The Girl And The Devil

A young Choctaw girl was walking alone one day in the outskirts of the village when she suddenly met a young man whom she had never seen before. Soon he spoke to the girl and asked her to accompany him to his home. At first she refused, but at last he succeeded in persuading her to go with him. They passed through dense woods and over hills, and at last entered the yard that surrounded his house. Here various birds and animals were tied to the trees. As they were hungry, food was brought them, and then, and not until then, did the man assume his true character, and the girl saw the Devil before her. Then she became frightened and endeavored to escape, but before she could do so she was seized and locked in a small cave.

A large frog hopped from a hole in the far corner of the cave, and going to the girl, said: “Do you know what that noise is?” “No,”replied the girl, “what is it?” The frog told her the Devil and his men were sharpening their knives to kill her. At this she became more frightened than before, but the frog quieted her by saying: “Now, if you will listen and do just as I say you will escape. I will open this door and there­upon you must run swiftly out and down the wide road. Soon you will reach a road on the left, but do not take it; keep to the broad road. Then you will come to the junction of three roads, and you must take the middle one. Shortly afterward you will reach a broad bayou where there will be a small boat on the shore. Here you will be safe.”

After saying this to the girl the frog hopped up a beam to the top of the door, which he unlocked. As soon as the door swung open the girl ran out and followed the roads as she had been directed. Finally she arrived at the bayou, jumped into the small boat, and, seizing the paddle, pushed out from the shore. As she neared the middle of the bayou she heard voices calling her, and looking in the direction of the sound she saw the Devil standing on the bank just where she had been a few moments before. He called the girl, who was not able to resist him, so she pushed the boat toward the spot where he stood. “Come nearer” said the Devil, “so that I can step into your boat.” The girl said she could not do so, but she rested one end of her paddle on the side of the boat and the other end on the shore, telling the Devil to walk on the bridge thus made. He started to do so, but just as he reached the middle the girl jerked the paddle and the Devil fell into the water. He sank straight to the bottom of the bayou and never came up.

In time the Devil’s body broke into many small pieces, which became hard, forming the gravel now found on the bottoms of the bayous.

Bushnell, David I., Jr. The Choctaw of Bayou Lacomb, St Tammay Parish Louisiana. Washington Government Printing Office. 1909.

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