Here is Rabbit.
Rabbit, who gave a man a box, and inside it was everything the man dreamed about, if he was willing to trade his happiness for it.
Who stole seeds from Errimu and ate them and laid an egg from which a prophetic bird was born.
Who stole a king's crown and gave it to a beggar, and the beggar rejected it, thus becoming greater than a king.
Who danced with Raven, outran Horse and outwitted Fox.
This is what they say about Rabbit:
There was no father, for Mother overflowed with life.
Her belly, which had carried children innumerable, grew round within five days, and her babe quickened a day after. For three days, the babe kicked and struggled against its Mother's womb, and Mother could not sleep, nor eat, nor sit down.
Tired and hurting, Mother went to the river to drink of the cool waters.
Yet labor began just as she reached her destination, and the babe was born there, on the damp banks.
The babe sprang out of the womb and disappeared over the horizon, before Mother could even know its sex.
It left behind only the small indentations of footprints in the wet sand, like the traces of a rabbit's feet.
But that was not the first story they told about Rabbit.
It started simple. This was the story they told, smearing paint with their fingers on the walls:
Rabbit lived and ran.
Rabbit stopped. Ears pricked and nose twitched. Night fell.
Huddled in the dark, hungry, naked humans reached out for Rabbit's warm blood.
Rabbit flew up above the skies, where the gods dwelt, and stole fire from the sun burning in the gods' hearth.
The Keeper of the Hearth grew angered when he found Rabbit stealing fire, and yelled terrible curses at Rabbit.
Rabbit swallowed a great lick of flame and ran, and the Keeper gave chase.
But the fire burned Rabbit's breast, and so, Rabbit spat it out. With a great earth-shaking sound, the fire descended to earth in the blink of an eye, as a beam of white light. It struck a tree, and set it ablaze.
And so the humans now had fire, just as the gods did.
And Rabbit ran so fast, that Rabbit outran the Keeper of the Hearth three times over. And the Keeper grew so bitter, that he would always watch the humans, and when they were not on their guard, he would put out their flames.
Fire came from Rabbit. And fire must always be guarded, lest the Keeper put it out.
But if fire came from Rabbit, where did Rabbit come from?
And so they had to create that story as well, gathered around the fire.
They told this story when the great rains came, and dripped cold and misery over them:
Rabbit created the storms.
Once, herds of clouds grazed in peace across the skies, white and pale and docile.
And chief among these were the two largest of the clouds, who had great gleaming horns, as wild rams in the mountains have. They were proud and powerful, yet they respected each other, and each kept to his herd.
One day, Rabbit—whether jealous of their brilliance, or maybe just in the mood for mischief—gathered great handfuls of tar.
While the two great ram-clouds slept, Rabbit snuck up to them and smeared their wool with the tar, forever tainting it.
The two ram-clouds woke the next day, and realizing that they were fouled, they each began to wail their misery.
Rabbit, who had been waiting for this, came to each in turn and told both the same thing: "O great chieftain-of-the-clouds, hear me, hear me! I know who is responsible for this! It was the other ram-cloud who has done this to you, for he was jealous of your splendor! Yet he could not do it without smirching himself with the tar as well, and so, you will see proof of my words when you meet him at mid-day and see him blackened just as you are!"
And the two ram-clouds met at mid-day and when they saw each other, both grew so angered that they exchanged no words, but launched themselves at each other, murder in their eyes.
And their horns cracked against one another with such force, that the sound could be heard over many horizons, and sparks flew off, as if two great mountains of flint had been struck together.
The herds gathered and cried in great alarm, and shed fat tears over the loss of friendship.
Yet the two rams never spoke in kindness to each other again, and whenever they meet, they stir great storms in their wake.
And so, whenever the storms come, Rabbit only laughs at the fools.