How the Wildcat caught the Gobbler
A Cherokee Legend
The Wildcat once caught the Rabbit and was about to kill him, when the Rabbit begged for his life, saying: "I'm so small I would make only a mouthful for you, but if you let me go I'll show you where you can get a whole drove of Turkeys."
So the Wildcat let him up and went with him to where the Turkeys were.
When they came near the place the Rabbit said to the Wildcat, "Now, you must do just as I say. Lie down as if you were dead and don't move, even if I kick you, but when I give, the word jump up and catch the large stone there."
The Wildcat agreed and stretched out as if dead, while the Rabbit gathered some rotten wood and crumbled it over his eyes and nose to make them look flyblown, so that the Turkeys would think he had been dead some time.
Then the Rabbit went over to the Turkeys and said, in a sociable way, "Here, I've found our old enemy, the Wildcat, lying dead in the trail. Let's have a dance over him."
The Turkeys were very doubtful, but finally went with him to where the Wildcat was lying in the road as if dead.
Now, the Rabbit had a good voice and was a great dance leader, so he said, "I'll lead the song and you dance around him." The Turkeys thought that fine, so the Rabbit took a stick to beat time and began to sing: "Gälägi'na hasuyak', Gälägi'na hasuyak' (pick out the Gobbler, pick out the Gobbler)."
"Why do you say that?" said the old Turkey. "O, that's all right," said the Rabbit, "that's just the way he does, and we sing about it."
He started the song again and the Turkeys began to dance around the Wildcat. When they had gone around several times the Rabbit said, "Now go up and hit him, as we do in the war dance."
So the Turkeys, thinking the Wildcat surely dead, crowded in close around him and the old gobbler kicked him. Then the Rabbit drummed hard and sang his loudest, "Pick out the Gobbler, pick out the Gobbler," and the Wildcat jumped up and caught the Gobbler.
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