Native American Legends
Coyote and the Hare
A Sia Legend
One day Coyote was passing about when he saw Hare sitting before
his house. Coyote thought, "In a minute I will catch you,"
and he sprang and caught Hare.
Hare cried, "Man Coyote, do not eat me. Wait just a minute;
I have something to tell you - something you will be glad to hear
- something you must hear."
"Well," said Coyote, "I will wait."
"Let me sit at the entrance of my house," said Hare.
"Then I can talk to you."
Coyote allowed Hare to take his seat at the entrance.
Hare said, What are you thinking of, Coyote?
"Nothing," said Coyote.
"Listen, then," said Hare. "I am a hare and I am
very much afraid of people. When they come carrying arrows, I am
afraid of them. When they see me they aim their arrows at me and
I am afraid, and oh! how I tremble!"
Hare began trembling violently until he saw Coyote a little off
his guard, then he began to run. It took Coyote a minute to think
and then he ran after Hare, but always a little behind. Hare raced
away and soon entered a house, just in time to escape Coyote. Coyote
tried to enter the house but found it was hard stone. He became
Coyote cried, "I was very stupid! Why did I allow this Hare
to fool me? I must have him. But this house is so strong, how can
I open it?"
Coyote began to work, but after a while he said to himself, "The
stone is so strong I cannot open it."
Presently Hare called, "Man Coyote, how are you going to kill
"I know how," said Coyote. "I will kill you with
"Where is the wood?" asked Hare, for he knew there was
no wood at his house.
"I will bring grass," said Coyote, "and set fire
to it. The fire will enter your house and kill you."
"Oh," said Hare, "but the grass is mine. It is my
food; it will not kill me. It is my friend. The grass will not kill
"Then," said Coyote, "I will bring all the trees
of the wood and set fire to them."
"All the trees know me," said Hare. "They are my
friends. They will not kill me. They are my food." Coyote thought
a minute. Then he said, "I will bring the gum of the pinon
and set fire to that."
Hare said, "Now I am afraid. I do not eat that. It is not
Coyote rejoiced that he had thought of a plan for getting the hare.
He hurried and brought all the gum he could carry and placed it
at the door of Hare's house and set fire to it. In a short time
the gum boiled like hot grease, and Hare cried,
"Now I know I shall die! What shall I do?" Yet all the
time he knew what he would do.
But Coyote was glad Hare was afraid. After a while Hare called,
"The fire is entering my house," and Coyote answered,
"'Blow it out!"
But Coyote drew nearer and blew with all his might to blow the
flame into Hare's house
Hare cried, "You are so close you are blowing the fire on
me and I will soon be burned."
Coyote was so happy that he drew closer and blew harder, and drew
still closer so that his face was very close to Hare's face. Then
Hare suddenly threw the boiling gum into Coyote's face and escaped
from his house.
It took Coyote a long time to remove the gum from his face, and
he felt very sorrowful. He said, "I am very, very stupid."
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