Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/17

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

— 9 —

"Come,!" said the former, "Let us run!"

"Wait a bit!" said the tortoise, "I am going to run in the woods."

"And how are you, a little, shortlegged fellow, going to run in the forest?" asked the deer surprised.

The jabutí insisted that he could not run in the campo, but that he was accustomed to run in the forest, so the deer assented and the tortoise entered the wood, saying: "When I take my position I will make a noise with a little stick so that you may know that I am ready."

When the tortoise, having reached his place, gave the signal, the deer started off leisurely, laughing to himself, and not thinking it worth his while to run. The tortoise remained quietly behind. After the deer had walked a little distance, he turned around and called out: "U'i yautí!"[1] when, to his astonishment a tortoise a little way ahead cried out,"U'i suastú"[2] "Well," said the deer to himself, "that jabutí does run fast!" whereupon he walked briskly for a little distance and then cried out again, but the voice of a tortoise still responded far in advance.

"How's this?" exclaimed the deer, and he ran a little way, until thinking that, he surely must have passed the tortoise, he stopped, turned about, and

  1. Hullo Tortoise! The Indians always prefix U'i! in calling.
  2. Suasú, deer.