Apache: Antelopes Take Arrows from Coyote

This story is part of the Apache unit. Story source: Jicarilla Apache Texts edited by Pliny Earle Goddard (1911).

Antelopes Take Arrows from Coyote

They got two little antelopes for him and placed them in his way. He came where they were lying.

"Now we will have a footrace, my little nephews," Coyote said. Coyote put a panther skin quiver on one of them, a black bow on the other. The antelopes fell down.

"You do not run very fast, my nephews," said Coyote; "stand here in front of me." The antelopes ran off in another direction. They were running side by side. Then they turned and ran back side by side. Coyote ran after them.

When he was close to them they ran in different directions. Coyote ran after one of them. The one that was running this way fell. Coyote looked at it and then ran toward the place where it fell. It ran away from him again. Coyote was pretty close when he looked at the other one and saw it fall. He ran to the second one which fell. They were getting a long ways apart and Coyote was tired out, running first one way and then the other. The antelopes took the arrows away and went among their friends.

Coyote speaking as a chief said, "I want you to go after the antelope." They all stood in a circle. "I want you to run after the one which carries the quiver," Coyote said. The antelopes stood facing outward. They broke through the circle. They came together again.

"All of you look for the antelopes," Coyote said. They surrounded them. "Go after the one which has the quiver," he said. The antelopes were facing outward. They broke through again. Coyote himself came home, out of breath with running. They all came back.

The next day he gathered the people again. They surrounded the antelope. "Run after the one that has the quiver," he told them. The antelope stood facing outward. They broke through again. The next day he gathered the people together again and they formed a circle. The antelope stood facing outward. They broke through the line. He himself was out of breath.

(Second Version)

Coyote, having come to Owl who alone possessed arrows, took them away from him and killed him. After that, Coyote was the only one who had arrows and everyone was afraid of him. Since the arrows belonged to bad people, the others came together and discussed how they might take them away.

The chief said to them, "That crazy fellow has the arrows. How shall we take them from him?" Black tail and white tail deer were first consulted.

When it was Antelope's turn to be heard he said, "You need someone who is smart; I will take the arrow away from him for you."

Antelope's two small children went to Coyote who challenged them to a footrace. "You are too small to run a race," he replied. Beginning to run about them Coyote put the quiver on one of them and the bow on the other. When they were some distance from Coyote, they became large antelope. When Coyote realized what had happened, they were already a considerable distance away. He ran after them, but they were running very fast.

"Wait, my nephews," he called after them; "I will tell you something." The antelope, paying no attention to him, ran on.

Coyote became very tired. "Wait," he said. "It is my turn; give the arrows to me."

"When you overtake us, we will give them to you," they replied.

Coyote having stopped, the two antelope stopped also but would not let him come near them. Coyote said, "Now, my nephews, your horns will be like bows and your manure will be like arrows."

Then Antelope said to the others, "I have taken away for you the things you were wishing, the arrows Coyote had in his hand. That is why it is good now. It would have happened that people who were not good would have possessed arrows, and would have shot and killed human beings." In this manner the arrows were taken from Coyote.

(700 words)

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