Vocabulary

ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏙᏔᏅ -
ᏍᏆᎳ (ᎠᏍᏆᎳᎢ) – short in length
ᎦᏂᏓᏛ – his tail
ᎪᎯᎩᏴ – long ago
ᏥᎨᏒ – it was
ᎤᏬᏚ (ᎤᏬᏚᎯᏳ) - beautiful
ᎦᏅᎯᏓ – long
ᏂᎪᎯᎸ - always

ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏙᏔᏅ ᏥᏍᏚ ᏍᏆᎳ ᏥᎦᏂᏓᏗ


ᎪᎯᎩᏴ ᏥᎨᏒ ᏥᏍᏚ ᎤᏬᏚ ᎦᏅᎯᏓ ᎦᏂᏓᏕ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎠᏢᏈᏍᎨ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎨ ᏄᏬᏚᏒ ᎦᏂᏓᏛ. ᏌᏊᏃ ᎢᎦ ᏧᎳ ᏅᎨᏈᏎ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎠᏢᏈᏍᎬ ᏥᏍᏚ. ᏃᏊᏃ ᎠᎴᏂᏍᎨ ᏓᏴᏝᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎹᏯ ᎾᏃ ᏚᏪᏴ ᏕᎦᏁᏍᏓᎵᏗᏍᎨᎢ. ᏧᎳ ᎤᏪᏅᏎ ᎠᎹᏱ ᎤᎩᏎᏃ ᎠᎶᏗ ᏚᎾᏫᏛᎮ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎹᏱ ᏭᎷᏣ ᎤᏔᎴᏎ ᎤᏁᏍᏓᎸ ᎤᏪᏴ ᎠᎴ Ꮎ ᏅᎩ ᎠᏣᏗ ᏚᏛᏁ ᎤᏍᎪᎵ ᎦᏂᏓᏛ ᎾᏊᏃ ᎤᎸᏁ ᎾᎾ ᎠᏔᎴᏒ.

ᎾᎾᏃ ᎤᏬᏝ ᏧᎳ ᎤᎷᏤ ᏥᏍᏚ, ᎦᏙ Ꭽ ᎾᎾ ᏥᏦᏝ ᎤᏛᏁ ᏥᏍᏚ. ᎦᏒᎲᏍᎦ ᎤᏛᏁ ᏧᎳ, ᎯᏂᏓᏛᏍ ᎲᏗ ᎥᎥ ᎢᎦᏛ ᏱᏛᎦᏂᏯ ᎠᏣᏗ ᏥᏂᏓᏛ ᏯᏋᏔᏂ ᎤᏛᏁ ᏧᎳ. ᏞᎦᏊᏛ ᏴᎵᏍᏛᏡᎦ ᎣᏚᎵᏍᎨ ᎢᎦ ᏱᏛᎦᏂᏯ. ᏧᎳᏃ ᎤᏂᏌᏁᏎ ᎦᏂᏓᏛ ᎠᎴ ᏅᎩ ᎠᏣᏗ ᏓᎾᏕ ᎦᏂᏓᏛ ᎦᏙᎲ ᏙᏛᏔᏂ ᎤᏛᏁ ᏥᏍᏚ.

ᏒᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗᏛ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏓᎦᏑᏂ ᏃᏊ ᏙᏓᏥᎾᏕᏏ ᎠᎴ ᏥᏂᏓᏛ ᎠᎦᏔᏬᏍᏙᏗ ᏛᎩᏩᏏ ᎤᏛᏁ ᏧᎳ. ᏧᎳᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏬᏚ ᎦᏂᏓᏗ. ᏥᏍᏚᏃ ᎤᏓᏅᏖᎴ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᎠᎵᏔᏬᏍᏗ ᎤᎵᏨᏓᏩᏗ ᏯᏆᏑᏂ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎠᏣᏗ ᏱᏕᏣᏂᏯ ᎠᎴ ᏱᏕᏥᎾᏚᎦ ᏯᎩᏩᎭ ᎠᎵᏔᏬᏍᏗ.

