Rikon > Stories of Rikon > Circle Tale > Coyote and Blackbird

Coyote And Blackbird

   First you got to know Coyote.

   I tell it so you know, and then you tell your kids. That's how it is.

   Magic from Coyote make people run 'til they drop, but Coyote good friend if you need.

   Coyote, he always full of self, and he run and he run. Coyote run so tongue hang down to ground and lick the dirt, but he run. He run so ribs like to break from heaving, but he run.

   Nothin' stop Coyote when he run. Like him saw magic what made him run 'til he drop.

   Coyote, one day he run over hill up there, you see where I'm pointin? And he jump on that rock right on there. Just right there he stop and stand all leggy up on that rock and sides heavin' and tongue droopin'. Fangs he show and make all shiney and tail he make all bristly. Ears he move like leaves in tall breeze, then everything he got, he make look on what he see.

   Right there in Coyote path ol Coyote he sees ol' man Blackbird, and ol' man Blackbird he all spread wing and tail he make wide. Ol' man Blackbird he got on war helm and war paint, and jangly hauberk o' mail he got on.

   Shinier n' the sun he sparkle and shine! No man go ta' war like ol' man Blackbird.

   Coyote he think he give ol' man Blackbird big scare, but 'fore he say bark ol' man Blackbird he hunker all over and stomp left an' he stomp right, like he look for wife. War helm all sparkly shine and mail hauberk all jingle jangle.

   Coyote, he stare like he see water climb tree. No critter stand 'fore Coyote lest he want bad magic what make him run 'til he drop.

   But ol' man Blackbird, he jump 'round and 'round on left foot, then he hump 'round and 'round on 'ther foot like he got nothin' to do but make dust fly and fly and Coyote he stare 'till sparkle shine all Coyote see and jingle jangle all Coyote hear.

   Coyote, he shake head what to clear his mind and he make all bristly like he wants trees to bow down, but ol' man Blackbird don't see bristly tail and he don't care 'bout no fang on four feet. He just keep stompin' and spinin'.

   "Ol' man Redwing!" howl Coyote 'til his ribs show, "You in Coyote road!", but ol' man Blackbird, he keep stompin'. Left he stomp roun' and roun', then right he stomp, roun' and roun'.

   "Ol' man Redwing!" yell Coyote, "You on this here MY road!", but ol' man Blackbird, he just switch foot and keep on stompin'. Dust he make rise an dust fall, and war helm sparkle shine and hauberk jingle jangle roun' and roun'.

   "Ol' man Redwing!" Coyote scream so hard ears lay back and voice crack, "Haul you ass off MY road or I make MAGIC what make you know things what make you run 'till you DIE!"

   Ol' man Blackbird, he stop and sit back on haunches, his war helm all shiney shine and his mail hauberk settle jingle jangle in dust and black and red. He look Coyote over and see him shiny fang and see him bristly tail and see ear all pointy and lookin' at him.

   "Coyote," Blackbird say, an' push war helm back and wipe sweat, "this not Coyote road. This little spirit road."

   Coyote, he put fangs back in mouth. "This not little spirit road. This Coyote road."

   But Blackbird, he shake head, "Was Coyote road, old ways die. Now little spirit road. Coyote road somewhere else."

   Coyote, he unbristle tail. He look at rock he stand on and see moss growin' round claws. He think and he think, but sparkly shine all his eye and jingle jangle all his ear. "Why you stomp, Ol' man Redwing?" Coyote ask. "You stomp for to get wife?"

   Ol' man Blackbird, he laugh an' slap dust off him legs. "Got wife. I's stomp little spirits 'fore they grow what an' be big spirits. Little spirits go back what they came ta' dust again and maybe make Coyote road again." And he spread wings low and stomp right foot and he stomp left foot and mail hauberk go jingle jangle and helm sparkle shine.

   Coyote, he sit down 'cause he been running' and powerful tired, and him eyes all sparkle shine and ears all jingle jangle. "You make Coyote road now?"

   "Maybe make Coyote road now." nod ol' man Blackbird, "You look all ears and tail where I stomp, Coyote. You watch and I stomp little spirit road so there no more little spirit." And ol' man Blackbird, he stomp left foot and he stomp right foot, and he spin round and round and jingle jangle and sparkle shine.

   Coyote, he watch feet stomp left and he watch feet stomp right, and he see shiny feathers jump up and shiny feathers jump down, and sun go low and low and low, but ol' man Blackbird he hump left and he stomp right.

   Coyote, he lay down on soft moss rock and he watch 'till eyes go down and ears go down and tail go down. Soon, he sleepin', and jingle jangle all he hear, and sparkly shine feathers jump up and sparkly shine feathers jump down all he see. Coyote he smell moss and he smell dust and sun go down an' down an' down.

   And ol' man Blackbird, he see sleepy eye and sleepy tail and sleepy ear, and he jump up on Coyote and pull moss over top o' Coyote so Coyote all hid in moss an' rock and moss an' rock all there is.

   "You right now." laugh ol' man Blackbird, "This here Coyote road now."

   Coyote, he sleep now in that rock right there. You see moss what look like sleepin' ear and sleepin' tail? Coyote magic powerful, make you run 'til you drop, but ol' man Blackbird laughin' now.

   Maybe some day you wake Coyote and see what magic he makes what make you run 'till you drop. But 'for you do you got to know ol' man Blackbird, and how it was he was made fall from th' sky.

   And then, you tell your kids.

   That's how it is.



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