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[026] The Race between Humming Bird and Crane

The Race between Humming Bird and Crane

The Race between Humming Bird and Crane

_Cherokee_

Humming Bird and Crane were both in love with a pretty woman. She liked Humming Bird, who was handsome. Crane was ugly, but he would not give up the pretty woman. So at last to get rid of him, she told them they must have a race, and that she would marry the winner. Now Humming Bird flew like a flash of light; but Crane was heavy and slow.

The birds started from the woman's house to fly around the world to the beginning. Humming Bird flew off like an arrow. He flew all day and when he stopped to roost he was far ahead.

Crane flew heavily, but he flew all night long. He stopped at daylight at a creek to rest. Humming Bird waked up, and flew on again, and soon he reached a creek, and behold! there was Crane, spearing tadpoles with his long bill. Humming Bird flew on.

Soon Crane started on and flew all night as before. Humming Bird slept on his roost.

Next morning Humming Bird flew on and Crane was far, far ahead. The fourth day, Crane was spearing tadpoles for dinner when Humming Bird caught up with him. By the seventh day Crane was a whole night's travel ahead. At last he reached the beginning again. He stopped at the creek and preened his feathers, and then in the early morning went to the woman's house. Humming Bird was far, far behind.

But the woman declared she would not marry so ugly a man as Crane. Therefore she remained single.

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