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Native American Legends

Why the Possom has a large mouth

A Choctaw Legend

Very little food there was for Deer one dry season. He became thin and weak. One day he meet 'Possum. Deer at once exclaimed, "Why, 'Possum, how fat you are!

How do you keep so fat when I cannot find enough to eat?"

'Possum said, "I live on persimmons. They are very large this year, so I have all I want to eat."

"How do you get the persimmons?" asked Deer. "They grow so high!"

"That is easy," said 'Possum. "I go to the top of a high hill. Then I run down and strike a persimmon tree so hard with my head that all the ripe persimmons drop on the ground. Then I sit there and eat them."

"That is easily done," said Deer. "I will try it. Now watch me."

'Possum waited. Deer went to the top of a nearby hill. He ran down and struck the tree with his head. 'Possum watched him, laughing. He opened his mouth so wide while he laughed that he stretched it out. That is why 'Possum has such a large mouth.

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