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The Legend of Bat
Taken from Myths of the
The birds challenged the four-footed
animals to a great ball play. It was agreed that all creatures
which had teeth should be on one side and all those which had
feathers should go on the other side with the birds.
The day was fixed and all the arrangements
were made; the ground was prepared, the poles erected, and the
balls conjured by the Medicine Men.
When the animals came, all that had
teeth went on one side and the birds on the other.
At last the Bat came.
He went with the animals having teeth,
but they said:
"No, you have wings, you must go with the birds."
He went to the birds and they said:
"No, you have teeth, you must go with the animals."
So they drove him away, saying:
"You are so little you could do no good."
He went to the animals and begged that they would permit him
to play with them.
They finally said: "You are too small to help us, but as
you have teeth we will let you remain on our side."
The play began and it soon appeared
that the birds were winning, as they could catch the ball in
the air, where the four-footed animals could not reach it. The
Crane was the best player. The animals were in despair, as none
of them could fly. The little Bat now flew into the air and
caught the ball as the Crane was flapping slowly along. Again
and again the Bat caught the ball, and he won the game for the
They agreed that though he was so
small he should always be classed with the animals having teeth.
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