich high land, one of
which the present generation of the Creeks represent to be a most
blissful spot of the earth; they say it is inhabited by a peculiar race
of Indians, whose women are incomparably beautiful; they also tell
you that this terrestrial paradise has been seen by some of their enter-
prising hunters, when in pursuit of game, who being lost in inex-
tricable swamps and bogs, and on the point of perishing, were unex-
pectedly relieved by a company of beautiful women, whom they call
daughters of the sun, who kindly gave them such provisions as they
had with them, which were chiefly fruits, oranges, dates, etc., and
some corn cakes, and then enjoined them to fly for safety to their
own country; for that their husbands were fierce men, and cruel to
strangers; they further say that these hunters had a view of their
settlements, situated on the elevated banks of an island, or promon-
tory, in a beautiful lake; but that in their endeavors to approach it
they were involved in perpetual labyrinths, and, like enchanted
land, still as they imagined they had just gained it, it seemed to fly
before them, alternately appearing and disappearing. They resolved,
at length, to leave the delusive pursuit and to return; which, after
a number of inexpressible difficulties, they effected. When they
reported their adventures to their countrymen, their young warriors
were inflamed with an irresistible desire to invade, and make a con-
quest of, so charming a country, but all their attempts have proved
abortive, [they] never having been able again to find that enchanting
spot, nor even any road or pathway to it; yet they say that they
frequently meet with certain signs of its being inhabited, as the build-
ing of canoes, footsteps of men, etc. They tell another story con-
cerning the inhabitants of this sequestered country, which seems
probable enough, which is, that they are the posterity of a fugitive
remnant of the ancient Yamases, who escaped massacre after a
bloody and decisive conflict between them and the Creek nation
(who, it is certain, conquered, and nearly exterminated that once
powerful people), and here found an asylum, remote and secure from
the fury of their proud conquerors."
I Win. Brtram, Travels, Dublin, 179, pp. 24-26. This tale was made the subject o a poem by the
poetess Felisa Hemans.
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90. THE CREATION OF THE EAraH (1)
(A T Cm BTORY)
In the beginning the waters covered everything. It was said
"Who will make the land appear?"
Lock-chew,' the Crawfish, said: "I will make the land appear."
So he went down to the bottom of the water and began to stir
up the mud with his tail and hands. He then brought up the mud
to a certain place and piled it up.
The owners of the land at the bottom of the water said:
"Who is disturbing our land?" They kept watch and discovered
the Crawfish. Then they came near him, but he suddenly stirred
the mud with his tail so that they could not see him.
"Lock-chew continued his work. He carried mud and piled it
up until at last he held up his hands in the air, and so the land appeared
above the water.
The land was soft. It was said: "Who will spread out the land
and make it dry and hard?" Some said: "Ah-yok, the Hawk,
should spread out the soft land and make it dry." Others said
"Yah-tee, the Buzzard, has larger wings; he can spread out the land
and make it dry and hard."
Yah-tee undertook to spread out and dry the earth. He flew
above the earth and spread out his long wings over it. He sailed
over the earth; he spread it out. After a long while he grew tired
of holding out his wings. He began to flap them, and thus he caused
the hills and valleys because the dirt was still soft.
"Who will make the light?" it was said. It was very dark.
Yohah, the Star, said, "I will make the light."
It was so agreed. The Star shone forth. It was light only near
"Who will make more light?" it was said.
Shar-pah, the Moon, said: "I will make more light." Shar-pah
made more light, but it was still dark.
T-cho, the Sun, said: "You are my children, I am your mother,
I will make the light. I will shine for you."
She went to the east. Suddenly light spread over all the earth.
As she passed over the earth a drop of blood fell from her to the
ground, and from this blood and earth sprang the first people, the
children of the Sun, the Uchees.
The people wished to find their medicine. A great monster ser-
pent destroyed the people. They cut his head from his body. The
next day the body and head were together. They again slew the
monster. His head again grew to his body.
I These names are in the Yuchi language
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN INDIANS
Then they cut off his head and placed it on top of a tree, so that
the body could not reach it. The next morning the tree was dead
and the head was united to the body. They again severed it and
put it upon another tree. In the morning the tree was dead and
the head and body were reunited.
The people continued to try all the trees in the forest. At last
they placed the head over the Tar, the cedar tree, and in the morning
the head was dead. The cedar was alive, but covered with blood,
which had trickled down from the head.
Thus the Great Medicine was found.
Fire was made by boring with a stick into a hard weed.
The people selected a second family. Each member of this family
had engraved on his door a picture of the sun.
In the beginning all the animals could talk, and but one language
was used. All were at peace. The deer lived in a cave,.watched
over by a keeper and the people were hungry. He selected a deer
and killed it. But finally the deer were set free and roved over the
All animals were set free from man, and names were given to
them, so that they could be known.
