Brother Terrapin Shows His Strength
One day Mrs. Meadows had many guests. Brother Bear was there, and Brother Wolf and brother Fox were there too. Brother Rabbit came together with his best friend — Brother Terrapin, and Brother Raccoon came with Brother Opossum. They sat in a circle in the yard and did not quarrel, because Mrs. Meadows said:
"When you come to my place, you must be friends; do not forget about it."
Well, they were sitting and talking to Mrs. Meadows and the girls, and soon everybody began to boast. Only Brother Terrapin sat in a rocking-chair and said nothing.
"I am the fastest," said Brother Rabbit.
But Brother Terrapin rocked in his chair and said nothing.
"I am the cleverest," said Brother Fox. But Brother Terrapin rocked on. "I am the wisest," said Brother Wolf. But Brother Terrapin rocked on. "I am the strongest," said Brother Bear. But Brother Terrapin rocked on. By and by he shut one eye and said:
"Brother Rabbit isn't the fastest. I showed him that once; and I can show Brother Bear that he isn't the strongest."
Then everybody began to laugh and shout, because Brother Bear was stronger than an ox. By and by Mrs. Meadows said:
"How can you show your strength, Brother-Terrapin?"
"Give me a good strong rope," said Brother Terrapin, "and let me get into the water. Then let Brother Bear try to pull me out."
Then they all laughed again and Brother Bear said:
"We have no rope."
"No," said Brother Terrapin, "you have no rope, and you have no strength," and he rocked in the chair and did not say anything more.
Then Mrs. Meadows said: "I can give you a good strong rope, then we can all go to the river and see who is the strongest."
Brother Terrapin was not much bigger than the palm of a man's hand; so when ho boasted of his strength, it was very funny. But they took the rope and went to the river together. When Brother Terrapin found the place which he
wanted, he took one end of the rope and gave the other end to Brother Bear.
"Now, ladies and gentlemen," said Brother Terrapin, "you all go with Brother Bear into the woods, and I'll stay here. When you hear me shout, then Brother Bear must pull. You take care of that end, and I shall take care of this end."
Then everybody went into the woods and left Brother Terrapin at the river. After that ho dived into the water and tied the rope to a big root. Then he came up to the surface and shouted:
"Brother Bear, I am ready! Pull!"
Brother Bear took the rope in one hand, smiled at the girls and pulled, but Brother Terrapin did not move from his place. Then Brother Bear took the rope in both hands and pulled stronger, but Brother Terrapin did not move from his place. Then he turned around, put the rope across his shoulder and tried to walk away with Brother Terrapin, but Brother Terrapin did not come out of the whaler. Then Brother Wolf helped Brother Bear to pull, but Brother Terrapin did not come out of the water. Then everybody helped Brother Bear, but Brother Terrapin shouted from the river and asked:
"Hey, Brother Bear! Why aren't you trying to pull me out of the river?"
Then, when they could not pull any more, Brother Terrapin dived again and untied the rope. When they came to the river, he was sit-|ting on the bank and waiting for them. | "You are very strong, Brother Bear," said (Brother Terrapin, "and you pulled like two oxen. But, you see, when I am at home in the water, even two oxen cannot pull me out."