Friday, June 6, 2014

Great Plains: Coyote and Snake

This story is part of the Great Plains unit. Story source: Myths and Legends of the Great Plains by Katharine Berry Judson (1913).




Coyote and Snake
Omaha

Coyote was going in a straight line across the prairie. While he was seeking something, a person said suddenly, “Stop!”

Coyote thought, “Who can it be?”

He looked all around but saw no one. Then he walked on a few steps when some one said, “Walk around me!”

Then Coyote saw it was Snake. “Humph!” said Coyote. “When I walk here, I do not wish to walk around anyone at all. You go to one side. Get out of my way!”

Snake replied, “I am here. I have never thought for a moment of giving place to anyone!”

“Even if you think so,” said Coyote, “I will run over you.”

“If you do so, you shall die,” said Snake.

“Why should I die? There is nothing that can kill me,” said Coyote.

“Come! Step over me. Do it in spite of me,” said Snake. Then Coyote stepped over him. And Snake bit him. But Coyote did not feel it.

“Where is it? You said that if I stepped over you, I should die. Where have I received my death blow?” said Coyote.

Snake made no reply and Coyote walked on. After some time he came to a creek. As he was about to drink, he saw himself in the water. He seemed very fat.

“Whew!” he said. “I was never so before. I am very fat.” Saying this, he felt himself all over, but that was all he did.

Then he walked on until he felt sleepy. He said, “I am very sleepy.” So he pushed his way into the thick grass and fell asleep. Coyote did not wake up.

Snake had told the truth.





(300 words)




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