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The Storyteller

The dogs outside Betty Mae's window walk on all four legs. The crows are black. And neither mockingbird nor reservation cat have been known to speak in human voice. This may seem logical, but the world of the Seminole, as portrayed through Betty Mae Jumper's stories, can easily spin into a strange and unpredictable dimension. Continue...

Books, Videos and Tapes

Late at night around the campfires, Seminole children safely tucked into mosquito nets used to listen to the elders retelling the old stories. These priceless legends of mischievous Rabbit, the Corn Lady, the Deer Girl, and all the creatures of the Florida Everglades impart valuable lessons about living in harmony with nature and about why the world is the way it is. Readers of all ages will delight in these images of the way of life and beliefs of the Seminoles of Florida, a nation with relatively few members but with a rich and vital heritage. Each story is illustrated with an original painting.

Hard Cover: $25
Paper Back: $18

To order now, go to the Seminole Tribe Marketplace under SEMINOLE BOOKS


The Corn Lady


Back when the world was young, animals and people spoke one language. The possum had a beautiful tail, crows had bright feathers, panthers argued with rattlesnakes and an ugly old corn lady lived deep in the woods. It was a mysterious, magical world that Seminole Indian children could enter only through the haunting legends handed down by their elders.

For the first time, this precious oral tradition has been preserved for video presentation (also available on audio cassette). Children of all ages will enjoy the special legends collected and spoken by Seminole Indian story teller Betty Mae Jumper.

Video: $20
Audio Cassette: $10

To order now, go to the Seminole Tribe Marketplace under SEMINOLE BOOKS

The Rabbit and the Lion

"I never saw a real lion until many years after I first heard this story. My mother told us a lion was like a big dog with long hair and a big fuzzy tail. The lion would eat any living thing and that is why the rabbit got rid of him. The first lion I saw was at a zoo in North Miami. I immediately remembered this story because the lion was exactly as I imagined it -- exactly as my mother told us."

In the early days when the world was new, many animals roamed the lands. Among those animals was the lion. Wherever the lion went, if he saw a rabbit, all he had to do was pick it up and swallow it.

One day, the old rabbit said to himself, "If I don't do something about the lion, he is going to eat all the rabbits and there won't be any more of us around."

The rabbit tried to think of what he could do to get rid of the lion. He thought and thought and then started jumping up and down. "I know what I can do," said the rabbit, who was full of lies. "If I could get to the other side of the ocean and tie it to this side, I could get rid of the lion."

So the rabbit got a rope and tied it to the other side of the ocean and pulled the land closer and closer. Then he went in search of the lion. He saw him lying under a big tree, full from his dinner. The old rabbit jumped up and asked the lion how he was.

"Hi!" said the rabbit. "I bet I can jump further than you. I might be little, but oh how I can jump."

The lion laughed but the rabbit would not let him rest. Finally the lion told the rabbit that as soon as he jumped further, he was going to eat him.

They went to the water and the rabbit pointed to the rope and told the lion that he had tied the two lands together. The rabbit told the lion that he would loosen the rope and make it further apart and they would jump until they had a winner. So away they went jumping along.

The rabbit loosened the rope and the two lands where far apart and he knew he could jump no further. He told the lion to jump and the lion barely made it to the other side. Then the rabbit ran to get the axe and chopped the rope.

Away went the land to the other side of the ocean, and the lion with it. The rabbit got rid of the lion this way, and that is why we don't have lions on this side of the ocean eating rabbits.

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