Coyote Comes to Life Four Times

Coyote had a plan which he knew he could carry out by means of his power. He took his heart out and cut it in half. He put one half right at the tip of his nose and the other half at the end of his tail.

Having lost his wife at one group of camps, he went to another. He asked the brother of a certain girl if he could marry her.

Every time the brother went out hunting, Coyote would go with him and try to help him. He chased the deer towards this man and did everything he could to assist him. So the brother brought in meat all the time and was very much pleased.

He said, “I guess this boy ought to have my sister.”

So he went over to the place where his sister was. He talked to her. He said, “This man wants to be my brother-in-law. He wants to marry you.”

She said, “I’m not going to marry him.”

But Coyote stayed there. He tried to help all the time and acted like a servant for these people.

The brother kept talking to his sister. He said, “My sister, you should marry this man. He’s good to us. He’s not lazy.”

Finally the girl said, “All right, I’ll marry him. But he must let me kill him four times. If he comes to life each time, I’ll marry him.”

Coyote said, “All right, come and kill me.”

So this girl picked up a stone ax and hit Coyote on the head. He fell. Then she pounded and pounded and broke all his bones. She felt all the bones to make sure they were broken.

Then she said, “He’s dead.”

But the next day Coyote walked in looking just as he used to. There was no sign that his bones had been broken.

“Here I am,” he said. “Come and kill me again.”

So she hit him again with the ax. She chopped and chopped till he was all in pieces.

But the next day he came back again.

So she tried again. This time she cut his arms and legs in pieces and scattered them in far places.

But the next day Coyote came back.

She thought, “That ax is no good. I’ll use my flint knife this time.”

She hacked him to pieces with this and scattered the parts.

But the next day he was there as before. So she had to marry him.


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