The Boy and the Jack Rabbit

Retold by Richard L. Dieterle

As a boy was walking along he startled a jack rabbit who ran into a hole that he found nearby. The boy ran after him and located the hole into which he escaped. The hole did not look very deep, so the boy began digging, but when he got the animal, there unexpectedly was a skunk. The skunk had been in the hole when the jack rabbit jumped in and ate the rabbit before the boy got there.1

Commentary. This may simply be a true story or at least a "tall tale"; however it would be precipitous to declare it void of mythological or folkloristic content. It may also be an attempt to give a mundane explanation for such supernatural events as the discovery of a fish in a place where a raccoon was cornered (as in The Were-fish).

Links: Skunks, Hare.

Stories: featuring skunks as characters: The Skunk Origin Myth, The Bungling Host, Hare Recruits Game Animals for Humans; mentioning rabbits: Trickster and the Eagle, see also under Hare;

Themes: finding refuge in a hole in the ground: Hare Kills Wildcat, White Fisher, Little Fox and the Ghost, Redhorn's Sons; hunters corner an animal hidden from view, but when they go to take it, they find another kind of animal in its place: The Spirit of Maple Bluff, Lake Wąkšikhomįgra (Mendota): the Origin of Its Name, The Were-fish.


1 Paul Radin, "Short Tales," Winnebago Notebooks, Winnebago IV, No. 7i(Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society) #17, "The Boy and the Jack Rabbit."