Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/30

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said, "I will go up into the forest, and when I shake the sipó, pull as hard as you can, for I am going to draw you on shore."

The jabuti then went into the wood, midway between the whale and the tapir, shook the sipó, and awaited the result. First the whale, swimming vigorously, dragged the tapir backward to the sea, but the latter, resisting with all his might, finally gained a firm foothold, and began to get the better of the whale, drawing him in toward the shore. Then the whale made another effort, and, in this manner, they kept tugging against one another, each thinking the tortoise at the other end of the sipó, until at last, both gave up the struggle from sheer exhaustion.

The tortoise went down to the shore to see the whale, who said: "Well! you are strong, jabutí; I am very tired."

The tortoise then untied the sipó from the whale, and having dipped himself in the water, presented himself to the tapir, who thought the tortoise had been pulling against him in the water.

"Well tapir," said the jabuti, "you see that I am the stronger."

The tortoise then released the tapir, who went off saying:—"It is true, jabuti, you are indeed strong."

In the Lingua Geral, the word I have rendered "whale," is pirá-asú, literally, the big fish, this being the name applied by the Indians to the cetacean