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Why the Bat has short legs

A Chiricahua Apache Indians of New Mexico Legend

Long ago, Killer-of-Enemies vowed to save his people from the terror of monster eagles that roamed the skies and carried off children. Killer-of-Enemies tricked one monster eagle into carrying him up to the eagle nest on the cliff, where he killed the monster eagle and its family. But Killer-of-Enemies did not know how to get down from the cliff. Just then, he saw an old woman approaching. It was Old Woman Bat.

"Grandmother, help me. Take me down," Killer-of-Enemies said. Old Woman Bat looked all around, but did not see him. Killer-of-Enemies called out again, and again, and again. Finally, Old Woman Bat saw him high in the eagle's nest. She came over to the cliff and began to climb.

"What are you doing here?" she asked, when she reached the top.

"Monster eagle carried me up here," he said. "Please take me down."

"Climb in my basket," Old Woman Bat said. Killer of Enemies looked at the burden basket on the old woman's back. Its carrying strap was made of spider's silk.

"That strap is too fine," he said. "It will break and I shall fall."

"Nonsense! I've carried a bighorn sheep in this basket," Old Woman Bat said. "Get in and close your eyes. If you look, we will fall."

Old Woman Bat clambered down the rock, singing a strange song. Her burden basket swayed wildly from side to side. Killer-of-Enemies thought the spider thread would surely break, so he opened his eyes to look.

As soon as Kill-of-Enemies opened his eyes. He and Old Woman Bat crashed down from the cliff. Old Woman Bat landed first and broke her legs. Killer-of-Enemies fell on top of her and was safe. Old Woman Bat's broken legs soon mended but from that day on her legs were short.

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