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Coyote and the two Frog Women

An Alsea Legend

Coyote had no wife, and nobody wanted him. So one day he decided that he would go to the coast to look for dried salmon to buy.

He wasn't gone long when he came upon two frog women who were digging in the ground for camas. They called, "Where are you going?"

He acted as if he didn't hear. When they had yelled at him for a third time, he seemed to pay attention. "What do you want?"

"Nothing. We've been trying to ask you a question."

"What is it?"

"Where are you going?"

"I'm going to the coast to look for salmon."

"All right; are you going to leave us some on your way back?"

"Certainly," said Coyote. So he went on.

Now he was thinking, "I wonder how I'm going to play a trick on those two?" He hadn't gone far when he saw some yellow-jacket wasps hanging on a branch. He went to their nest, took it off the tree, and closed it so that the yellow-jackets could not fly out. Then slipping it into his basket, he opened the nest again and tied the basket so that the wasps could fly around inside but not come out.

Coyote put the basket on like a pack and went back to the women digging for camas. He didn't seem to pay any attention to them, so they shouted, "Hey, are you on your way home?"

"Yes, I am on my way home."

"How much salmon are you bringing back?"

"Not very much."

"You promised to leave some behind for us two."

"All right, come and get it."

They came up and he began to untie his pack. "You two put your heads inside this basket!"

They did, whereupon he kicked the pack. The yellow-jackets came out so angry that they stung the two frog women to death.

After the women had died, Coyote took off their vulvas and went on. Now whenever he felt like intercourse, he dug a hole in the ground, put those vulvas there, and then did it.

Pretty soon the two women came to life again. One began to examine herself and cried, "My vulva is gone! How about you?"

The other looked, and hers was gone too! They agreed that it was Coyote who played the trick on them.

For this reason frogs, they say, have no female organs.

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