63. COYOTE, MOUNTAIN-LION, AND RABBIT.*

One time, when Coyote was out hunting for something to eat, he heard something crying like a child. He ran to some rocks from whence the sound came, and there he found Mountain-Lion's den and her young left there alone. He determined to devour them, for he was very hungry, but he hesitated because he feared Mountain-Lion. At last hunger got the better of his judgment, and, saying to himself that he was not afraid of old Mountain-Lion, he killed and ate all of her children.

When the mother came back from the hunt with food for her young ones, she could not find them. She looked every place, and soon discovered Coyote's foot-prints. She knew at once what had happened. She started out to find Coyote, but he always escaped her. After she had followed him many days, she sat down on the bank of the river to rest. Not far away she saw some one and she at once recognized Rabbit. She determined to call Rabbit and ask him to help her catch Coyote, for he was the enemy of both. Mountain-Lion called to him in a gentle voice so as not to frighten him, and asked him to come to her, for she wanted to speak to him. Rabbit was afraid at first, but when Mountain-Lion told him that she wanted him to help capture Coyote, Rabbit came. They started along the river together. Soon they found a deer. Mountain-Lion told Rabbit to wait while she killed the deer. She followed the deer into the thicket, killed it, and then called Rabbit to come and help her cut it up. When they had butchered it, Mountain-Lion told Rabbit to cover her face with fat so that she could not be recognized; then to put the deer on her back. After Rabbit had done that, Mountain-Lion told him to get on top of the deer and to drive her around until they met Coyote. While they were crossing the prairie they heard some one calling, "Rabbit, where did you get your fine horse?" But Rabbit did not answer, and went on as though he had not heard the voice. Again the voice called, "Rabbit, did not you hear me? Wait, I say, I want to see your horse." Rabbit went on until Coyote, for it was he, had caught up with him; then he said, "This fine horse was given to me." Coyote said: "Get right off. That horse is mine. I lost it and you have found it. Get right off." Rabbit pretended to be afraid and jumped off. Just as Coyote was about to get on the horse, he stopped to bite a piece of fat off of its face. Then he recognized Mountain-Lion and started to run for his life, but it was too late. Mountain-Lion sprang upon him and killed him.

____________________
*
Told by Wing.

-100-

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