Apache: Coyote Tries to Make His Children Spotted

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

Coyote Tries to Make His Children Spotted

A deer was going along the arroyo among the willows with her spotted fawns. Coyote, coming up to her, said, "How do you make your little ones so spotted?"

"Why, they are born that way," she told him.

Coyote did not believe it. "Oh no, you do something to them to make them that way."

Then Deer said, "I dig a hole for them at the top of the ridge where the wind blows up, then I pile a lot of cedar wood in front, and set it on fire. The sparks that fly out make them spotted."

"What did I tell you?" he said.

He went home after his children and said to them, "Come, my little children, I will make you spotted." He made a hole for them on the crest of the ridge where the wind blows up. He piled cedar wood in front of the opening, lit it, and then sat at one side to watch. They climbed over each other, crying, until the fire killed them.

When the fire had burned down he looked at them. When he saw their lips turned back and their teeth showing in white rows he said. "O, you are laughing because you are so beautifully spotted." He took one of them by the arm, but when he pulled, it came off. They were thoroughly cooked.

He went away to find the deer. He set the willows on fire where he supposed she was, saying, "You told me a lie." When the fire had burned out there was nothing there for the deer had gone out on the other side. Coyote started away again.

(300 words)

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