Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/25

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— 17 —

The following tale was related to me in Santarem by Lourenço Maciel:—


One day a jabutí tortoise was amusing himself by climbing a hill, drawing into his shell his head and legs, and allowing himself to roll down to the bottom, which was reached in safety.

A jaguar, happening to pass by, observed the proceeding and inquired:—

"What are you doing, jabutí?"

"Oh, I am playing, jaguar," answered the tortoise.

"Let me see how you play," said the jaguar.

The jabutí then ascended the hill, and, as before, came rolling down. The jaguar was much pleased and said:

"I am going to play also."

"Well", returned the tortoise," climb the hill and then come rolling down as I did."

The jaguar attempted to imitate the jabutí, but, at the foot of the hill, struck his head against a tree and was killed.

By and by, there came along another jaguar, to whom the tortoise remarked that he was going to play. So the jabuti said to a tree: "Open!" and the

  1. In Tupí it is Yauareté.