Sacred Texts  Native American  Southeast  Index  Previous  Next 


(Tuggle collection)

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 Bear's wife.

p. 56

"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 day.

"Where do you live?" asked the Bear. Pointing to an old sedge-grass field, the Rabbit replied, "Way over yonder in that big white house."

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 Rabbit'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.

Next: 62. How Rabbit Won His Wife's Sister For His Second Wife