ᏧᎳ ᎤᏁᏤ ᏃᏊᏛ ᏒᎯᏴ ᏛᎦᏂᎩᏌ ᎠᎴ ᏌᎾᎴ ᏴᏥᎷᎩ ᎤᏛᏁ ᏧᎳ. ᏥᏍᏚᏃ ᎾᏊ ᎤᎴᏅᎮ ᎠᏑᎲᏍᎬ ᎤᎸᏁ ᎦᏂᏓᏛ ᎠᎹᏱ ᎧᎾᏬᎨᏃ ᎤᏬᏞ ᎠᎭᏃ ᏂᎬᏫᏍᏕ ᎠᏑᎲᏍᎨ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎨ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎠᏣᏗ ᏧᏂᏴᏗ. ᏌᎾᎴᏃ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏁ ᎢᎤᎷᏤᏃ ᏧᎳ ᎠᎴ ᏥᏍᏚ ᏧᏬᏞ ᏭᎷᏤ ᎦᏙ ᎭᏛᏁᎭ ᎠᎪᏐᎴ. ᏥᏍᏚᏃ ᎤᏁᏤ ᎦᏑᎲᏍᎦ ᎤᏛᏁ. ᏕᎯᏂᏯᏍ ᎠᏣᏗ ᎤᏛᏁ ᏧᎳ.

ᏥᏍᏚ ᎤᏁᎴᏓᎳᏁ ᎤᎾᏌᏁᏍᏗ ᎦᏂᏓᏛ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎤᏄᎸᏁ ᎾᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎨ ᎠᎹ ᎤᏁᏍᏓᎳᏕ ᏍᏓᏯ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏁ ᎦᏙᎬ. ᏍᏕᎳ ᎤᏛᏁ ᏥᏍᏚ ᎰᏩᏃ ᏧᎳ ᎣᎾᏗᏝ ᎤᎴᏁ ᏥᏍᏚ ᎤᏬᏞ ᎠᎴ ᏍᏓᏯ ᎠᏥᏌᏙᏰ ᏥᏍᏚᏃ ᎨᏴ ᎤᏅᏥᏞ ᎦᏂᏓᏛᏃ ᎤᎵᎦᎵᏍᏓᏁ ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᏍᏆᎳ ᎦᏂᏓᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏓᏁ ᏥᏍᏚ.


Why Rabbit has a short tail

Back when the world was young, Rabbit had a very bushy tail. In fact his tail was much bushier than Fox’s tail. Rabbit was very proud of his tail and he was constantly telling the other animals about his tail. After a while, Fox had finally had enough of Rabbit’s bragging and he decided to put an end to it. The weather was getting colder and finally the lakes and streams froze over. One day Fox went down to the lake carrying four fish. When he reached the lake, he cut a hole in the ice, tied the fish to his tail and he sat and waited for Rabbit to pass by, and soon he did. When Fox saw Rabbit coming he quickly dropped his tail into the water. Rabbit jumped right down to Fox and said, "What are you doing?" "I’m fishing, Rabbit," answered Fox. "With your tail?" Rabbit asked. "Oh yes, it is the best way to catch the most fish." Rabbit asked how long Fox had been fishing and he responded by pulling his tail out of the water to show off the four fished tied to his tail and said, "Only fifteen minutes." "What do you plan to do with the fish you catch?" asked Rabbit. Fox answered, "Well, I figure I’ll fish for a week, then take the fish down to the Cherokee village and trade them for a pair of beautiful tail combs." Fox knew what Rabbit was thinking and he knew his plan was working. Rabbit thought to himself, "If I fished all night, I bet I would have enough to get those tail combs for myself." Fox said, "Well it’s getting late and I’m getting cold. I think I will come back in the morning." As soon as Fox was out of sight, Rabbit dropped his tail into the icy hole. Brrrr it was cold he thought, but those combs are worth anything. He sat down and fished all night long. Soon after the sun came up, Fox loped over the ridge and ran up to Rabbit. He said, "What are you doing, Rabbit?" Rabbit’s teeth began to chatter. "I’m ffiisshing, Ffox." "Have you caught any fish?" Fox inquired. Rabbit couldn’t move, and he said to Fox, "Ffox you’ve gotta helpp me. I’mmm ssttuck." So Fox with a big smile on his face walked behind Rabbit. He gave Rabbit one mighty big shove. Rabbit popped out of the hole and landed clear across and other side of the lake… But his tail…was still stuck frozen in the water. And even today, Rabbit still has a very short, short tail.


Story from James Mooney’s “History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees”
Translation by Anna Huckaby, Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center