Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/24

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he was found by a man and caught. The man carried him to his house, put him in a box, and went out. By and by the jabutí began to sing. The man's children listened, and the jabutí stopped. The children begged him to continue when he said: "If you are pleased with my singing, how much more would you be pleased if you could see me dance!" So the children put him in the middle of the house, where he danced, to their great delight. Presently, however, he made an excuse to go out, and fled. The children, frightened, procured a stone, painted it like the tortoise, and placed it in the box. By and by the man returned, and, wishing to cook the jabutí, took out the painted stone, and put it on the fire, where it soon became heated and burst.

Meanwhile, the tortoise had hidden himself in a thicket, in a burrow having two openings. While the man was looking in at one hole, the jabutí would appear at the other, and then when the man came to this opening, he would quickly go to the first; so that we have here, once more repeated, the story of the race between the slow tortoise or sun, and the swift moon or man. We have already seen the tortoise escape from the jaguar by going into a burrow by one opening and retiring by another, just as the sun appears to go into its burrow in the west, and come out in the east.