Thursday, October 20, 2016

Werecoyote by Paty Jager

 I take a 2 mile walk every morning. My min-pin/Chihuahua, Tink, usually goes with me. We live in the high desert and have lots of wildlife. Every day we see 1-5 coyotes out in the alfalfa fields catching rodents. Which we like. 

However, the coyotes come down out of the hills to catch the rodents and their path crosses my walking path. Therefore, I am extremely alert to any movement in the tall sagebrush that could be a coyote. My little Tink would be two bites and gone.

One day as we walked the more invigorating path, I heard yipping ahead of us. I called to Tink to get closer and we ended up turning around sooner than normal because it sounded like the coyote was chasing something right toward us. I started walking faster and the sound appeared up above us on the rock cliff. I looked up and there was a coyote staring at us and yipping. I don’t know if it caught Tink’s scent or what. I picked Tink up and kept walking. The coyote followed us along the ridge yipping and finally stopped, turned, and left.

Another day I had both Tink and my hubby’s dog with me. We were walking the other trail. The two dogs were playing a good twenty to thirty feet ahead of me. I saw movement to my right and spotted two deer running up the side of the ridge. Two their left was a large coyote staring down at the two dogs. I called them closer and hurried on by that area. 

This morning, it was cold and I left Tink at the house. She doesn’t like the cold. I was trudging along over the more rugged trail and I spotted the biggest coyote I’ve ever seen in the field just beyond our fence line. I took a photo but it’s fuzzy from trying to zoom in.  He didn’t see me at first. He wandered along, then disappeared. He either noticed the doe and fawn running up the hill or caught my scent. As I stood there trying to get a glimpse of him again, he stood on his hind legs to look over the four to five foot sage brush between us and I was looking at a werecoyote.  His head with perked ears, neck and shoulders were all I could see but as he stood on his hind legs he looked like a man standing there with the head/features of a coyote.

It was eerie and probably came to my mind so quickly because I’ve been judging paranormal books for a contest and they’ve had werewolves in them. 

As quickly as the werecoyote thought emerged in my mind I clicked over to Native American myths and thought how it also looked like images I’ve seen of American Indians wearing buffalo heads and wolf heads during dances and ceremonies. 

A Nez Perce Legend 

How Coyote Created People
One day, long before there were any people on the Earth, a monster came down from the North. He was a huge monster and he ate everything in sight. He ate all the little animals, the chipmunks and the raccoons and the mice, and all the big animals. He ate the deer and the elk and even the mountain lion.

Coyote couldn't find any of his friends anymore and this made him very mad. He decided the time had come to stop the monster.

Coyote went across the Snake River and tied himself to the highest peak in the Wallowa Mountains. Then he called out to the monster on the other side of the river. He challenged the monster to try and eat him.

The monster charged across the river and up into the mountains. He tried as hard as he could to suck 
Coyote off the mountain with his breath but it was no use. Coyote's rope was too strong.

This frightened the monster. He decided to make friends with Coyote and he invited coyote to come and stay with him for a while.

One day Coyote told the monster he would like to see all of the animals in the monster's belly. The monster agreed and let Coyote go in.

When he went inside, Coyote saw that all the animals were safe. He told them to get ready to escape and set about his work. With his fire starter he built a huge fire in the monster's stomach. Then he took his knife and cut the monster's heart down. The monster died a great death and all the animals escaped. Coyote was the last one out.

Coyote said that in honor of the event he was going to create a new animal, a human being. Coyote cut the monster up in pieces and flung the pieces to the four winds. Where each piece landed, some in the North, some to the South, others to the East and West, in valleys and canyons and along the rivers, a tribe was born. It was in this way that all the tribes came to be.

When he was finished, Coyote's friend, Fox said that no tribe had been created on the spot where they stood. Coyote was sorry he had no more parts, but then he had an idea. He washed the blood from his hands with water and sprinkled the drops on the ground.

Coyote said, "Here on this ground I make the Nez Perce. They will be few in number, but they will be strong and pure." And this is how the human beings came to be.

Top Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Pixelia29


Melissa Keir said...

What a beautiful legend. The shaman who wore the buffalo skins were one of my favorite people. They saw the visions and knew about so much, from war to medicine.

I wish you all the best with your writing!

Judy Baker said...

Loved your post. I also walk my dog two miles a day, but the path I take isn't nearly as interesting as your. Thank for sharing the interesting legend.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Melissa, Thank you. I love the Native American legends. They evoke such great images.

Hi Judy, Thanks for stopping in. the walks are good for both the dogs and us. Especially as much as I sit while writing.

Anonymous said...

Paty, I enjoyed this blog. I don't often take the time to read them but glad I did with this one. Judy Esposito

Rain Trueax said...

Good on the alertness you have to protect your dogs. Coyotes can be so sneaky. One of our neighbors out here were sitting on their porch watching a coyote watch them when suddenly it darted forward, grabbed their small dog and ran off with it. We understand they need to live but not our pets or livestock.

Love the legend but we are come from monsters? lol

Paty Jager said...

Hi Rain, Thanks for stopping in and commenting. There are a lot of monsters in the Nez Perce legends. They are interesting to read.

Paty Jager said...

Thank you for taking the time and stopping in Judy!