Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
January 29, 2000 - Issue 02

The Little Rabbit Who Talked too Much
Retold by Little Jumper from Indian Campfire Tales by W.S. Phillips

One time, long ago, there was a little rabbit and her coat was gleaming white, and so she was called Little White Rabbit. She liked to visit her Grandmother who lived in a lodge on the edge of a big wood.

One day, as she was starting home from her grandmother's lodge, she met a stranger she had never known before - a big lynx. He sang this song to her:

Tell me, little one,
Why are your ears thin like leather?
All thin and straight your ears are,
All thin and straight.
Why is this so, little White one?

Little White Rabbit was so afraid of this stranger and his big green eyes that she crouched flat to the ground and said, "E! E! E!". Then she ran back to her grandmother as fast as she could.

"Oh Grandmother!!" she said, "I met a stranger, a spotted one with green eyes and fringe on his ears! He want to know why my ears are thin and straight!"

"Ho, that must be the lynx. He is bad fellow," said her grandmother. "Run back and if you see the stranger, tell him that your uncles fixed your ears that way when they came from the South. Tell him only that! Do not say anything more, but run!"

Little White Rabbit ran back the same way to go home and there was the lynx again so Little White Rabbit sang this song:

My uncles came from the South
and they fixed my ears that way:
My uncles fixed my nice long ears
when they came from the South.

Little White Rabbit would have started home then but the lynx stared at her with his big green eyes and sang:

Where, pretty white one,
Where do you go?
Where, pretty white one,
Where do you go?

Little White Rabbit was so frightened that she again said "E! E! E!" and ran back to her grandmother again as fast as she could run. "Oh, Grandmother," she said, "the spotted stranger wants to know where I am going. I am afraid of the spotted one!"

"Ho!" said her grandmother, "you should be afraid of that stranger. Go back and if you see him again tell him you are going home. Tell him only that! Do not say more, but run!"

Little White Rabbit went back to go home and there was the stranger waiting again. But instead of repeating only her grandmother's words, only what her grandmother said, Little White Rabbit sang:

To the point of Land I go,
for there is where my home is.
To the Point of Land,
there I am going, where I live.

Then Little White Rabbit laid her ears flat back on her shoulders and started on, but the lynx stared at her with those green eyes and sang this song:

Why, why do you run away, pretty one?
Stay, pretty white one.
Tell me how you run so fast.
Tell me how you keep your feet so dry.

Little White Rabbit was even more afraid now, more than ever before and she said "E! E! E!" and she ran back to her grandmother. She said "Oh, Grandmother, I am very afraid! The spotted one wants to know how I can run so fast!. He wants to know how I keep my feet so dry!"

"Ho!" said her grandmother, "do not mind the lynx, he is not to be trusted, we do not know him as a friend. He is a stranger. Do not listen to him but run home to your mother. The lynx is only bad, an idle one who is not good to listen to or be with. He is not to be trusted!

So Little White Rabbit ran away just as fast as she could toward home. She did not see the lynx anywhere as she ran home, so she began to feel safe. She hurried along the path wishing she were safe at home with her mother on the Point of Land. Nowhere was she able to see the spotted one with those big green eyes and fringed ears.

But the lynx knew where she was going, for Little White Rabbit had told him. She had told him more than her grandmother has said to tell him! She had told him where she lived! Because the lynx was told more than he should know, he was able to slip through the brush unseen and he quietly hid in the grass on the Point of Land, very very close to Little White Rabbit's home. And when Little White Rabbit came along the lynx jumped out and ate Little White Rabbit all up to the very last bit. And Little White Rabbit never was seen again! No one ever knew what happened to her that day! So it is told!

And so now you can see, it is not good to stop and talk to strange ones, but rather one must say very little or nothing to strange ones and run away to safety!

 Here's a picture of the rabbit for you to print, connect the dots, and color.

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