Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/35

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then went away, leaving the tortoise, saying that he would presently return.

The jabutí ate until he was satisfied, and waited for the monkey, who did not return. He desired to descend, but was unable, and so he remained looking down, afraid to let himself fall, lest he might be killed.

By and by, a jaguar came along, and, looking up into the tree, saw the jabutí.

"U'i yautí!" said he, calling to the tortoise, "what are you doing up there?"

"I am eating Inajá fruit," answered the jabutí.

"Throw me down one!" said the jaguar. The tortoise plucked a fruit and threw it to the jaguar, who, having eaten it, said: "Sé reté![1] Throw down another!" The tortoise obeyed.

"Why don't you come down?" asked the jaguar. The tortoise answered that he was afraid lest he should be killed.

Now the jaguar wanted to make a meal of the tortoise, so he said:

"Don't be afraid! Jump! I will catch you!"

The tortoise leaped down, but the jaguar missed his aim, and the tortoise, striking him on the head, killed him. The jabuti, unhurt, then went off to his hole.

  1. In one variant, the tortoise is represented as throwing down only empty shells.