Manataka American Indian Council



Coyote Races with Frog

White Mountain Apache Legend


One day Slim Coyote was traveling along.  He met Frog. Slim Coyote said to Frog, "Come on, let's race together and see who is the faster."


Frog said, "You must be making fun of me to talk like that."


"No, come on, let's race together!" said Slim Coyote.


"All right," said Frog, "but first I want to go some place for a minute."


Slim Coyote said he would wait.  Frog went off and went to where the other frogs were, his people.  He told them he was going to race Slim Coyote and that he wanted them to place themselves all along where the race was to be, at intervals.


"Now," he said, "if Coyote is the loser, then the frog who has the place at the finish will say to Coyote, 'My aunt, {In derision.} you are no runner at all; you are no man, only a boy,' and make fun of him."


Frog went back to where Slim Coyote was waiting, and they started to race.  Frog took one jump and then another frog took his place, and then another for one jump and so on.  This way Slim Coyote lost the race and the last frog said to him, "My aunt, you are no man, only a boy.  I beat you racing.  You are no runner."


Slim Coyote answered, "My aunt, you are a good runner and you beat me.  I have raced with lots of Apaches and other people, but you are the first ever to beat me."


That's the way Coyote lost the race.

-Told by Frances Drake

-Taken from Myths and Tales of the White Mountain Apache by Grenville Goodwin, 1934

-From Blue Panther Keeper of Stories

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