Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/20

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deer as found among the negroes of South[1] Carolina is as follows:[2]

"Once upon a time," so the story runs, "Brudder Deer and Br. Coutah[3] was courtin,' and de lady bin lub Br. Deer more so dan Br. Coutah. She did bin lub Br. Coutah, but she lub Br. Deer de morest. So de noung lady say to Br. Deer and Br. Coutah both, dey mus hab a ten mile race, and de one dat beats, she will marry him.

"So Br. Coutah say to Br. Deer: 'You has got longer legs dan I has, but I will run you. You run ten miles on land, and I will run ten miles on water!'

"So Br. Coutah went an' git nine of his family, an' put one at ebery mile post, and he himself, what was to run wid Br. Deer, was right in front of de young lady's door, in de broom grass.

"Dat morning at nine o'clock, Br. Deer met Br.

  1. I do not remember whether the story was found in North or South Carolina and I am unable to settle the question here, (at Rio).
  2. "Riverside Magazine," November 1868; "Nation" February 23d 1871, p. 127. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the dialect, as the story appears to me to have been written out by a Northerner but little familiar with "negro talk."
  3. A terrapin, a species of turtle abundant in the Southern United States. The terrapin proper, (Malacochlemys palustris), is a water or swamp species. The form meant is probably the "wood terrapin" (Glyptemys insculpta) which is often found in the grass. The word Coutah appears to be of African origin.