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Native American Legends

Two Fawns and a Rabbit

An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown

Two young Fawns sat on the ground talking about their condition. They were two boys without a mother. "We used to have a deer for our mother," they said. Rabbit came to them and said "I'm hungry. I've traveled without eating, and I've come a long way."

The Fawns said, "We have nothing to eat here; our food is not here." Where is it?" asked Rabbit. "It is not here, I say to you again," said one Fawn.

Rabbit said, "Tell me where it is, I am hungry and I want to eat." He continued talking about the Fawns' food for a long time. But they concealed from him how they obtained it.

Then Rabbit said, "I think you both are too lazy to get the food. Show me the path and I will go after it; I will cut off enough for all of us and bring it here."

"But we never eat here," the Fawns said. Rabbit said, "You boys do not know me. I am your grandfather. You did not recognize me; that is why you hid your food from me." The one boy nudged the other and whispered to him, "I think he is our grandfather; I will tell him where we eat."

For a while, the other boy said nothing. Then he spoke up and said, "What we eat is not on the ground; our food is far up in the sky; and we eat at a certain time. When we ask for our food, something always comes down from the sky; it is white like a cloud. At the end of the cloud it's like a person; it has an eye, a mouth, and it watches us. It comes only at a certain time. If we ask before time, it will think someone else wants our food. But when it's time for us to ask for it, we will hide you out of sight." Then they hid him.

One ran toward the East, the other toward the West; then they ran toward each other. When they met, they cried like young animals at play. They circled about, met each other again, crying, and gradually came nearer to the tent. Something white came down from the sky. Rabbit saw it coming. It looked like a cloud with a face above it; like a man sitting on their food.

The boys took up dull knives, and when the food arrived, they cut off a piece. They cut more than usual, so there would be enough for their grandfather. Then the cloud flew upward as fast as lightning.

The Fawn boys cut up their food and called Rabbit to come out and eat with them. The food tasted good and sweet, and Rabbit wanted more and asked the boys to make the thing come again. The Fawns said, "But it only comes at set times." Rabbit replied, "I will live with you, for your food is very good." He made a burrow in the brush nearby and watched.

The food did come down again. The person riding on it looked around like an antelope watching. Rabbit took a bow and arrow from his quiver. Just before the cloud came low enough for the boys to cut off another piece of food, Rabbit shot at the manlike object on the cloud. The white object fell down in a heap.

"I thought that was what it would do," said the older brother to the younger, as if blaming him. Rabbit said to them, "Well, my grandchildren, I will leave you now. You have something to eat and it will last you a long time. After you have consumed all of it, you will go to the mountains and eat grass and become Deer."

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