Coyote and the Expanding Meat

All the meat was dried now and Coyote packed it up. He moved his camp. His wife was carrying this bundle of meat right on her back. The woman heard something moving in that pack.

She said to her husband, “My husband, something is moving in this pack. It is just as if something alive is in there.”

Coyote said, “It’s because I know how to make a ceremony over deer. I guess we are going to have more meat. That’s why you hear that noise. You must not open the bundle wide or some of the meat might jump out.”

They built a home at another place.

“Now don’t open this package wide or the meat will expand,” Coyote warned.

So his wife opened the pack just a little and picked out a piece just large enough for a meal.

But Coyote forgot his own directions and opened up the bundle wide, and the meat spread out all over. It swelled up. He couldn’t push it back into the parfleche. He tried to push it back, but it kept growing.

He called to his wife, “Why do you stand there? Why don’t you help me push it back?”

Even when all the children tried to help, they couldn’t push it back.

After a while Coyote was tired and angry. “You can expand as long as you like!” he said. “I don’t care.”

The meat grew and grew till he couldn’t see the end. That’s the way Coyote lost the meat. They ate just a little and then they gave up. They couldn’t handle the meat and so they went away.

*

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