Coyote was on friendly terms with a deer.
But the deer’s wife said to him, “Don’t go around with this coyote. He will kill you some day.”
“No, Coyote is my best friend. How is he going to kill me?”
“All right, you’ll see some day whether he is your friend.”
Coyote liked to hunt with this deer, for every time he went with the deer the other deer would come right up. Coyote would sit behind this deer who was his friend and kill the other deer when they approached. He killed a deer every time. This deer acted as a decoy to draw the deer to Coyote. That is why Coyote was such a good friend of his.
One time they went out hunting together. They couldn’t find any deer anywhere.
Coyote thought, “Perhaps this deer has told the others not to come near again. Perhaps he has tricked me.”
Coyote’s family was hungry, so he decided to kill the deer whose friend he pretended to be.
The next time they were out, Coyote said, “You must go ahead of me. Go to that hill. I have something to do before I go. I’ll catch up to you.”
Coyote turned off and the deer kept going. Then Coyote ran to the other side and crawled near to the deer. He shot his friend. The deer was badly hurt. He started to run back to his home.
Deer got home. He said to his wife, “Pull this arrow out of my body.”
They pulled it out. They saw that it was Coyote’s arrow. So they sent for Coyote. Deer asked him why he had shot him with his arrow.
Deer asked, “Why did you shoot me? I thought you were my best friend.”
Coyote made an excuse. “I didn’t mean to shoot you. I thought yau were another deer. I was a little afraid to shoot, but I did shoot. But don’t be frightened. I’m going to cure you right away.”
The female deer said to her husband, “I told you he was going to kill you some day.”
Then the deer was taken near to Coyote’s home. The deer was very sick and was lying down.
Deer said, “You must cure me in some way.”
Coyote said, “Yes, don’t be afraid. I can cure you right away.”
Coyote’s wife was a little deaf. The children were making noise too. So she couldn’t hear Coyote’s directions very well. Coyote sang and sang. Then he asked his wife for something. He tried to motion to her to come to him. She didn’t see. Then he whistled to his wife, but the children were making so much noise that she didn’t hear. Coyote chased the children away.
He sang and sang and then he said, “Give me the medicine, my wife.”
He had two different things which he called medicine, one that would cure, and one that was an arrow poison.
He said, “Give me the medicine.” Then in a low voice, “That arrow poison, I mean.”
But Coyote’s wife didn’t hear and asked, “What did you say?” So Coyote said in a loud voice, “That medicine for arrow wounds.”
But the deer and his wife had heard what he said the first time. The female deer was very much frightened.
“Don’t eat what Coyote gives you,” she told her husband. “I heard him ask for arrow poison.”
“No,” said Coyote, “I asked for the medicine that cures.” Then the coyote woman picked up the poison and handed it to Coyote.
Coyote sang and sang. He said, “My power tells me that Deer will get better about the middle of this night. The voice tells me to give this medicine. It is not a poison.”
He rubbed it on the wound. It began to pain the deer. Coyote said, “That’s all right. Just lie down. A good medicine always gives you a pain at first.”
At about the middle of the night the deer was dead.
Coyote said, “He is sleeping.”
Deer’s wife came and looked at him. She knew he was dead.
The next day the deer’s family moved camp.
Coyote said, “I’ll take care of this dead body.”
As soon as the deer’s wife and family were gone, Coyote started to butcher the body instead of burying it as he had said he would. Coyote’s wife jerked the meat. They all got busy.