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Native American Legends

Coyote

A Pima Legend

Coyote is a trickster celebrated in Indian songs and stories from the Gulf of Mexico to the Northern Plains and from the Pacific Ocean to the Mississippi River. But nowhere is he more infamous than in the Southwest, where he appears in many forms. Coyote is a wise fool who teaches tribal rules by breaking them. No matter how tricky he is, the joke is always on Coyote in the end. The most important thing he teaches is that people shouldn't take themselves too seriously.

He's Appointed To The Study The Stars This guy, Coyote, was always appointing himself over people, wanting to show them he could do anything, however hard it was. So the medicine men, wanting to find out if it was true, said, " Maybe he's just a fraud." They says to him ,: Uncle ! Uncle !! You're so fast and wise about everything that you should go and find out for us what those things are doing shinning up there every night." As they said this, they pointed to the stars. Coyote took them seriously. So Coyote went off and didn't return for a long time. Then suddenly , he came back, singing

Beneath the heavens above us
There are round pools of water,
Each time coyote drinks from one,
He sees his reflection and says,
" i-toi" (all drunk up)
But when he catches on,
He laughs quietly at himself.

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