Illustration: Coyote Medicine Bag by Wolf Moon Traders
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Coyote spills the Stars
A Cochiti Legend As Told By Grannie Girt
In the beginning days when all came up from the underworld a huge gathering was planned, uniting all the four-leggeds and flyers. At this meeting Our Mother selected a human being to take a jar of stars, hang them in the sky and name them for all to enjoy. Coyote was very interested in what was going on, but being a wiggler and trickster then as he is no, Our Mother turned to him and said “Do not make mischief here!” The human being was busy, placing the stars in ordered patterns upon the sky…Seven Stars here and the three Pot Rest Stars there. When he had placed the beautiful Morning Star he stood back and admired his work, as did all the rest. While everyone including Our Mother was gathered to gaze at the luminous Morning Star, Coyote tiptoed over to the jar of stars to see for himself what the man was doing. As he lifted the jar’s lid just a little, the stars rose to the occasion, pushed the lid away and raced for the sky. This is the reason so many twinkle without order or pattern, and why so many are not named. Our Mother was angry with Coyote, and said that because of his mischief with the stars Coyote would forever be a wanderer and bring trouble with him wherever he may go. That some days he could be happy and abundant, but other days he would see unhappiness and hunger.
Wolves and Coyotes
One day as a man was walking alone he met a coyote.
Coyote spoke to the man and said, “How would you like to smoke my pipe?”
The man thanked the coyote and said “Sure!”
When the man was finished, the coyote said to him,
“You have smoked my pipe so now you are my friend and I will not harm you, but will take you to meet my people. I want my people to know that you have smoked my pipe. They will be glad to see you and will give you great powers.”
They walked on a way and after a while they met many coyotes and wolves.
When the coyotes and the wolves saw the coyote with the man one wolf called to the other wolves and said, “Everyone be seated. Let us hear what these people who are coming have to say.”
When they were seated the coyote stood up and said, “This man is my brother. He smoked my pipe. He came with me to pay you a visit. Let us take pity on him and make him a wonderful man.”
The man was frightened, for the wolves came very close to him. Then the man was told that he must not be afraid to look. So he did and saw many coyotes, old and young.
The coyotes began to roll in the dust then they came to the man and gave him plant roots and told him that the roots were good for healing the sick.
Then one of the coyotes arose and said, “We will give you this root and if any many is bitten by a mad dog give him this medicine. He will then get well and not go mad. The other medicinal roots are good for other ailments and pains.”
Next a wolf stood up and rolled in the dust. Then he arose and gave the man a whistle and said, “I give you the whistle. When anybody is sick, use this whistle and the person will be made well.”
Then another wolf arose and gave the man a piece of bone with the skull of a wolf on it and said, “Take this piece of bone. If anyone attempts to poison or bewitch you, lay the bone on your forehead and you will be able to overcome them. My power is the bone.”
Finally the man spoke and said,
“This is enough. I thank you wolves and coyotes, I am glad I cam here.”
Then coyote took the man back to the village.
“When you get home,” the coyote said, “take this whistle. Blow it before you get home. Blow hard and we will hear it; all the coyotes and wolves will hear it.”
The man did as he was told and heard the coyotes and wolves howl in the distance.
After several days he heard of a man who was very ill.
He went to him and doctored him. With the new healing powers he had learned from the wolves and the coyotes, he was able to cure the sick man.
Thus began the journeys of the first healers.
Grannie Girt does wonderful crochet work. Here is Grannie Girt!
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Wednesday Night Camp Fire Story as Told by Grannie Girt