Long ago, in the time of the ancient Maxakali,Topar, the creator, gave
the Maxakali an otter.Topar said, ‘‘This otter is to help you ﬁsh so that
you always have something to eat. But remember,you must always give
the three biggest ﬁsh to the otter.You arewelcome to all of the rest.You
otter’s.’’ And this is how it was done for many years.
ian of the otter decided that he would like to go ﬁshing with the otter.
it to me?’’ The old man replied, ‘‘Sure, but remember this otter belongs
to the community and that we have an agreement with Topar that the
three biggest ﬁsh must be given to the otter. If you do not do this, then
everything will come to an end.’’
This man, the son-in-law, took the otterand went down to the river.
When he got there, he threw the otter into the water.The otter dove in
The otter tossed the ﬁsh onto the riverbank and quickly dove back into
ﬁsh, until the man almost had his sack ﬁlled. But the son-in-law could
not keep his mind off the three enormous ﬁsh that the otter had ﬁrst
brought out of the river. He thought to himself, ‘‘I’m not going to give
those three big ﬁsh to the otter. I’m going to take them for myself. Be-
sides, he’s not going to notice.That otter doesn’t know any better.’’ So
when the otter was making one of his last dives for ﬁsh, the son-in-law
put those enormous ﬁsh into his sack and left for the village.
The otter returned to ﬁnd that his ﬁsh had been taken. So the otter
the village, the man began to rethink his decision. He quickly returned