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Long ago Rabbit and Bear were living near each other in the mountains. They bet their lives on being able to scare each other. Bear said to Rabbit, "You begin." Rabbit said to Bear, "You begin. You invited me to this contest." Bear went off to make himself ready. Rabbit sat down by a piñon tree. Bear called, "I am ready." "Come on then." Bear came, out. He charged upon Rabbit. He growled and ground his teeth together. Rabbit just sat still. She sang a song:

You will scare me, bear, bear,
You will scare me terribly.

[paragraph continues] Bear charged down on her again. Rabbit just sat still. Bear came right up to Rabbit. "You didn't get scared at all." "Of course not. You can't scare me. You won't eat me up." "All right, it's your turn. I didn't scare you at all." "All right." Rabbit went again to get ready for her turn. She went off where Bear had gone. Bear sat down by a piñon tree.

Rabbit said, "Are you ready?" "Yes; ready." "I'm coming." She was hiding behind a tree and she came out. She had taken off her skin (i. e., dress). It was just sunrise when she came out. Bear saw her all skinned. The sunrise struck red all over her. Bear thought flames were coming out from her ears. Bear was afraid. He ran as fast as he could. Rabbit came after him, chasing him. [paragraph continues]

p. 158

She called, "Don't run. I'm going to kill you, Great Bear. Don't run." Rabbit sang:

Come, all the beasts of mountain,
Deer, and coyote,
And the animals that hunt.
See the Great Bear running.

They all came and joined in pursuit. They all caught the Bear. They called, "Kill him, kill him, give Rabbit the meat." Rabbit said, "You can have the skin. Take all the skin for your nests for bedding to sleep on. I won't take anything, just the claws of Bear."

Rabbit went home and took the claws. When she got home, she made a necklace of the bear claws. In the morning Rabbit put the necklace on, and went for fire to the den where Bear had lived. Rabbit said, "Hello." "Hello. What is it you have come for?" "I've come for fire." "Take it, take it!" said Little Bears. They were sitting around the fireplace. She came in and took fire. When she had the coals, she said, "I'm going." "All right." She went up the ladder. When she got to within two steps of the top, Rabbit said, "Just see what I have around my neck." "We don't know what that is." "It's bear claws. I've got them for my necklace." When she said this, she ran off as fast as she could. The little bears ran after her. She got to the rocks where she had a hole. She ran into her hole. The bears came there, "Now we are going to kill you," they said. They tried to dig her out. They couldn't get at her, because they could not dig through rocks. They wore out all their claws. Blood ran from them. Rabbit sang from inside--

Poor things, poor little bears,
You can't get at me.

[paragraph continues] Rabbit said to the bears, "Go and get cactus and put the spiny stalks down the hole and you'll get me out." The two little bears got cactus and stuck them down the hole. Rabbit began nibbling and she stored all the cactus away for food for the winter. Rabbit said, "Go and get akwi (sage brush?). Put it down my hole and you'll get me out." They brought it and stuck it down to her. Rabbit nibbled the leaves, and she stored it away for food for winter. "Poor little bears, that's enough. Thank you very much. You've brought me enough food for this winter. Now you may go home. It's too rocky for you to get me and I have food now for all winter." The two little bears cried. They said, "You are mean. You have fooled us." They went to their home.


157:1 Informant 1. Notes, p. 242.

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