Cherokee possum story

from: And if you poke him with a little stick
02 Oct 2006

The old story of possum was told to keep children from bragging and boasting. The possum was a beautiful creature, but he didn't know that. And one day he was walking out beside the waters and looked into the very very still waters and saw a reflection of himself and realized that his tail was big and fluffy and beautiful and many many colors. So he began to admire himself, and he walked by that water all day long until the wind began to blow. And then he walked away and began to boast and brag to the other animals in the forest. And early every morning Many many days passed, and the others began to get tired of it-- of his boasting and bragging because they knew he was beautiful. And the fox and the cricket got so tired of it that they made a plan to put an end to it. They had a contest set up in the squaregrounds of the Cherokee the next day and invited Mr. Possum to come down and participate, because it was a contest to see who had the most beautiful tail. And sure, he would do that, he knew he would win, and that would be fine. But they coaxed him into going with them that night to comb and brush his tail. And when he went into the cave of the fox, they began to brush his tail and groom it, and he began to get a little sleepy. And as he began to get sleepy, they brushed a little faster, and soon Mr. Possum was fast asleep. The cricket, being the creature that he is, began to chew. And he chewed every hair off the possum's tail. And in the morning he looks back at his tail, and he sees what everyone is laughing about. He has the most ugly, rat-looking tail that he's ever seen in his life. And first he begins to snarl and spit and become very angry. But after a little while they laugh again, and he can't stand it any more, and he rolls over on his back, and he plays dead. The old possum boasted too much. And if you go out today and find him in your trash cans, you will see that he begins to snarl like he's going to tear you to pieces. And if you poke him with a little stick, he 'll remember that he boasted too much. And he'll roll over onto his back with all four feet sticking into the air. And you can pick him up by the tail and carry him back into the forest. So the teaching of the Cherokee possum story is



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