Saturday, May 31, 2014

Apache: Coyote and Mosquito Marry Under False Pretenses

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




Coyote and Mosquito Marry Under False Pretenses

Coyote came to a camp and asked that a girl be given him in marriage. The man had said, "I will give my daughter to one who has large leg muscles." Coyote, displaying his leg muscles, was given the girl.  A horse whinnied. "That is my horse, making the noise," Coyote said. After they had stayed there sometime they prepared to move the camp. "I am going to get my horse," Coyote told them. His wife's family still remained there while the others moved away. When Coyote did not return, those who remained started and went to the other camp. "My horse came this way," said Coyote, as he ran out toward them; "a panther skin saddle blanket was on him and the halter and bridle of rope were dragging." Coyote ran off again from them. They did not find him and went off camping in another direction.

The man married his daughter to Mosquito. He came to her at night. Early in the morning he said, "I am going to hunt," and went off. At night he came back bringing nothing but the blood. "I will go after the meat in the morning," he told them. He came back at night without anything, saying, "The ravens ate up all the meat." "Why did not you bring the bones at least?" they asked. "The bones too, were all chewed up," he replied. The next evening he came back bringing nothing but blood. "I put the meat in a tree," he told them. The next day he went after it but came back reporting that the ravens had eaten it all. "Well, why did not you bring the bones anyway?" they asked him. "The bones too, were all eaten up," he said. While they were still sleeping the sun came up. His wife uncovered his face. His mouth was slender and very long. His arms and legs were very slender too. She stood and looked at him. They took the tipi down and moved it. When he woke up he covered his head with his blanket and went off in this direction. She left him.

They moved their camp from that place. Another girl became Coyote's wife. "I am going off to hunt," he said, and went away. At evening, when he came back his face and hands were covered with blood. He had caused his nose to bleed and rubbed the blood on his face and hands. "I killed a good many of them," he told them. "I am going to get the meat," he said next morning and started back toward it. He came home without anything. He had just been telling lies.






(500 words)




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