Special Reports

'Duck in a noose' quote comes from Cherokee tale

The last cryptic message from Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose to the Washington-area sniper referred to a Cherokee Indian story about an arrogant rabbit that was duped by the duck he tried to catch.

"You have indicated that you want us to do and say certain things. You've asked us to say, 'We have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose.' We understand that hearing us say this is important to you," Moose said late Wednesday at a televised news briefing.

In the ancient story, passed down orally through generations of Cherokee Indians, a rabbit brags that he can catch a duck. He throws a noose over the neck of a duck, but it flies away with the rabbit hanging on. Eventually the rabbit must let go, landing in a hollow tree stump. The conceited animal has to eat his own fur for food and is embarrassed by his appearance when he finally escapes.

"His boastfulness got him in trouble and eventually destroyed him," said Tera Shows, spokeswoman for the Cherokee Nation, based in Tahlequah, Okla.

The Associated Press

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