Native American Legends
How Rabbit fooled Wolf
An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown
Two pretty girls lived not far from Rabbit and Wolf. One day Rabbit
called upon Wolf and said, "Let's go and visit those pretty
girls up the road."
"All right," Wolf said, and they started off.
When they got to the girls' house, they were invited in, but both
girls took a great liking to Wolf and paid all their attention to
him while Rabbit had to sit by and look on. Rabbit of course was
not pleased by this, and he soon said, "We had better be going
"Let's wait a while longer," Wolf replied, and they remained
until late in the day. Before they left, Rabbit found a chance to
speak to one of the girls so that Wolf could not overhear and he
said, "The one you've been having so much fun with is my old
"I think you are lying," the girl replied.
"No, I am not. You shall see me ride him up here tomorrow."
"If we see you ride him up here," the girl said with
a laugh, "we'll believe he's only your old horse."
When the two left the house, the girls said, "Well, call again."
Next morning Wolf was up early, knocking on Rabbit's door. "It's
time to visit those girls again," he announced.
Rabbit groaned. "Oh, I was sick all night," he answered,
"and I hardly feel able to go."
Wolf kept urging him, and finally Rabbit said, "If you will
let me ride you, I might go along to keep you company."
Wolf agreed to carry him astride of his back. But then Rabbit said,
"I would like to put a saddle on you so as to brace myself"
When Wolf agreed to this, Rabbit added: "I believe it would
be better if I should also bridle you."
Although Wolf objected at first to being bridled, he gave in when
Rabbit said he did not think he could hold on and manage to get
as far as the girls' house without a bridle. Finally Rabbit wanted
to put on spurs.
"I am too ticklish," Wolf protested.
"I will not spur you with them," Rabbit promised. "I
will hold them away from you, but it would be nicer to have them
At last Wolf agreed to this, but he repeated: "I am very ticklish.
You must not spur me."
"When we get near the girls' house," Rabbit said, "we
will take everything off you and walk the rest of the way."
And so they started up the road, Rabbit proudly riding upon Wolf's
back. When they were nearly in sight of the house, Rabbit raked
his spurs into Wolf's sides and Wolf galloped full speed right by
"Those girls have seen you now," Rabbit said. "I
will tie you here and go up to see them and try to explain everything.
I'll come back after a while and get you."
And so Rabbit went back to the house and said to the girls: "You
both saw me riding my old horse, did you not?"
"Yes," they answered, and he sat down and had a good
time with them.
After a while Rabbit thought he ought to untie Wolf, and he started
back to the place where he was fastened. He knew that Wolf must
be very angry with him by this time, and he thought up a way to
untie him and get rid of him without any danger to himself. He found
a thin hollow log and began beating upon it as if it were a drum.
Then he ran up to Wolf as fast as he could go, crying out: "The
soldiers are hunting for you! You heard their drum. The soldiers
are after you."
Wolf was very much frightened of soldiers. "Let me go, let
me go!" he shouted.
Rabbit was purposely slow in untying him and had barely freed him
when Wolf broke away and ran as fast as he could into the woods.
Then Rabbit returned home, laughing to himself over how he had fooled
Wolf, and feeling satisfied that he could have the girls to himself
for a while.
Near the girls' house was a large peach orchard, and one day they
asked Rabbit to shake the peaches off the tree for them. They went
to the orchard together and he climbed up into a tree to shake the
peaches off. While he was there Wolf suddenly appeared and called
out: "Rabbit, old fellow, I'm going to even the score with
you. I'm not going to leave you alone until I do."
Rabbit raised his head and pretended to be looking at some people
off in the distance. Then he shouted from the treetop: "Here
is that fellow, Wolf, you've been hunting for!" At this, Wolf
took fright and ran away again.
Some time after this, Rabbit was resting against a tree-trunk that
leaned toward the ground. When he saw Wolf coming along toward him,
he stood up so that the bent tree-trunk pressed against his shoulder.
"I have you now," said Wolf, but Rabbit quickly replied:
"Some people told me that if I would hold this tree up with
the great power I have they would bring me four hogs in payment.
Now, I don't like hog meat as well as you do, so if you take my
place they'll give the hogs to you."
Wolf's greed was excited by this, and he said he was willing to
hold up the tree. He squeezed in beside Rabbit, who said, "You
must hold it tight or it will fall down." Rabbit then ran off,
and Wolf stood with his back pressed hard against the bent tree-
trunk until he finally decided he could stand it no longer. He jumped
away quickly so the tree would not fall upon him. Then he saw that
it was only a leaning tree rooted in the Earth. "That Rabbit
is the biggest liar," he cried. "If I can catch him I'll
certainly fix him."
After that, Wolf hunted for Rabbit every day until he found him
lying in a nice grassy place. He was about to spring upon him when
Rabbit said, "My friend, I've been waiting to see you again.
I have something good for you to eat. Somebody killed a pony out
there in the road. If you wish I'll help you drag it out of the
road to a place where you can make a feast off it."
"All right," Wolf said, and he followed Rabbit out to
the road where a pony was lying asleep.
"I'm not strong enough to move the pony by myself," said
Rabbit, "so I'll tie its tail to yours and help you by pushing."
Rabbit tied their tails together carefully so as not to awaken
the pony. Then he grabbed the pony by the ears as if he were going
to lift it up. The pony woke up, jumped to its feet, and ran away,
dragging Wolf behind. Wolf struggled frantically to free his tail,
but all he could do was scratch on the ground with his claws.
"Pull with all your might," Rabbit shouted after him.
"How can I pull with all my might," Wolf cried, "when
I'm not standing on the ground?"
By and by, however, Wolf got loose, and then Rabbit had to go into
hiding for a long, long time.
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