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(Tuggle collection)

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 find 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 sing:

"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 tone:

"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

p. 48

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.

Next: 48. Raccoon Gets a Deer For Panther