Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/67

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59
NOTES AND QUERIES.

popular tales, which are very interesting on account of their Tupi and Spanish affinities. The tales are entitled "Tio Tigre and Tio Conejo" ("Uncle Tiger and Uncle Rabbit"), and all of them have for their subject the superiority of cunning and craft over sheer force. "Uncle Tiger had a field of splendid water melons. He observed that somebody visited his field at night and stole the melons ; therefore, he made a figure of a man of black wax and placed it in the field. At night Uncle Rabbit came, and saw the figure. "What are you doing there, you black man ? Get away !" The figure did not reply. Then Uncle Rabbit went up to the black man and boxed his ears ; but his right hand stuck to the wax. "Let go my hand, or I'll box your other ear," cried he. When he did so his left-hand also stuck to the wax. Then he knocked his head against the forehead of the figure ; his head stuck to it. Then he worked with his hind legs to get away; they also stuck to the wax, and Uncle Rabbit was caught. Early in the morning Uncle Tiger came, and when he saw Uncle Rabbit, he cried, "Oho ! have we got the thief? Now I'll eat you !" "Wait a moment," said Uncle Rabbit; "set me free, and I will show you a pit in which two large deer have been caught. You had better eat those." Uncle Tiger thought, "Two large deer are better than Uncle Rabbit," and he set him free. Uncle Rabbit led him to a deep pit, and said, "Stoop down and you will see the deer." When Uncle Tiger did so, Uncle Rabbit pushed him from behind, and Uncle Tiger fell into the pit. Uncle Rabbit, however, ran away as fast as his legs would carry him." Here is another story : "Uncle Rabbit was very sad because he was so small. He went to God and wanted to be made taller. God said, "I will do so, but first bring me a coral snake, a wasp swarm, and a calabash filled with women's tears." Uncle Rabbit started on his journey, and arrived in a forest where there were many snakes. Walking along there, he said, "I bet there is room for him, I bet there is room for him !" A coral snake heard him, and asked what his speech meant. He replied, "The wasps say that there is not room enough for you in this calabash, and I bet that you can get in there." "We will see at once who is right," said the snake, and he crawled into the calabash. When he