Sacred Texts  Native American  Southeast  Index  Previous  Next 


Several Indians were out together and formed a hunting camp. A hunter came back one evening and said, "I have found a big bear tree." He told the rest of the hunters and they said to one another, "To-morrow morning we will set out, build a fire there and smoke the she bear out so that we can see her." They slept and next day started off and came to the place.

When they got to where the big tree stood it looked as if something lived there, and they said to one another, "A bear surely lives here," so they started a fire under it. The smoke filled up the hollow inside and soon a big lizard came out. The people saw it and ran away. The big lizard jumped down and gave chase. It ran along till it caught one of them and came back with him. It came with him to

p. 97

the big tree and threw him down into it. Then it chased another and did the same to each in turn--overtook, caught, and brought him back.

Only one was left. It chased him and after it had gone a long distance overtook him and brought him back. When it was coming through a place where the trees were thick, a tiger (or panther) was lying asleep in it. When the big lizard got there with the man, the tiger awoke and jumped upon it. The lizard let the man go and jumped upon the panther in turn and they began to fight. While they were about it the man whom the big lizard had caught, who was still alive, acted as though he were dead. He lay still and watched the big lizard who had brought him fighting the other big creature. They fought until they hurt each other. The big lizard did not go back for the man. It went on without looking for him. The tiger was also hurt. It sat there dying. The man saw this, jumped up, and ran away. Of the people who had gone far away from their homes to hunt only one came back. He told his people how the big lizard had killed all of the others.

This is how it is told.

Next: 16. The Hunter and the Tie-Snake