Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt is a Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, starringBugs Bunny and Hiawatha, first released on June 7, 1941. The short makes several direct references to The Song of Hiawatha, an epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The short was directed by Friz Frelengwritten by Michael Malteseanimated by Gil Turner, and the musical director was Carl Stalling.


Bugs is reading The Song of Hiawatha out loud to himself, and the saga turns real as a pint-sized, Elmer Fudd-like Hiawatha (minus the speech impediment) turns up, paddling his canoe. Hiawatha is looking for a rabbit for his dinner. In a key sequence (replayed in a later cartoon - see below), Hiawatha tricks Bugs into thinking he is preparing a hot bath for him. It is actually a cooking pot, which Bugs quickly vacates once Hiawatha casually mentions that he is having rabbit stew for supper. As with Elmer, Bugs spends the rest of the cartoon tormenting his would-be devourer, who finally breaks his arrows in anger and disgust, and paddles his canoe away while Bugsy finishes his reading of the poem. However, in the closing gag, the miffed-looking Hiawatha suddenly returns to the foreground where Bugs is reading the narrative, and after a second of wordless staring at each other, Hiawatha gives Bugs the "insulting kiss" that the Bunny usually bestows on others. Hiawatha then paddles away again, as Bugs "spits out" the kiss at the iris-out.


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