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(Tuggle collection)

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

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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 serpent 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 approached to take her hand the warrior stepped within the circle and said:

"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."

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