Monday, August 4, 2008

Coyote Story

I have always enjoyed stories told from memory; some of my earliest memories are of my father telling me stories at bedtime that were passed down from his own father or that he created in the telling. Minstrel Boy passes on one such a tale at Group News Blog.


One day, Ma’atose was bored. Nothing seemed to interest him. Finally he decided to go and visit his cross-cousin Sun. He thought that this would be a fine idea. Sun always had good tobacco and Slim Coyote felt that a smoke might help him to think better.

On the way to his cousin’s house he decided to stop in and see if his friends among the Chiricauhua had any tizwit (homemade whiskey from cactus) or something else to take as a gift. The Chiricauhua did have plenty of tizwit, so much in fact, that Coyote stayed for nearly a week. Then, right in the middle of a good drunk, he got all jumpy and nervous. He went to see an Hatta’alli (medicine singer and herb doctor) about it and was told that when he felt like that he should settle down someplace quiet with a good pipe and calm down.

Coyote threw some tizwit, some shell beads, a few good stones of turquoise into a bag and headed off to go visit Sun. He was riding his spotted horse Cho’osh (gonorrhea) and the ride helped him to clear his head.

He got to Sun’s house way up in the high mountains and knocked on the door. Sun’s wife answered and said that Sun wasn’t home, but would his cross-cousin like to come in and wait for him?

Coyote went in and admired the beautiful house of Sun. Then he saw that Sun had left a great big bag of tobacco hanging on the wall next to some pipes. He told Sun’s wife that he had been told by a doctor that he should take a smoke now and then to help calm his thoughts. Since they were cousins and all he figured Sun wouldn’t mind if he waited for him with a smoke or two. Then, when Sun came home, Coyote would be all calmed down and they could share some tizwit. While he was rummaging through his bag to get the tizwit out, he made sure that he spilled out a couple of the turquoise stones.

Sun’s wife saw the turquoise and was mighty impressed. She admired Coyote right out of them both. As soon as she had left the room to go put the gemstones away Coyote took Sun’s tobacco bag and emptied most of it into his own pouch. Then he filled a little pipe with Sun’s tobacco and began to smoke. While he smoked he tried to figure out the rest of his plan.

Read the rest here, and thank you, Minstrel Boy.