Myth-Folklore Unit: Tejas Legends

Overview. These stories from When the Storm God Rides: Tejas and Other Indian Legends were collected in Texas in the early years of the 20th century. Many of the stories come from the Tejas Indians, a Caddoan people of eastern Texas whose name, meaning "friend," is where Texas itself got its name. There are also stories that traveled north from the Maya of the Yucatan or which come from neighboring peoples such as the Comanche. The stories were selected and re-told with a young audience in mind, emphasizing positive lessons drawn from the world of nature: how the woodpeckers tap the trees as they look for their lost children, why the oriole nests in the pecan tree, and what made the roadrunner become the bitter enemy of the rattlesnake, along with many other nature tales.

Language. These stories are told in a very charming and simple style, specifically intended for a young audience. If you are interested in children's literature and learning how to tell stories for children, this is a good option to choose!

Story Length. These are all single-page stories.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: Tejas Legends. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

  1. When the Storm God Rides
  2. How the North Wind Lost His Hair
  3. The Plant That Grows in Trees
  4. Why the Woodpecker Pecks
  5. The Woodpecker's Stumpy Tail
  6. Old Woolly Bird's Sacrifice
  7. A Tribe That Left Its Shoes
  8. The Cloud That Was Lost
  9. The Swift Blue One
  10. Grandmother River's Trick
  1. Why Hummingbirds Drink Only Dew
  2. The Maiden Who Loved a Star
  3. Old Quanah's Gift
  4. How Sickness Entered the World
  5. Why the Irises Hold Hands
  6. The Pecan Tree's Best Friend
  7. When the Rainbow Was Torn
  8. Paisano, Hater of the Rattlesnake
  9. Maidens Who Broke a Drought
  10. The Cottonwood Remembers
  11. Why the Dog's Ears Flop