Coyote Kills The Prairie Dogs –J icarilla Apache
Coyote Kills The Prairie Dogs –Jicarilla Apache
Coyote tied the long hair from a buffalo's leg to a stick making it look like a scalp and started off, carrying it in his hand. When he came to a prairie dog town he told them to shut their doors and come and dance. They did so. Coyote had a stone concealed in his hand with which he hit the prairie dogs, killing them as they danced round in a circle. He told them that it was the dancing that killed them and that toward evening they would get up again. The smallest of the prairie dogs who was being carried on his mother's back called out, "He has a stone in his hand." At this, all the prairie dogs ran toward their houses which, being closed, they were unable to enter. Coyote striking at them on both sides had killed a good many.
Then Coyote brought them all together and built a large fire. When it had burned down he separated the ashes and put in the prairie dogs to cook, putting the smallest one across the others at the top. Having arranged them, he covered them with ashes and built a fire on top. While they were cooking he went to sleep. Wildcat, coming along, took all the prairie dogs out. He removed their tails, putting them back in the ashes, and replaced the little one on top. He carried all the remainder away with him and commenced to eat them.
When Coyote woke up he took a stick and poked out one of the prairie dogs. Seeing that it was small he said, "O, I do not need this one," and threw it away. It fell into the top of a tree which stood close to a stream of water. Coyote then seized a tail and pulled it out. "O, the tail has burned off." He then poked around with a stick in vain. There were none.
He went to find the one he had thrown away. Seeing it lying, as he supposed in the water, he dived and searched for it in vain. When he came out of the water he saw it still lying there. He did this four times and then lay down by the edge of the water to rest. On looking up he saw it in a tree above him. Jumping up, he got it and chewed it up bones and all.(1)
(1) A very similar story is told of Old Man by the Blackfoot, Wissler and Duvall, p. 29.
Jicarilla Apache Texts, by Pliny Earle Goddard; New York: Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. VIII; (1911) and is now in the public domain.
Come and visit us at