Great Plains: How the Rabbit Killed the Giant

This story is part of the Great Plains unit. Story source: Myths and Legends of the Great Plains by Katharine Berry Judson (1913).


(hare)


How the Rabbit Killed the Giant
Omaha

When Rabbit was going on a journey, he came to a certain village. The people said, “Halloo! Rabbit has come as a visitor.”

On meeting him, they said, “Whom did you come to see?”

“Why, I will go to the lodge of anyone,” said Rabbit.

“But the people have nothing to eat,” they said. “The Giant is the only one who has anything to eat. You ought to go to his lodge.”

Yet the Rabbit passed on to the end lodge and entered it. “Friend, we have nothing to eat,” said the host.

“Why, my friend,” said Rabbit, “when there is nothing, people eat anything they can get.”

At length the Giant invited Rabbit to a feast.

“Oh ho!” called the man whose lodge Rabbit had entered. “Friend, you are invited. Hasten!”

Now all the people were afraid of the Giant. No matter what animal anyone killed, the Giant kept all of the meat.

Rabbit arrived at the lodge of the Giant. As he entered, the host said, “Oh! Pass around to that side.” But Rabbit leaped over and took a seat. At length food was given him. He ate it very rapidly but left some which he hid in his robe. Then he pushed the bowl aside.

“Friend,” he said to the Giant, “here is the bowl.” Then he said, “Friend, I must go.” He sprang past the fireplace at one leap, at the second leap his feet touched the chest of the Giant’s servant, and with another leap he had gone.

When Rabbit reached the lodge where he was visiting, he gave his host the food he had not eaten. The man and his wife were glad to eat it since they had been without food.

Next morning, the crier passed through the village, commanding the people to be stirring.

They said, “The Giant is the one for whom they are to kill game.” So they all went hunting. They scared some animals out of a dense forest and shot at them.

Rabbit went thither very quickly. He found Giant had reached there before him and taken all the game. When Rabbit heard shooting in another place, he went thither, but again found the Giant was before him.

“This is provoking!” thought Rabbit.

When some persons shot at game in another place  Rabbit noticed it, and went thither immediately, reaching the spot before the Giant.

“Friend,” he said to the man who had killed the deer, “let us cut it up.”

The man was unwilling. He said, “No, friend, the Giant will come by and by.”

“Pshaw, friend,” said Rabbit. “When one kills animals, he cuts them up and then makes an equal distribution of the pieces,” said the Rabbit.

Still the man refused, fearing the Giant. So Rabbit rushed forward and seized the deer by the feet.

When he had only slit the skin, the Giant arrived. “You have done wrong. Let it alone,” Giant said.

“What have I done wrong?” asked Rabbit. “When one kills game, he cuts it up and makes an equal distribution of the pieces.”

“Let it alone, I say,” said the Giant. But Rabbit continued to insert the knife in the meat.

“I will blow that thing into the air,” said the Giant.

“Blow me into the air! Blow me into the air!” said Rabbit.

So the Giant went closer to him, and when he blew at him the Rabbit went up into the air with his fur blown apart. Striding past, the Giant seized the deer, put it through his belt, and departed. That was his custom. He took all the deer that were killed, hung them on his belt, and took them to his lodge. He was a very tall person.

At night Rabbit wandered around, and at last went all around the Giant’s lodge. He seized an insect and said to it, “Oh, insect! You shall go and bite the Giant right in the side.”

At length when it was morning, it was said the Giant was ill. Then he died.

The people said, “Make a village for Rabbit!”

But Rabbit said, “I do not wish to be chief. I have left my old woman by herself, so I will return to her.”





(700 words)





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