91. THE MONKEY GIRL
(AN AFRICAN BTORY)
An old woman lived with her grandson, who was a great hunter.
They had a field of corn which the raccoons and monkeys destroyed,
and though the young man killed a great many of them, the destruc-
tion went on. One day two pretty girls came to see the old lady.
She did not like them, but the grandson fell in love with one of them
and married her. When he went out to hunt he would ask his wife
to watch the corn for him, and every day she went to the field. Strange
to say, the corn disappeared faster while she was watching than at
other times. Then the youth's grandmother told him to follow
his wife and watch her closely when she went to the field. He did
do and saw her turn into a monkey and sing a song as follows:
0o BUItRAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY [nu.
While she was singing the monkeys came in troops and destroyed
the corn. The youth returned to his grandmother and told her what
he had seen, whereupon she told him to take his fiddle and play the
tune and sing the song, and when his wife returned to sing it to her.
On her return he said to her, "I know a fine song; listen," and he
began her song:
Then she cried, raved, and twisted until she turned into a monkey
and ran away.
1. BEAR, TIGER, RATTLESNAKE, AND FIRE (12)
Fire was going to teach Bear,- Tiger,1 and Rattlesnake together
while they fasted.' While Fire was teaching them, all were to stay
in one place, but Bear got tired and ran away. They had said Bear
was to receive a rattle, and when he ran away Bear took the rattle
with him and disappeared.
Next day Fire said, "Bear started off, but did not get far from us;
he is lying asleep near by." The rest had remained together.
He taught Tiger, Bear, and Rattlesnake together fof three years.
Bear, who was to have received the rattle, had it taken away from
him, and it was given to Rattlesnake. Fire said to the latter, "You
must always carry this." Fire gave him the rattle and to him and the
other two all kinds of knowledge.
Then Fire went away. He set out fires and scattered the fire.
The rain fell to put it out, but could not do so, and it spread. It
continued raining, but in vain, and when it stopped all men received
fire. The fire was distributed. When the red men received knowl-
edge it is said that it was through the fire that they received it. So
it is said.
2. THE ORIGIN OF TOBACCO (15)
A man had lost his horses and was looking for them. A woman
was also hunting for horses. They, the man and the woman, met and
talked to each other. They sat talking together under a hickory tree
which cast a good shade. The woman said, "I am hunting for some
horses that have been hidden away." The man said,"I am also hunt-
ing for horses." As they sat talking something occurred to the man
and he spoke to his companion as follows, "I am hunting about for
horses; you too are hunting about for horses. Let us be friends,
and lie here together, after which we will start on." The woman
considered the matter and said, "All right." Both lay down, and
when they got up the man went on his way and the woman went on
Next summer the man was looking for horses again and happened
to pas near the place where he and the woman had talked. The man
thought, "I will go by that place just to look at it." When he got
there he saw that a weed had grown up right where they had lain,
but he did not know what it was. He stood looking at it for a while
and then started off. He traveled on and told the old men about it.
I Meaing Panther.
* Thfs is in accordance with the old usage when youths were initiated into the secrets of mbdice.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
He said, "I saw something like this and this growing," and one
answered, "Examine it to see.whether it is good. When it is ripe we
will find out what it is."
Afterwards the man started off to look at it. He saw that it had
grown still bigger. He dug close about it to soften the soil and it grew
still better. He took care of it and saw the leaves grow larger. When
it blossomed the flowers were pretty, and he saw that they were big.
When they ripened the seeds were very small. He took the seeds
from the hull, gathered leaves, and took them to the old men. They
looked at these but did not know what the plant was. After they
had looked at them in vain for some time they gave it up.
Then one of them pulverized the leaves and put them into a cob
pipe, lighted it and smoked it. The aroma was grateful. All of the
old men said, "The leaves of the thing are good," and they named it.
They called it hitci (which means both "see" and "tobacco"), they
say. Therefore woman and man together created tobacco.'
3. THE ORIGIN OF WOLVES
A doctor made the Wolf. That doctor while traveling along took
up a pine cone lying in the trail. He carried it along and presently
found another in the trail and took that. He held one in each
hand, sang, and blew upon them. He went on with them, and came
to a fork in the trail. He stopped, sang, blew on them, and struck
them together. After he had stood there with them for a while he
rolled one of them along upon one trail and the other down the other
trail. Both of the pine cones then turned into Wolves. But they were
weak and their feet were not stout. They came back to where the
When they got there that man blew on his hands and felt of the
Wolves' backs. He blew on both of his hands and felt of the backs.
