Native American Legends
Bálölöokongwuu and the Coyote
A Hopi Legend
Bálölöokongwuu (the abbreviated term Bálölöokong
being usually used) is a mythical serpent, supposed to control the
water and to live in the ocean, springs, etc. Lölö'okongwuu
(abr. Lölö'okong) is really the Bull Snake, but this term
is often used for Bálölöokong, as is seen in this
Alíksai! In Mishóngnovi, where there are now the
ruins of old Mishóngnovi, they were living. East of there
the Lölö'okong alsoq lived, and south from there, at Jack-Rabbit
House (Covíihkivee), lived the Coyote. He was a friend of
the Lölö'okong. "I am going to visit my friend,"
the Lölö'okong said one day, so in the evening he went
over to his friend's kiva. The Lölö'okong was very long.
When he arrived at the Coyote's house the latter said, "Come
in." "All right," he replied. "Come in,"
his friend repeated, so he went in and kept coiling up until he
filled the entire kiva. So they were sitting and conversing there.
"Now let us eat something," the Coyote said. "Very
well," his visitor replied. So the Coyote brought forth some
juniper berries, which they ate. "Thanks, that I have eaten,"
the Lölö'okong said.
By this time it had become quite late. "I am going home now,"
the Lölö'okong said. "All right," his host replied,
"it is getting late." And after having invited the Coyote
to visit him also, the Lölö'okong left. After his visitor
had left the Coyote was thinking: "What shall I do to my friend,
as I want to repay him?" The next day he went into the timber
and got a big armful of dry cedar bark. This he tied into a long
rope, as it were, with yucca leaves, and rolled it up in his kiva.
He then fastened it to his tail and went out. After having run around
for some time, he went to his friend's house. "Have you come?"
the latter said. "Yes, I have come." "All right,
come in, come in," the Lölö'okong said. So he went
in and kept circling around and around and around, filling the whole
kiva with his long tail. On the walls of the kiva of the Lölö'okong
were hanging many snake costumes, and the Coyote kept looking and
looking at them. "Now let us eat," the host finally said,
and getting from a shelf a very small bowl with some corn-pollen,
set it before his visitor. "This I am eating; eat of it too,"
he said to the Coyote. So they talked together until evening. "It
is evening," finally the Coyote said. "I am going home
now." "Very well," the Lölö'okong replied,
"we are through talking, and it is evening."
The Coyote hereupon left the kiva, dragging his long tail after
him. When the latter was nearly unwound, the Lölö'okong
put a little piece of ember on the tail, which set it on fire, a
lid when this was dragged out of the kiva, it set the grass on fire.
The Coyote looked around and was wondering who was setting everything
on fire after him. When the tail was nearly consumed he had arrived
at his kiva, and then he began to think that maybe his friend had
done that to him. "Well now," he said, "he is my
friend, and that friend has treated me this way," And then
he became very angry at the Lölö'okong. He then entered
his kiva and continued to live there.
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