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11. The Hare frees the Sun.1

   When Creator had made the world, there was no light. Therefore he wanted to send all kinds of animals to the Great To´ṛnaṛak to get the light. No one wanted to go. Finally Raven offered to go. "No," said Creator, "You will find some excrements, and you will forget everything else." He sent Hare. Hare went there, and saw an old man who was working in front of the house at a new sledge-runner. "Show me your hatchet. I want to look at it." He took the hatchet, and then said to the old man, "See here, who are the men who are coming there?" The old man looked around, and Hare struck his neck with the hatchet and cut off his head.

   Then he entered the house. Oh, the children jumped with joy! "I will p. 432 eat the head." — "I will eat the legs." — "Stay," said Hare, "I am too cold. I will warm my blood a little." He began to run around, looking for the light. Then he saw the sun-ball. He kicked it with his foot. The sun-ball flew up through the vent-hole, and light appeared. Hare jumped after it, and was outside. Then he took the body of the old man and put on it his own hare-clothing. This done, he put him down the vent-hole into the house.

   "There, eat! I killed a hare!" They caught the body. One took an arm, another a leg. To´ṛnaṛak's wife had the penis. "Oh," she said, "it is like my husband's penis!" Then they knew what had happened; but the hare was gone.

Told by Ve´ñkị, an Asiatic Eskimo man, in the village of Čeṛi´nak (Wute´en), June, 1901.



p. 431

1 According to the narrator, this tale is borrowed from the Chukchee (cf. p. 155 of this volume).