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About Aboriginal Dreamtime



Oban's Myths & Legends

How To Scare A Bear (continued)
Native American - Tewa Legend
retold by Oban

Oban the Knowledge Keeper

Little Rabbit stared along the new river bank, wide-eyed with delight. “Look at all those delicious Prickly Pears!” he yelled, and quickly started hopping and eating, hopping and eating with his head down.

He thought these were the most delicious Prickly Pears he had ever tasted.

Suddenly a deep voice growled behind him “Hello Little Rabbit.”

Little Rabbit jumped high in the air with fright. When he landed he saw a big brown bear looking at him, with a red necklace around his neck.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you.” said Brown Bear

“That’s alright,” said Little Rabbit, his heart still beating fast. “How did you know my name?”

“I didn’t.” said Brown Bear. “You’re a rabbit and little, so I called you Little Rabbit.”

“Good guess,” said Little Rabbit.

“That’s a nice white necklace you have Little Rabbit.” said Brown Bear.

“Thank you.” said Little Rabbit. “I’ve have had it for a long time.”

Brown BearBrown Bear said “I am willing to bet my red necklace for your white necklace in a competition. If I win you will give me yours and if you win I will give you mine.”

“It’s not an arm wrestling competition, is it?” asked Little Rabbit. “Because that would not be fair. You are much bigger and stronger than me.”

Brown Bear chuckled. “Size and strength will not decide the winner. This will be a test of courage to see which of us is the bravest.”

“Alright, I agree to the bet.” said Little Rabbit, and he raised himself onto his back legs and stared at Brown Bear as bravely as he could.

They arranged to meet at noon the next day in the same spot.

Little Rabbit hopped back down to the river, called Uncle Fast Water and told him about the bet as they crossed the river, going home.

“I know you will win.” said Uncle. “Tomorrow I will carry you over again and then wait for you while you challenge Brown Bear.”

The next day Little Rabbit got up early and hurried to the river. Uncle Fast Water was floating near the east bank, ready to take him across. When they reached the other side, Little Rabbit decided to explore the woods nearby while he waited for Brown Bear to appear at noon.

“Good luck,” murmured Uncle as he floated lazily on the current. “I’ll be here when you return.”

 continue >> How to scare a Bear Part 3