Manataka American Indian Council
The Panther's Children And Coyote
Legend of the Yokuts
Shoshonean dialects of California
Two women lived alone. One was a woman and the other a girl. The old woman was the jimson weed; the girl the cottontail rabbit. They lived west above Tejon creek. In the morning the old woman saw a dead deer lying at the door.
She did not see who brought it. She took the deer, sliced it, dried the meat, and said nothing. She did not ask the girl about it. Next day the same thing happened. Three times it happened. Then the girl gave birth to two boys, twins. They saw no one.
She did not see her
husband. The boys grew up and she put them into a cradle. Coyote lived at
Sututaiwieyau and had seven
sons. He said: "I will go to see what they are doing." The mother of the two boys was on the plain gathering seeds. The old woman was caring for the children.
Coyote carne to the house. He found that they had plenty of deer meat and acorn mush. The old woman said to him: "Will you have meat and acorn mush?" He said: "Yes." Then she gave him. the food and he ate. After eating he was thirsty. She told him: "There is water in the pitched basket (made with piņon gum)."
Coyote said: ''I do not drink from that kind. The pitch stinks." She told him: "What kind do you drink from?" He said: "I drink from an openwork winnowing basket (khali)." She asked him: "How does it hold water?" He said: "Put leaves into it." The old woman went and tried to bring water in an openwork basket. The water kept running out, but she kept trying a long time.
Meanwhile Coyote took the two boys and went off, making a circuit. The mother was far off on the plain gathering seeds. At night she came home. "Where are my boys?" she asked her mother. The old woman said: "Coyote came here. I think he stole them." Now the panther came.
"Where are the children?" he said. "Coyote stole them," they told him. He took pinenuts and puhuk and hapu in a sack and started to look for his children. He looked all over the country. He looked for them for ten years, for about twelve years. Now the boys were large enough to go out and hunt rabbits. Then Coyote told them: "Do not go far. A man may come here. He is bad.
He will catch you and
kill you." He was afraid their father would come. Next day the boys went on the
mountain and killed a deer. Then one day they went to the top of the mountain
Wachkiu. From there they looked down on the plain on the other side. When they
had rested, they got up to go. The younger one was behind. Then he saw a man
coming. He was dark all over with
a little white on his breast. He said: "See, the one is coming of whom our father told us, the dangerous one."
The panther called: "Where are you going? Stop. I am your father."
Then the younger brother said: "Let us wait." They stopped. "Hello," said the anther. "Hello," they told him.
He asked them: "Why do you run away? I am your father. Coyote is not your father." Then he took one by each hand and they went. Soon the old man became tired and fell. He got up again, took pinenuts and puhuk and hapu from his sack, and gave them to the boys to eat. They ate them all.
Then he asked them: "How does he do when he kills deer!" They told him: "He eats all the intestines before he takes it home." Then their father told them: "Well, I will do that." Now he killed a deer. Then the boys went and called Coyote to come. They said they had killed a deer.
Coyote came. "Whose
track is that?" he said. The older boy said: "It is my track," and Coyote was
satisfied. Then he went to the deer. He wanted to eat of it. He nearly bit at it
when he jumped in fear. Three times he was afraid and jumped aside.
Then he went to it
and ate. Now the panther jumped on him, killed him, and tore him to pieces. He
strewed his flesh over the ground. Then he went to the house. Coyote's children
were playing in a swing. They did not work or hunt but played constantly. The
panther killed them all. He took them by the feet and struck them on the ground.
He entered the house where Coyote's wife was, took her by the feet, and threw
her out. Then he burned the house and went off. He said: "I am going. I travel
over the country."
Reposted with Permission from Brother to Horse
From Blue Panther Keeper of Stories.
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