The Simpleton's Wisdom
Story Of Pretty Feathered Forehead
The Story Of The Pet Crane
The Story Of The Pet Crow
The Four Brothers Or Inyanhoksila Stone Boy
Story Of The Rabbits
The Wasna Pemmican Man And The Unktomi Spider
The Little Mice
A Little Brave And The Medicine Woman
The Waqpe-tonwan Or Wahpeton
The Quapaw Or Kwapa
The Ni-u'-t'a-tci Or Missouri
Random Sioux Myths
The Kanze Or Kansa
Phonetic And Graphic Arts
General Features Of Organization
The Hotcangara Or Winnebago
The Raccoon And The Crawfish
Sharp and cunning is the raccoon, say the Indians, by whom he is named
A crawfish one evening wandered along a river bank, looking for
something dead to feast upon. A raccoon was also out looking for
something to eat. He spied the crawfish and formed a plan to catch him.
He lay down on the bank and feigned to be dead. By and by the crawfish
came near by. "Ho," he thought, "here is a feast indeed; but is he
really dead. I will go near and pinch him with my claws and find out."
So he went near and pinched the raccoon on the nose and then on his soft
paws. The raccoon never moved. The crawfish then pinched him on the ribs
and tickled him so that the raccoon could hardly keep from laughing. The
crawfish at last left him. "The raccoon is surely dead," he thought.
And he hurried back to the crawfish village and reported his find to the
All the villagers were called to go down to the feast. The chief bade
the warriors and young men to paint their faces and dress in their
gayest for a dance.
So they marched in a long line--first the warriors, with their weapons
in hand, then the women with their babies and children--to the place
where the raccoon lay. They formed a great circle about him and danced,
"We shall have a great feast
"On the spotted-faced beast, with soft smooth paws:
"He is dead!
"He is dead!
"We shall dance!
"We shall have a good time!
"We shall feast on his flesh."
But as they danced, the raccoon suddenly sprang to his feet.
"Who is that you say you are going to eat? He has a spotted face, has
he? He has soft, smooth paws, has he? I'll break your ugly backs. I'll
break your rough bones. I'll crunch your ugly, rough paws." And he
rushed among the crawfish, killing them by scores. The crawfish warriors
fought bravely and the women ran screaming, all to no purpose. They did
not feast on the raccoon; the raccoon feasted _on them!_
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