Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/63

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islands, neither would be likely to visit the other. Still, one can conceive that the story of the frog who swallowed the water might filter from the Australians to the Andaman people, or vice versâ. The frog in the Andaman version is called a toad, and he came to swallow the waters in the following way:—One day a woodpecker was eating honey high up in the boughs of a tree. Far below, the toad was a witness of the feast, and asked for some honey. "Well, come up here, and you shall have some," said the woodpecker. "But how am I to climb?" "Take hold of that creeper, and I will draw you up," said the woodpecker; but all the while he was bent on a practical joke. So the toad got into a bucket he happened to possess, and fastened the bucket to the creeper. "Now, pull!" Then the woodpecker raised the toad slowly to the level of the bough where the honey was, and presently let him down with a run, not only disappointing the poor toad, but shaking him severely. The toad went away in a rage and looked about him for revenge. A happy thought occurred to him, and he drank up all the water of the rivers and lakes. Birds and beasts were perishing, woodpeckers among them, of thirst. The toad, overjoyed at his success, wished to add insult to the injury, and, very thoughtlessly, began to dance in an irritating manner at his foes. But then the stolen waters gushed out of his mouth in full volume, and the drought soon ended. One of the most curious points in this myth is the origin of the quarrel between the woodpecker and the toad. The same beginning—the tale of an insult put