Manataka American Indian Council










The Corn Mill Coyote

A Caddo Legend

A woman pounded corn in a favorite corn mill made from a tree trunk. Smooth with age, it was about two feet wide and three or four feet tall. She dropped corn inside and pounded it with a pole into fine meal.

As she pounded she noticed the corn disappeared faster than meal was ground. She pounded harder and faster, but she still lost more corn than she made meal. After pounding all her corn, she gathered her small portion of meal.

She waited for the next woman to pound her corn to see if the same thing happened. This woman pounded her corn but made very little meal. Now both were suspicious. They waited for the next woman. She pounded her corn, then gathered a small amount too. Now three women waited to watch the next one. This woman pounded and pounded, but the corn disappeared and little meal replaced it.

They discussed the situation, then decided something must be wrong with the corn mill. They turned the mill this way and that, and then realized it was not the same old mill they always used.

One woman called for an axe to split the mill in half so they could see
inside. As a woman ran to get it, the mill fell on its side and rolled
around on the ground. The women jumped back in astonishment.

Coyote leaped up from what had been the corn mill and ran away. All the women laughed. Now they understood that Coyote had hidden the old corn mill and then turned into a mill to eat all their corn.

From Texas Indian Myths and Legends by Jane Archer
Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories