Music:  The Legacy by John Serrie
A Zuni Legend of Spider Tower

A Zuni Legend
In Dead Man's Canyon, a deep gorge that is lateral to the once populated valley of the Rio De Chelly,  AZ., stands a stark spire of weathered
sandstone, its top rising 800 feet above its base in a sheer uplift.  Centuries ago a hunter of one of the cave villages was surprised by hostiles while
hunting in this region.  He was chased by them into this canyon.  As he ran he looked vainly from side to side in the hope of finding a hiding place but
help came from a source that was least expected.  Upon approaching this enormous spire, with his strength well nigh exhausted, he saw a silken cord
hanging from a notch at the top.  Quickly knotting the end about his waist, so that it would not fall within the reach of his pursuers, he climbed up,
setting his feet into the roughness of the stone and advancing hand over hand.  When he reached the summit, he stayed drinking dew and feeding on
birds eggs until his enemies went away.  After his foes had gone, he descended by the cord and was able to reach his home.

The help came from a friendly spider who saw his plight from her perch at the top of the spire.  She weaved a web of extra thickness, attached one end
fast to a rock while the other fell within the hunter's grasp.  The spider liked the gentle cave dwellers who lived near by and caused her no trouble
where as the pursuers were without remorse and could not be trusted.

Ever since this time and even today this spire is known as Spider Tower.
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Atahsaia, The Cannibal Demon

A Zuni Legend
In the days of the ancients, when the children of our forefathers lived in Heshokta ["Town of the Cliffs"], there also lived two beautiful maidens, elder
and younger, sisters one to the other, daughters of a master-chief.

One bright morning in summer-time, the elder sister called to the younger, "Hani!"  "What sayest thou?" said the hani.  "The day is bright and the
water is warm.  Let us go down to the pool and wash our clothes, that we may wear them as if new at the dance to come."

"Ah, yes, sister elder," said the hani; "but these are days when they say the shadows of the rocks and even the sage-bushes lodge unthinkable things,
and cause those who walk alone to breathe hard with fear."

"Shtchu!" exclaimed the elder sister derisively.  "Younger sisters always are as timid as younger brothers are bad-tempered."  "Ah, well, then; as you
will, sister elder.  I will not quarrel with your wish, but I fear to go."

"Yaush!  Come along, then," said the elder sister, whereupon they gathered their cotton mantles and other garments into bundles, and, taking along a
bag of yucca-root, or soap-weed, started together down the steep, crooked path to where the pool lay at the foot of the great mesa.

Now, far above the Town of the Cliffs, among the rocks of red-gray and yellow --red in the form of a boulder-like mountain that looks like a frozen
sandbank --there is a deep cave.  You have never seen it?  Well!  To this day it is called the "Cave of Atahsaia," and there, in the times I tell of, lived
Atahsaia himself.  Uhh!  What an ugly demon he was!  His body was as big as the biggest elk's, and his breast was shaggy with hair as stiff as
porcupine-quills.  His legs and arms were long and brawny, --all covered with speckled scales of black and white.  His hair was coarse and snarly as
a buffalo's mane, and his eyes were so big and glaring that they popped out of his head like skinned onions.  His mouth stretched from one cheek to
the other and was filled with crooked fangs as yellow as thrown-away deer-bones.  His lips were as red and puffy as peppers, and his face as
wrinkled and rough as a piece of burnt buckskin.

That was Atahsaia, who in the days of the ancients devoured men and women for his meat, and the children of men for his sweetbread.  His weapons
were terrible, too.  His fingernails were as long as the claws of a bear, and in his left hand he carried a bow made of the sapling of a mountain-oak,
with two arrows already drawn for use.  And he was never seen without his great flint knife, as broad as a man's thigh and twice as long, which he
brandished with his right hand and poked his hair back with, so that his grizzly fore-locks were covered with the blood of those he had slaughtered.  
He wore over his shoulders whole skins of the mountain lion and bear clasped with buttons of wood.

Now, although Atahsaia was ugly and could not speak without chattering his teeth, or laugh without barking like a wolf, he was a very polite demon.  
But, like many ugly and polite people nowadays, he was a great liar.

Atahsaia that morning woke up and stuck his head out of his hole just as the two maidens went down to the spring.  He caught sight of them while his
eyes traveled below, and he chuckled.  Then he muttered, as he gazed at them and saw how young and fine they were:  "Ahhali!  Yaatchi!"  ("Good
lunch!  Two for a munch!")  And howled his war cry, "Ho-o-o-thlai-a!" till Teshaminkia, the Echo-god, shouted it to the maidens.

