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The Algonquin Legends of New England, by Charles G. Leland, [1884], at

III. Of the Adventure with Mooin, the Bear; it being the Third and Last Time that Master Rabbit made a Fool of himself.

Now, truly, one would think that after all that had befallen Master Mahtigwess, the Rabbit, that he would have had enough of trying other people's trades; but his nature was such that, having once set his mighty mind to a thing, little short of sudden death would cure him. And being one day with the Bear in his cave, he beheld with great wonder how Mooin fed his folk. For, having put a great pot on the fire, he did but cut a little slice from his own foot and drop it into the boiling water, when it spread and grew into a mess of meat which served for all. 1 Nay, there was a great piece given to Rabbit to take home to feed his family.

"Now, truly," he said, "this is a thing which I can indeed do. Is it not recorded in the family wampum that whatever a Bear can do well a Rabbit can do better?" So, in fine, he invited his friend to come and dine with him, Ketkewopk', the day after to-morrow.

And the Bear being there, Rabbit did but say, "Noogume' kuesawal' wohu!" "Grandmother, set your pot to boiling!" And, whetting his knife on a

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stone, he tried to do as the Bear had done; but little did he get from his small, thin soles, though he cut himself madly and sadly.

"What can he be trying to do?" growled the guest.

"Ah!" sighed the grandmother, "something which he has seen some one else do."

"Ho! I say there! Give me the knife," quoth Bruin. And, getting it, he took a slice from his sole, which did him no harm, and then, what with magic and fire, gave them a good dinner. But Master Rabbit was in sad case, and it was many a day ere he got well.


212:1 Mr. Rand observes that this is evidently an allusion to the bear's being supposed to live during the winter by sucking his own paws.

Next: IV. Relating how the Rabbit became Wise by being Original, and of the Terrible Tricks which he by Magic played Loup-Cervier, the Wicked Wild Cat