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Rabbit Dance
an Oneida legend
retold by Desiree Barber

Long ago, two hunters went hunting deer for their village. They hunted for a very long time without seeing any signs of deer, but they didn't return to the village for they knew they had to provide food for the winter.

Suddenly, they heard a very loud thump! They stopped and listened to see if there would be another thump, and sure enough, they heard it again! This time the thump was louder, "THUMP!"

One hunter said to the other, "What is that?"

The other hunter said, "I don't know, but IT sounds very close!"

So, both hunters got on their bellies and crawled to a nearby clearing surrounded by bushes. In the center of the clearing they saw the biggest rabbit they had ever seen!

The first hunter started to aim his bow and arrow at the huge rabbit, but the second hunter stopped him and said, "Let's wait to see what he is going to do."

Both hunters waited and watched the huge rabbit as he lifted one of his big back legs and thumped it three times on the ground. Then, out from every direction hopped regular sized rabbits. The hunters watched very closely not wanting to miss anything.

The little rabbits gathered around the big rabbit, and the big rabbit began to thump his back leg in a pattern as the little rabbits danced. The hunters watched in awe as the rabbits danced. Then the big rabbit thumped his leg in the directions in which the hunters lay. The huge rabbit looked in that direction and leaped into the sky. Then all the rabbits quickly hopped away.

The hunters watched still in awe. They realized they had to go back to the village and tell the people what they had seen and heard. They ran all the way to the village and asked if they could speak to the elders. After they told their story, one of the elders said, "Show us how the beat and the dance went." The hunters showed them exactly what the rabbits did.

Another elder said, "The rabbits gave this dance to tell us to show them respect and appreciation for what they give to us. We will name the dance after them, and we will dance it at our socials to show them our gratitude."

So this is the way it was then and is now. That is how the rabbit dance came to be.


Picture RabbitRabbit Dance
Word Problems

Join: Result Unknown
Big rabbit thumped his leg ___ times. Then he thumped it ___ more times.
How many times did big rabbit thump his leg?
(5, 6) (12, 16) (24, 18)

Separate: Result Unknown
The hunters saw ___ rabbits in the clearing. ___ of the rabbits hopped away.
How many rabbits stayed in the clearing?
(5, 3) (23,13) (25, 16)

Part Part Whole: Whole Unknown
There were ___ big rabbits and ___ little rabbits. How many rabbits were in the clearing altogether?
(4, 3) (9, 13) (24, 47)

Compare: Difference Unknown
There were ___ rabbits and ___ hunters. How many more rabbits were there than hunters?
(6, 4) (13, 7) (23, 9)

There were ___ groups of rabbits. Each group had ___ rabbits. How many rabbits were there?
(2, 3) (10, 7) (11, 9)

Measurement Division
Each rabbit thumped ___ times. Altogether there were ___ thumping sounds. How many rabbits thumped?
(2, 6) (4, 12) (5, 35)

Partitive Division
There were ___ hunters and ___ arrows.
Each hunter had the same number of arrows.
How many arrows did each hunter have?
(3, 6) (4, 16) (7, 77)

Join: Change Unknown
Big rabbit was thumping his leg. He thumped it ___ times. How many more times would he have to thump his
leg to have thumped it ___ times?
(5, 8) (9, 14) (23, 31)

Separate: Change Unknown
___ rabbits were in the clearing. Some hopped away. There were ___ rabbits left.
How many rabbits hopped away?
(9, 5) (19, 7) (26, 18)

Part Part Whole: Part Unknown
The hunters saw ___ rabbits. ___ of the rabbits were brown and the rest were white.
How many white rabbits did the hunters see?
(8, 3) (28, 7) (44, 35)

Compare: Quantity Unknown
There were ___rabbits. There were ___fewer field mice than rabbits.
How many field mice were there?
(9, 3) (18, 6) (33, 19)

Two-Step Problem
___ hunters each had ___ arrows. While hunting, ___ arrows were lost.
How many arrows did the hunters have when they
returned home?
(3, 4, 4) (5, 11, 13) (12, 12, 14)