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Coyote and Gray Fox

This legend comes from Katharine Berry Judson's 1913 collection Myths and Legends of the Great Plains.

Gray fox was very fat. Coyote said, "Younger brother, what has made you fat?" "Elder brother," said the Gray Fox, "I lie down on the trail in the way of those who carry crackers, and I pretend to be dead. When they throw me in the wagon, I lie there, kicking the crackers out. Then I leap out and start home eating. It is the crackers which make me fat. Elder brother, I wish you would do likewise. Elder brother, you have large feet, so I think will knock out a great many crackers."

Coyote went to the place and lay down in the trail. When the white man came along, he threw Coyote into the wagon. The white man thought, "It is not the first time he has acted in this way," so he tied the feet of Coyote. Having put the Coyote in the wagon, the white man went to his house. He threw Coyote out near an old outhouse. Then the white man brought a knife, and cut the cords which bound Coyote's feet. He acted as if Coyote was dead, so he threw him over his back and started off for the house.

But Coyote managed to get loose and ran homeward. He went back to get even with Gray Fox.

"Oh, younger brother," said Coyote, "you have made me suffer."

"You yourself are to blame," said Gray Fox. "Be silent and listen to me. You brought the trouble on yourself as you lay down in the place where the white man came with his load of goods."

"Oh, younger brother, you tell the truth," said Coyote. But Gray Fox had tempted him.

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More stories to read:

 Native American animal folklore
 Legends about coyotes
 Legends about foxes

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 Ponca gods
 The Ponca language
 The Ponca Indians



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