Coyote Steals Another Man’s Wife

So Coyote went out again. He saw some people hunting, some Apaches. He saw a man near him.

Coyote said to that man, “Get up on this rock.”

The man got up on it. Coyote made that rock grow. It became very tall. The man couldn’t get down. Coyote went away.

This man had a wife. When the sun went down Coyote went to her. He said to her, “You, whose husband went up on the rock.”

He tried to stay there and marry her. He sat right in the doorway. He tried to jump and catch that girl. But she changed to a red flower. Every time she turned to a flower he would urinate on her. That’s why some girls have an odor under the armpits; it smells just like Coyote’s urine.

Meanwhile the man on the rock saw a bat woman carrying a basket. He called to her. She heard him. She knew already where he was, but just for fun she looked around the earth, making believe she was looking for him.

He continued to call, “Grandmother, grandmother, take me down!”

She almost went into the woods past the place, but then she turned and, shading her eyes with her hands, looked in his direction. She came over.

She started to sing while she climbed up to him. The words she sang were, “Stick to the rock, stick to the rock.”

She got on top.

He said to her, “Coyote sent me up on this rock. I called to you so that you would take me down.”

The string of her basket was of spider web. He didn’t think it was strong enough.

“I will break it,” he said.

“No, it’s tough string,” she answered. “I carry big mountain-sheep in it.”

But he didn’t believe it. “You must put some rocks in it and let me see how strong it is,” he said.

She did so and danced with those rocks in the basket. The web was strong and held.

“Now get in. But keep your eyes shut while we are going down.”

She assured him it would not break. She jumped up and down with him in the basket to show him it would not break.

“But shut your eyes when we start,” she warned him.

“My vulva sticks to it,” she sang as she went down.

The man thought, “That’s a funny song,” but he couldn’t help it.

When they got down, she jumped and jumped. “We are already down,” she said, but he kept his eyes closed. After a while he got out.

He started for his former camp. When he got there he asked the fire poker, “How long ago did these people move away? Which way did they go?”

“This way.”

He went in the direction indicated, following the tracks. He got to the next place where they had camped at sunset. There he found a scraping pole.

“How long since those people left?” he asked it.

“Two days ago.”

He went on again. He came to another deserted camp site. He asked the bedding, “When did these people go?”

“Yesterday.”

He continued his journey. He found another deserted camp site.

He found a corral there and asked, “When did they leave?” He asked about noon.

“They left this morning,” he was told.

This man had arrows with him. On the way he found a deer and killed it and carried it. At sunset he got there and went to his home.

Coyote was out hunting at the time. When the man got home the whole house smelled.

He said to his wife, “This is a bad smell. Take your clothes out and throw them away.”

The woman had to take off all her clothes and throw them and many other things away. They washed things till dark. They burned all kinds of weeds and smoked the house to rid it of the smell. The woman didn’t clean well under her armpits though, and it still smelled there.

After dark Coyote came back from his hunt. He came straight for the house. He saw the man in the corner and stopped at the door.

He said, “Did you come back?”

The husband did not answer.

He told Coyote then, “Get four small stones.”

The man cut a slice of meat and roasted it. Coyote brought the four stones. The man threw them into the fire and let them get red hot. Then he rolled them up in the meat and threw them that way to Coyote.

Coyote swallowed them. “You think you are going to kill me with those marbles,” he said.

He sat there. Nothing happened for half an hour. Then Coyote began to run. He ran and ran in circles until he fell down dead.

*

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