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About Aboriginal Dreamtime



Oban's Myths & Legends

How The Deer Got His Horns (continued)
Native American - Cherokee Legend
retold by Oban

Oban the Knowledge Keeper

Bear strode towards a dense thicket of bushes and small trees and pointed with his paw.

“Deer, Rabbit you will both start here, on this side of these bushes, and race through. The first one to get to the other side will be the winner.”

“Good choice,” said Beaver.

“No, it’s not,” screeched Rabbit. “I haven’t been through that thicket before and Deer has. I would like to have a look at the ground in there before the race starts.”

“That’s fair.” said Beaver.

Rabbit hopped slowly into the thicket and the bushes closed up behind him. The animals waited for him to come back. But he was gone for so long that Bear told Beaver to go and see what Rabbit was doing.

Beaver wriggled along the ground and disappeared into the thicket. Again everyone waited. Soon Beaver appeared from the thicket looking very angry.

He thumped his broad tail on the ground shouting, “Rabbit is cheating! He is gnawing bushes with his teeth and clearing a quick path for himself!”

Deer with AntlersRabbit quickly hopped out of the thicket behind him and cried, “No I’m not! Start the race! Let’s go!”

Bear led the animals into the thicket and Beaver showed them the path that Rabbit had been clearing.

Everyone was shocked and several animals called out that Deer should be the winner.

When Rabbit tried to argue Bear said, “Rabbit, you lied and tried to cheat to win the prize. Deer was going to compete fairly. Playing fair will always win over cheating.”

Beaver placed the antlers on Deer’s head and they fitted perfectly. He held his head high and everyone agreed he looked beautiful with them.

Deer still wears the antlers proudly to this day. But once a year they fall off his head to remind him he won them through fair play.

Rabbit still has to cut down bushes to remind him he tried to win by lying and cheating.

The End

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