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Why Possum Has A Large Mouth


Source: Indian Legends Retold

There had been a long dry season, and the Deer had grown very thin.
Meeting Possum one day, he could not help noticing how well-fed and
contented the other appeared.

"How is it that you are so fat in a time of drouth and famine?"
inquired the Deer, whose skin hung loosely upon a rack of bones.

"It is simple enough," replied the Possum. "I live upon persimmons."

"But how do you reach them?" persisted the Deer. "It seems to me they
hang very high."

"Oh, that is easy," declared Possum, who is fond of a joke. "I go to
the top of yonder hill, run down very fast and hit the tree with my
head just as hard as I can. That shakes off the fruit. Then I have
only to sit on the ground and eat and eat till I can eat no more."

"It sounds easy, to be sure," agreed the Deer, who was hungry enough
to try anything. He went to the very top of the hill, rushed down
violently, and struck the tree with such force that he was killed
instantly. At this the wicked Possum laughed so hard that it stretched
his mouth, which has remained wide to this day.

Next: The Good Little Spirit

Previous: The Bear Man

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