This is Chase005.
Motifs. A1061.1 Flood from animals boring into ground.
Notes. Baer provides this excerpt from a Harris letter: "The crayfish story was told me by negroes on the Turner Plantation many times during the war period. It was recalled to me by a suggestion from the Editor of the Savannah Daily News, who overheard it on the coast, and by other friends, and I then searched for it until I found it among the negroes of this - the Northern - section of teh state. Since the publication of the book I have found a variant in which the Mud Turtle is substituted for the Crayfish."
See the Swahili story by Alice Werner (p. 254), and in Mofokeng (p. 160). There is a drought and Elephant, then others, stamp on sand to bring up water but no success. Then Tortoise tries and water fills the well. Mofokeng notes that frog or crab (crayfish) can replace tortoise in the race-by-trick story. Baer concludes "It could well be that the American Negro versions represent a splitting off of the motif of Mud Turtle (tortoise) loosing the underground water with the etiology of the flood a later addition."
See notes collected at Diigo: Chase005