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Native American Legends

The race of the Antelope and Deer

A Tachi Yokut Legend

The antelope and the deer were together. The antelope said: "I can beat you running."

The deer said: "I think not."

The antelope said: "Well, let us try."

The deer said: "We shall run for six days," and the antelope agreed. The deer said: "Let us go south and run northward."

Then they went far to the south "across the ocean" [or Tulare Lake], in order to run northward to the end of the world. The antelope said: "This will be my path on the west here. You take the path on the east." The deer agreed.

Then they started. Their path was the milky way. On the side where the antelope ran there is a wide path; on the other side there are patches. That is where the deer jumped. The antelope had said: "If I win, all this will be my country and you will have to bide in the brush."

The deer said: "Very well, and if I win it will be the same for me." Then they ran and the antelope won. So now he has the plains to live in, but the deer hides in the brush.

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