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(Tuggle collection)

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 starting out."

"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 Rabbit.

When he saw the Alligator so far from the water the Rabbit laughed to himself. He ran across the prairie till he reached a burning stump, got a chunk of fire, and returned to a spot near his confiding 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 prairie, 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

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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.

Next: 56. Terrapin Races