Manataka American Indian Council

 

 

 

 

 

Apache Stories V

 

 

Coyote and the Rolling Rock

Chiricahua Apache

 

 


He was going [along] a road again. He came to a big Rock that was lying there. Someone spoke thus to him: "That is a Rock that moves about." he said to him.

"So? Where is there a Rock that moves about!" [Coyote] said to him.

"Do not defecate on that Rock." he said to [Coyote].

Then he spoke thus: "So? Where is there a Rock that moves!" he said [and] defecated on the Rock.

Then he went over yonder. The Rock rolled out after him. He ran from it. It rolled along right at his heels. He ran with all his strength. In spite of that, the Rock rolled along right at his heels.

Then Coyote spoke thus: "Did you ever see me when I was running at my very best speed?" he said to the Rock.

Then he ran with his very best speed. In spite of that, the Rock rolled along right at his heels.

Then [Coyote] ran from him into a hole. The Rock rolled to cover [the entrance to] the hole. The Rock spoke thus to him: "This, lick it off for me quickly!" he said to him.

Then Coyote licked it all off for him. And the Rock rolled back to where it had been before.


Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache Texts,1938, Harry Hoijer, principal author. Ethnological Notes by Morris Opler. Told by Sam Kenoi

Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories.
 


 

 

Coyote Dances with the Prairie Dogs

Chiricahua Apache



Coyote was walking [along] a road. He picked up [some] old worn-out soldiers' coats where the soldiers had passed. He was going to the Prairie Dogs' town. He picked up a stick. He hung the old worn-out soldiers' coats
onto it. He was carrying it like a flag.

It was sunset. He shouted to the Prairie Dogs. "All of you, come over here!" he said to them. They ran toward him from all directions.

"Everyone! No one is to stay at home; all of you come here!" he said to them.

Then all of them, none staying at home, came to him.

Then he talked to them. "Over there, on yonder mountain, there was a big battle until sunset. I killed all of those who were your enemies for you. I have brought back these coats from there." he said and held them up.

"So, build your fires right now! The ceremony in honor of [the victory] will last all night. The celebration will last all night." Coyote said.

Then: "All right! Hurry, build your fires! There is to be a ceremony right now. It is said that he has killed for us all of those who were our enemies." the Prairie Dogs said.

Then they built the fires.

Then the ceremony began. They were dancing. Coyote spoke thus to them: "Sing about me! In this way:

'From the mountain that lies over there, He has brought them back, He has brought them back'

You say as you sing about me." he said to the Prairie Dogs.

Then the Prairie Dogs sang about Coyote:
1

"From the big mountain that lies over there, He has brought them back, He has brought them back." they said.

Then it was late at night.

Then Coyote spoke thus: "Those of you who are fat line up on one side, and those Prairie Dogs who are thin also line up on the other side as you dance.  Have a good time!" Coyote said to them.

Then the Prairie Dogs who were fat lined up on one side. The Prairie Dogs who were thin also lined up on the other side.

Then Coyote spoke thus again: "I am very tired. The fighting lasted all day.  Now I'm going to sleep a little while. Soon I'll come back to you. Have a good time!" he said to the Prairie Dogs.

Then the Prairie Dogs had a very [good] ceremony. Coyote went off somewhere.  He went in to their town. He filled up all of their holes.

Then he went to a large mulberry tree that was standing there. He broke off a piece of it. He carried it back to where they were dancing. Just as he was returning to that vicinity, he was shouting.

"That's the way to have a good time!" he said as he shouted. He was dancing around and around among them. He pretended to hit them with the club again and again.

Then some of the Prairie Dogs spoke thus among them[selves]: "Look out! He nearly hit him!" they said among them[selves].

Then Coyote spoke thus: "No! Don't be foolish! I did so, I say, when I fought with your enemies for you!"
2 Just then, while dancing around and around, he nearly hit someone again.

Then some of them again spoke thus among them[selves]: "He almost hit him!" they said again.

Then Coyote spoke thus: "No! I did so, I say! I did so, I say, when I killed your enemies for you!" he said to the Prairie Dogs.

Then he danced around and around among them pretending to strike them again and again with the club. Suddenly, he struck at them. He killed them. They started to run away to their houses. He went among them even there. Striking at them, he killed them all.

Then, after a while, he carried them back to the fire. He piled them all in a heap. He spread the fire apart. He put all of them in there. Then he covered the fire up again.

"They will cook well for me." he said.

Then he lay down in the shade under a tree that was standing there. He fell asleep. He was still sleeping when [the sun] had nearly set. At that time, while he was asleep, a Puma dug them out [and stole them] from him. He ate all the Prairie Dogs which were fat. He put back only two of the worst Prairie Dogs.

Then the Puma went away from him. When it was almost sunset, Coyote woke up.  He got up and spoke thus: "They're tender [now]." he said.

He returned to where he had put the Prairie Dogs in the fire. He poked about in the fire with a stick. He poked out only those two worst ones that [Puma] had put back there for him.

"These are no good." he said, throwing them backward. He searched in vain for all of the others.

Then, though he did not like them, he picked up and ate those he had thrown over his shoulder without seeing where [they fell]

 



Ethnological Notes
Morris Opler

1 In the songs of the war dance held after a battle the names of conspicuously brave men were mentioned. These men then danced to songs which had reference to their war deeds.

2 The Chiricahua war dance was essentially a dramatization of the battle by those who had participated in it.



Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache Texts,1938, Harry Hoijer, principal author. Ethnological Notes by Morris Opler. Told by Sam Kenoi
.

Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories

 


 

Coyote Holds Up the Sky

Chiricahua Apache




Then he again went out on the very same road. As he was going along a little further on, he came to a Rock Lizard lying upon a dead tree that was standing there.

He looked up at him. "I eat only fat in order to live." he said to him.  "Come down! I'm going to eat you right away." he said to him.

"Say, old man, don't be foolish! I am holding this [tree] which holds up the sky. If I let go of this, the sky will fall down on us."

"Old man, I am very tired. You, you hold it. Don't let go of it! If you let it go, if the tree falls over, the sky will fall on us. Hold it with all your strength!" he said to Coyote.

Then [Coyote] threw himself onto the tree. The Rock Lizard spoke thus to him: "Wait! I'll let those [people] who are sitting about over there know.  They will hold it on one side for us." he said to him.

"All right." said Coyote.

Then the Rock Lizard ran away from him, Coyote lay upon the tree for a long time. He became very tired. He looked up at the tree. The clouds were moving. It continually seemed to him as if the tree was about to fall.
"Oh...!" he said from time to time.

He was very tired. He looked constantly in all directions. "Where [is] the nearest arroyo?" he thought as he looked for an arroyo.

Nearby, he saw a small arroyo. He let go of the tree. He ran in a zigzag course to the arroyo. He threw himself into the arroyo.

Panting and frightened, he looked upward. He looked at the moving clouds [and], being frightened, he said: "Oh. .. !" He ran to one hollow after another for a long time. He became very tired.

Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache Texts,1938, Harry Hoijer, principal author. Ethnological Notes by Morris Opler.  Told by Sam Kenoi
Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories


 


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