Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/23

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cloud or the night, or Indras or the Aurora in the cloud of night, or the earth, and the latter the leaping one the moon; the ant passes the grasshopper in the race, not because it walks faster, but because the two runners must necessarily meet, and therefore one must pass the other."

In Old World mythology, the myths of the race between the tortoise and some swift animal, as well as between the hare and the hedgehog, etc., have been explained as referring to the race between the slow one, the sun, and the swift one, the moon, and it seems to me eminently probable that the similar Amazonian myth may have the same signification.[1] Perhaps one reason why the moon is called a deer may be owing to her being horned. In Sanskrit myths she is represented by a stag or a gazelle.

Dr. Couto de Magalhães gives me the following story, which I will entitle


A jabutí was dancing in a hole in the ground, when

  1. I would suggest the comparison of the myth of the "Tortoise and the Deer" with the story, in the Hidopadesa, of "Brama and the Goat" and also with the "Red Swan" in the Hiawatha legends.

    Since the above was in type Col. Joaquini José Fulgencio Carlos de Castro has given me a variant of the myth of the deer and tortoise, in which a toad is substituted for the tortoise. This variant was obtained on the Amazonas.