the reluctant Indians to let him dance with them, but finally they
consented. Again he seized a burning brand and escaped to the forest.
The medicine men made magic the second time, causing heavy rains and
the fire was again extinguished. For three consecutive years the rabbit
succeeded in getting the fire, but each time the medicine men caused the
fire to be put out by rain.
The fourth year the rabbit was wiser. After much persuasion, the
Indians again allowed him to attend the Green Corn Dance. He obtained
the fire and escaped. Again the Indians made the rains but, this time, the
rabbit hid under a coral reef and protected the fire under the shelter of
the rock. When the rain ceased, he hurried to his tribe with the fire, and
now all the Indians know the secret of fire. (1)
THE NEW RIVER
One legend told by the Seminoles is of unusual local interest
because it explains the origin of New River at Fort Lauderdale. The
legend has it that the Indians had gone peacefully to rest after a long,
hard day of hunting in the forest. An angry wind started blowing from
the southeast, and roaring, thundering noises came through the jungles as
the ground shook and trembled. Even the bravest Indians feared to
venture forth until the break of a new day. But their fear was turned to
wonder when they looked out and saw a might river flowing where
before there had been land.