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Coyote and the Monster

This version of the legend comes from Hoijer's 1933 article Tonkawa, an Indian language of Texas.

Coyote was going along, it is said, and while so doing, he climbed a mountain and was standing there. It happened there was a large camp below that mountain. Coyote, descending, arrived at that large camp. As he came to the last (tipi), (he heard someone) weeping inside the tipi. Coyote, entering, said, "What is the matter ? "

The woman said, "All this camp off in this direction has no people in it. An evil one has killed them all."

"Well, don't cry," said Coyote, "tomorrow I intend to fight with him (the monster)."

The woman went out and announced, "Coyote says he will fight him tomorrow."

"When I fight him tomorrow, don't run away," said Coyote, "Watch me closely."

"Yes," she said, it is said.

That evening, (Coyote), going down to the river and cutting a (stick of) very hard wood, he burned it black, put it away and went to sleep. The next morning he arose and, going outside, he sat down facing the east and howled loudly. Sitting towards the south, he again howled ; again towards the west ; and, finally, he sat facing the north and howled.

When the women went for wood, Coyote joined them. Suddenly they said, "Here he comes!" And that evil one was red above the waist and black below the waist, it is said. The women ran away and Coyote hid. Just as he (the evil one) ran towards him, he fought that evil one. At that moment many wolves, catching hold of him and fighting with him, killed the evil one, it is said. And then the wolves went away.

Coyote said then to that camp of no people. "Close tightly all these tipis", and all the tipis were closed. Then Coyote went off a ways and, running back, shouted, "Come, quickly!, this camp is burning!" but nothing happened. Again he went off and, running back, shouted, "Come, quickly, this camp is burning", but (again) nothing happened. Again he went off, and, running back, shouted, "Come, quickly, this camp is burning", and nothing happened. Then the last time, he went off and, running back, shouted, "Come, quickly, this camp is burning." Then many people ran out, it is said.

Then they gave Coyote a pretty woman for his wife, it is said.

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More stories to read:

 Native American Coyote legends
 Legends about monsters
 Legends about wolves

Learn more about:

 Tonkawa stories
 The Tonkawa language
 The Tonkawa Indians



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