Flying Rats: Team Name
So why is our team the Flying Rats? We derived our name from an old Creek myth about a Toli game between the "four-footed animals" and the birds. Below is the Creek myth, taken from "Native American Legends" compiled and edited by George E. Lankford (August House/Little Rock Publishers, 1987, ISBN# 0-87483-039-7). Most Southeastern groups, including the Choctaw, have similar stories about the bat and ball playing.
The birds challenged the four-footed animals to a great ball play. It was agreed that all creatures which had teeth should be on one side and all those which had feathers should go on the other side with the birds.
The day was fixed and all the arrangements made; the ground was prepared, the poles were erected, and the balls conjured by the medicine men.
When the animals came, all that had teeth went on one side and the birds on the other. At last the Flying Rat (Bat) came. He went with the animals having teeth, but they said: "No, you have wings, you must go with the birds."
He went to the birds and they said: "No, you have teeth, you must go with the animals." So they drove him away, saying: "You are so little you could do no good ."
He went to the animals and begged that they would permit him to play with them. They finally said, "You are too small to help us, but as you have teeth we will let you remain on our side."
The play began and it soon appeared that the birds were winning, as they could catch the ball in the air, where the four-footed animals could not reach it. The Crane was the best player. The animals were in despair, as none of them could fly. The little Bat now flew into the air and caught the ball as the Crane was flapping slowly along. Again and again the Bat caught the ball, and he won the game for the four-footed animals.
They agreed that though he was so small he should always be classed with the animals having teeth.
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