The Fox and the Deer
A Jicarilla Apache Legend
As Fox was going along he met a Deer with two spotted fawns beside her. " What have you done," said he, "to make your children spotted like that?"
"I made a big fire of cedar wood and placed them before it. The sparks thrown off burned the spots which you see," answered the Deer.
Fox was pleased with the color of the fawns, so he went home and told his children to gather cedar wood for a large fire. When the fire was burning well, he put the young foxes in a row before the fire, as he supposed the Deer had done.
When he found that they did not change color, he pushed them into the fire and covered them with ashes, thinking he had not applied sufficient heat at first. As the fire went out, he saw their white teeth gleaming where the skin had shriveled away and exposed them. "Ah, you will be very pretty now," said he. Fox pulled his offspring from the ashes, expecting to find them much changed in color, and so they were, -- black, shriveled, and dead.
Fox next thought of revenge upon the Deer, which he found in a grove of cottonwoods. He built a fire around them, but they ran through it and escaped. Fox was so disappointed that he set up a cry of woe, a means of expression which he has retained from that day to this.
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