Week 10: Native American Cherokee Story A

Why the Possum’s Tail is Bare by James Mooney

The Possum had a long, bushy, and beautiful tail! He was so proud of his tail that he would sing and dance every morning to give thanks for the tail he was given. Rabbit was very jealous of Possums tail because he had no tail. This is when Rabbit decided he was going to play a trip on Possum.
There was going to be a community dance and celebration and it was Rabbits job to tell everyone about it. So Rabbit went out to everyone and made sure he asked if Possum would attend the dance. Possum said he would attend because he wanted everyone to see his beautiful tail.

There was also Cricket who was the town barber because he could cut very close to the skin. Rabbit gave orders to Cricket to fix his hair a special way for the community dance. So Cricket went to Possum’s house and began to cut his hair. Possum’s eyes were closed while Cricket cut so he couldn’t tail how shot he was putting his hair. Cricket wrapped a red string around Possum’s tail so that it would keep their hair perfect until it was his turn to dance.

When Possum got to the dance he took the red string off his tail and began to dance. He spun around saying, “Look at my fur” “Look at my tail as I dance” and “Look how beautiful my tail is!” Possum noticed that people began to laugh at Possum. When Possum looked down and noticed that the hair on his tail was gone and his skin was smooth as a lizards tail. Possum fell over on his back in shock. To this day Possum still will see his tail and fall over in shock.


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