Oban's Myths & Legends
How The Deer Got His Horns
Native American - Cherokee Legend
retold by Oban
A long time ago Deer had no horns. His head was smooth and sleek like Doe's head.
He was a fast runner and ran everywhere, shouting “Look at me, look at me! I’m the fastest animal there is and ever will be!”
Rabbit, who was a great jumper, called out “You’re not the fastest, I am!” He hopped so fast through the fields that other animals couldn’t follow him with their eyes.
Deer and Rabbit argued all the time about who was the fastest.
“I’m the fastest” shouted one. “No you’re not! I’m the fastest” shrieked the other.
Deer was as proud of his running as Rabbit was of his jumping. Neither of them was humble about their skill.
The other animals got so tired of the arguing and shouting that Bear suggested they race each other.
“Whoever wins will be known as the fastest animal.” said Bear.
Everyone thought this was a great idea except Rabbit, who was secretly scared that Deer could beat him.
“I’m not going to race,” said Rabbit. “I already know I’m the fastest. I would only run if there was a prize worth winning.”
“I have a prize for the winner” said Beaver, holding up a beautiful set of antlers he had carved.
None of the animals had seen antlers before. They gathered around Beaver to look at them more closely and jostled each other to hold them.
They all agreed that any animal who wore them on his head would look wonderful.
When Rabbit saw the antlers he really wanted them. “OK, the race is on!” he said. “I will look beautiful with those antlers.”
“They will be mine,” bellowed Deer. “I challenge you!” And he stomped around impatiently, pawing the ground with his hooves.