Thursday, July 27, 2006

Coyote the Mischief Maker

I almost killed Coyote as I passed over the Chewelah plain this afternoon. He bolted out from the tall grass, sprinted across the highway, and quite nearly perished under the wheels of my Ford Ranger pickup. He made a narrow and heroic escape, but I was unimpressed. I pulled over to the side of the road and threw offerings to the wind, hoping to break whatever spells he might cast in my direction. "Spilye!" I called out in my Native language, "I don't want your mischief!"

In all the old stories, Coyote helped create the world and ran errands for the One Who Sits on Top, and yet for all his grandeur, he never seemed to rise above his own petty arrogance, jealousy, and deceit. Oh, he sometimes gave wonderful blessings to the people, but not before inviting humiliation, disrespect, and ruin.

His gifts always come with a price. I'm not sure I'm ready to accept those kind of blessings again.

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