After he did this the Wolves grew stouter, and the man said to them,
"Both of you go along on this trail until you come to where a man lives
who has much property. What he eats, you eat with him." After he
had so spoken, the Wolves started along barking and scratching up
After they had gone, that man was sorry. He thought, "I am
worthless for having done that." He went along on the other trail,-
but from that time on the Wolves have disturbed the stock.
It has been told.
4. THE BOY AND THE WIZARD (38)
Two old people, an old woman and her husband, and the nephew
of the latter, were living together. One evening the boy went visit-
ing and the old people were alone in the house. When it was dark
I As to the orin o the name see p. 19.
MYTHS OF THE SOUTHASTBU N INDIANS
the boy came back. The door of the house was shut and he heard
them talking inside. He went to a corner and stood listening to
them. While he stood there one of them said, "Let's go round."
"All right," the other answered. After they had gone out, the boy
went in, turned down the bedclothes, and got into bed. He lay
there waiting for those old people. One made a noise like a horned
owl, and he heard the other sound like that also. While he was still
lying there they left the house, but presently he again heard the
sound coming back. After going round and round the house they
came in. While they were getting the bed ready to lie down in,
the old woman turned over the bedding and found the boy lying
there. "Did you hear us go out?" she said. "Were you there
while we were around?" "I heard," he said. "Well, do not tell
anyone about us. If you do not tell anyone about us, when we are
both dead all the things in this house shall be yours." "I will not
tell," he answered, and all went to sleep.
Next day a little girl who lived near fell sick and died. The old
woman heard people crying and started out. When she got to the
place, she went to where the little girl was lying dead, dropped
upon her body and wept and rolled about upon it. The boy had an
arrow. He got to the place and saw her. The old woman saw him
and stopped crying. When she started back the little boy came up
and spoke to those people. He said, "Last night that old woman
bewitched her so that she died." When he said so, they exclaimed,
"That old woman has killed her." They followed her to her house.
When she got there the old man was sitting outside sunning him-
self. She came up and said, "Come in. They want to kill us,"
and he ran in and shut the door. Then the people surrounded the
house and set it on fire and both were burned.
This is how it is told.
5. THE MAN-EATING BIRD
Several persons went out to hunt and traveled about for some
time. One night some unknown person carried off one of them,
and they started on without him. They traveled along and camped
again and that night another person disappeared, only one being
left. There was a puppy with them and in the morning the man
and the puppy started on together. After they had traveled for
some time night came, and the puppy said, "Creep into that hollow
log and I will sit at the opening and watch." When he spoke thus
that man went inside of the hollow log, and while he was sitting
there he heard something coming making a noise. The puppy
sitting at the opening barked. Then the thing reached them and
began scratching on the hollow log. While he was doing so the
puppy said to the man, "If he scratches a hole through the hollow
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY
log, you must tie his claw," so the man prepared something with
which to tie it, and after he had waited for some time the creature
finally made a hole and he tied its claw. But when day came the
claw of the thing that had been carrying people away came off
and he disappeared.
Then the man and dog started along. They traveled about, and
presently fund some big eggs. They both sat down in that nest,
and when night came some strange thing like a big bird came along
in the sky and sat upon the eggs. It covered the man completely.
While it was there and the man was sitting under it, the man-eater
came making a noise. When it got there, he heard it attack the
big bird sitting on the eggs. The man sat there for a while, and then
the man-eater disappeared and did not come back. It was gone for
good and when day came the thing sitting on the eggs flew toward
the sky. After it started off that man left, traveled along and reached
home. "Something like that (describing what it resembled)
devoured them," he said.
6. THE VISIT TO THE NEST OF THE MONSTER BIRD (27)
A man out hunting saw a Big-crow coming, against which people
were very much on their guard because it caught human beings. The
man ran away. He got inside of a hollow log, but it took him up,
hollow log and all. The Big-crow flew with it toward the sky. "He
went along," said the man, "and left me at a rocky place where two
baby Big-crows sat. There I remained." While the baby Big-crows
were growing up that man played with them. After he had made
them very tame that man sat on a Big-crow, and it flew out and back
with him. Then he considered the matter and thought to himself,
"I might do this way and so get down to the ground."
Then he made a drumstick, mounted one of the birds, and flew off
on it. After he had gone a little way he struck it on the back of its
head with the drumstick and made it fall so that it went lower down.
When it tried to go up he struck it on the back of its head with his
drumstick and it again went down. When he could see the trees he
kept on until he struck them and then he got clear down on the ground
and dismounted. He struck the baby Big-crow to drive it away.
Then the man started on, reached his people, and told them about his
This is the way they tell it.
7. A STRANGE TURKEY CATCHES PEOPLE AND CARzIEz THEM UP
TO THE SKY (39)
A Turkey used to catch men and carry them up to the sky. When
they discovered this, many people gathered at the busk ground to find
someone who could kill the Turkey when it came. Black Snake was