Saturday, July 16, 2016

Shadow - Folk Story

Rabbit lived alone in his tipi—alone except for his grandmother. Every morning Rabbit went out to hunt with his bow and arrows and always someone long and black followed his footstep. Whenever Rabbit looked back, the long black one was there. Rabbit could not shake him. It seemed as if he were stuck to Rabbit’s heels.

Rabbit was scared of whoever was following. He said to himself: “I will get up very early, before that long, black fellow.” But it was no use. The stranger kept dogging his trail. This went on day after day. Rabbit was angry. One evening, after he came home, he made himself a snare out of his bowstring.
“Why are you doing this?” his grandmother asked.

“Because someone is always following me,” Rabbit answered. “I am fed up with this. I will trap him.” He put the snare along his footprints.

In the morning, when Rabbit checked his snare, he saw that he had caught something. It was blindingly bright and very hot. He ran back to his tipi. “Grandmother,” he said, “I have caught something terribly bright and scorching. I am afraid of it. But I want to get my bowstring back.” He took his knife and went to where his snare was.

The thing he had caught in his trap was very angry. It shouted: “You no-good fellow, how dare you set a snare for me? Cut me loose at once or I’ll burn you to ashes!”

Rabbit wanted to obey but was afraid to come too near. The thing was so hot that already the grass around it was smoldering. “Who are you?” Rabbit asked.

“They call me Sun,” the glowing thing answered. “Why do you keep standing there with your mouth open? Miserable oaf, use your knife to cut me loose. Hurry!”

Rabbit crept near to the thing on his belly, stretching his arm, holding the knife as far out as he could. Quickly he cut the bowstring. At once Sun rose into the sky and lit up the world. Of course, the somebody who had followed his footsteps had been his own shadow. Coming so near to Sun, Rabbit had been burned between his shoulder blades. Ever since then he has a dark, reddish spot there.

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