Manataka American Indian Council










Coyote Man Tricks Beautiful Woman

A Nez Perce Legend

A beautiful young woman looked into the water of the river and cried because she had learned that the man she was to marry, died in battle. All that they brought to her was his bloody shoe.


"Why did it have to be my man?" she cried to God.


Coyote was licking himself in the shade when he heard her sob to God, asking him why her man had died. He peeked at her through the brush.

"What a lovely girl!" he thought. "I must have her."


In lust, Coyote transformed into Coyote Man. "I know why," he said, coming out of the tall grasses. Beautiful Woman stared at him with tears in her eyes.


He was a stranger and very attractive.


"Why?" she asked him.


"Because God is far away on a hunting trip. How can he watch his children when he is away."


"Who watches us then?" she asked Coyote Man.


Plainly he spoke. "I do." Coyote man sat beside her on the bank and caressed her and calmed her.


"I will be your man, for now."


Beautiful Woman let him love her. Coyote Man got up. It was late in the day.


She asked, "Will you stay with me?"


He smiled at her. "No. I can not stay with you."


She realized that he was Coyote. She yelled, "Go away from me." He smiled again. "Shit happens." He muttered as he walked
back into the brush.

~Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories



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