Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/37

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The jaguar remained watching for the tortoise, but the latter escaped by another hole, eluding the jaguar. A monkey in a tree, seeing the latter waiting, called out to him and asked him what he was doing. The Jaguar answered: "I am waiting for the jabutí to come out that I may eat him."

The monkey laughed and said: "You are a stupid fellow, the jabutí has gone away. He will not appear until it rains."

"Well, if that is the case," rejoined the jaguar, "I will go and take a walk," and he went away, cheated by the tortoise.

In another version of this story, the jabutí is represented as spreading out his tauarí,[1] to dry in the sun, before the mouth of the hole. The jaguar caused a wind to blow the tauarí about, hoping in this way to entice out the tortoise, but the latter, too wary, sent out another animal to look after the tauarí and himself escaped.

In a variant of this myth obtained by Dr. de Magalhães the jaguar is represented as reaching down into the burrow and catching hold of the tortoise, who, resisting, cries out: "Oh, you foolish fellow! You think you have caught me when it is only the root of

  1. A thin, paper-like, inside bark of a large tree of the same name, a species of Couritari. This bark is used by the Indians as a wrapper in making cigarettes.