Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/40

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forest. Go after him!" The tortoise followed, and soon came up to the tapir, whom he found lying fast asleep. He looked at the tapir carefully, and then very quietly went up to him, and fastened his jaws into his thigh. The tapir awoke with a start and dashed into the forest, the tortoise keeping a firm hold, and, maddened with the pain, he ran on until, at last, overcome by fatigue, he fell dead. After a month, the tortoise came back and found the skeleton, from which he took a bone to show to his friends, as proof of his exploit.

In the Pantchatantram,[1] a collection of Sanskrit stories, there is one of the elephant and hares, that bears a close resemblance to that just related. It runs as follows:—

On the shores of the lake Tchandrasaras live the hares in numerous burrows. The elephants, driven by thirst, come down to the lake to drink, and break in the burrows as they walk, killing and maiming the hares. The hare, in the name of the moon, in which is the palace of the hare-king, remonstrates with the elephant-king, saying that the moon is angry. The hare shows him the reflection of the moon in the water. The elephant, disturbing the water, causes the reflection to be multiplied. The hare tells him that

  1. Book III. Story I, vide de Gubernatis' Zoölogical Mythology Vol. II. p. 76. See also Anvar-i Suhaílé. Chap. IV. story IV.