Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/29

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Then the whale made sport of the tortoise because of his short legs, but the latter replied:—"If my legs are short, I am stronger than you, and can pull you on shore."

The whale laughed, and said:—"Let me see you do it!"

"Well," said the jabutí, "just wait until I go into the forest and pull a sipó![1]"

Away went the tortoise into the forest, and there he encountered a tapir who demanded, "What are you looking after, jabutí?"

"I am looking after a sipó."

"And what are you going to do with the sipó?" asked the tapir.

"I want it to pull you down to the sea."

"Ya!" exclaimed the tapir, surprised, "I'll pull you into the forest, and, what's more, I'll kill you; but never mind, let's try who may be the stronger! Go get your sipó!" The tortoise went off, and presently came back with a very long sipó, one end of which he tied around the body of the tapir.

"Now," said the jabutí, "wait here until I go down to the sea. When I shake the sipó, run with all your might into the forest." Having attached one end to the tapir, he dragged the other down to the sea, and fastened it to the tail of the whale. This accomplished, he

  1. A lliana, or aerial root.