"Oh!" exclaimed the hani, clutching the arm of her elder sister, "listen!"  "Ho-o-o-thlai-a!" again roared the demon, and again Teshaminkia.  "Oh, oh!  
Sister elder, what did I tell you?

"Why did we come out today!" and both ran away; then stopped to listen.  When they heard nothing more, they returned to the spring and went to
washing their clothes on some flat stones.

But Atahsaia grabbed up his weapons and began to clamber down the mountain.  Muttering and chuckling to himself as he went:  "Ahhali!  Yaatchi!"  
(Good lunch!  Two for a munch!).

Around the corner of Great Mesa, on the high shelves of which stands the Town of the Cliffs, are two towering buttes called Kwilli-yallon (Twin
Mountain).  Far up on the top of this mountain there dwelt Ahaiyuta and Matsailema.

You don't know who Ahaiyuta and Matsailema were?  Well, I will tell you.  They were the twin children of the Sun-father and the Mother Waters of
the World.  Before men were born to the light, the Sun made love to the waters of the World, and under his warm, bright glances, there were hatched
out of a foam-cup on the face of the Great Ocean, which then covered the earth, two wonderful boys, whom men afterward named Ua nam Atch
Piahk'oa ("the Beloved Two who Fell").

The Sun dried away the waters from the highlands of earth and these Two then delivered men forth from the bowels of our Earth mother, and guided
them eastward toward the home of their father, the Sun.  The time cams, alas! When war and many strange beings arose to destroy the children of
earth, and then the eight Stern Beings changed the hearts of the twins to sawanikia, or the medicine of war.  Thenceforth they were know as Ahaiyuta
and Matsailema ("Our Beloved," the "Terrible Two," "Boy-gods of War").

Even though changed, they still guarded our ancients and guided them to the Middle of the World, where we now live.  Gifted with hearts of the
medicine of war, and with wisdom almost as great as the Sun-father's own, they became the invincible guardians of the Corn-People of Earth, and,
with the rainbow for their weapon and thunderbolts for their arrows, --swift lightning-shafts pointed with turquoise, --were the greatest warriors of
all in the days of the new.

When at last they had conquered most of the enemies of men, they taught to a chosen few of their followers the songs, prayers, and orders of a society
of warriors who should be called their children, the Priests' of the Bow, and selecting from among them the two wisest, breathed into their nostrils (as
they have since breathed into those of their successors) the sawanikia.  Since then we make anew the semblance of their being and place them each
year at "mid sun" on top of the Mountain of Thunder, and on top of the Mountain of the Beloved, that they may know we remember them and that
they may guard (as it was said in the days of the ancients they would guard) the Land of the Zuni from sunrise to sunset and cut off the pathways of
the enemy.

Well, Ahaiyuta, who is called the elder brother, and Matsailema, who is called the younger, were living on the top of Twin Mountain with their old
grandmother.  Said the elder to the younger on this same morning:  "Brother, let us go out and hunt.  It is a fine day.  What say you?"

"My face is in front of me," said the younger, "and under a roof is no place for men," he added, as he put on his helmet of elk-hide and took a quiver of
mountain-lion skin from an antler near the ladder.

"Where are you two boys going now?" shrieked the grandmother through a trap door from below.  "Don't you ever intend to stop worrying me by
going abroad when even the spaces breed fear like thick war?"

"O grandmother," they laughed, as they tightened their bows and straightened their arrows before the fire, "never mind us; we are only going out for
a hunt," and before the old woman could climb up to stop them they were gaily skipping down the rocks toward the cliffs below.

Suddenly the younger brother stopped.  "Ahh!" said he, "listen, brother!  It is the cry of Atahsaia, and the old wretch is surely abroad to cause tears!"  
"Yes," replied the elder.  "It is Atahsaia, and we must stop him!  Come on, come on; quick!"

"Hold, brother, hold!  Stiffen your feet right here with patience.  He is after the two maidens of Heshokta!  I saw them going to the spring as I came
down.  This day he must die.  Is your face to the front?"  "It is; come on," said the elder brother, starting forward.

"Stiffen your feet with patience, I say," again exclaimed the younger brother.  "Know you that the old demon comes up the pathway below here?  He
will not hurt them until he gets them home.  You know he is a great liar, and a great flatter; that is the way the old beast catches people.  Now, if we
wait here we will surely see them when they come up."

So, after quarreling a little, the elder brother consented to sit down on a rock, which overlooked the pathway and was within bow shot of the old
demon's cave.

Now, while the girls were washing, Atahsaia ran as fast as his old joints would let him until the two girls heard his muttering and rattling weapons.

"Something is coming, sister!" cried the younger, and both ran toward the rocks to hide again, but they were too late.  The old demon strode around
by another way and suddenly, at a turn, came face to face with them, glaring with his bloodshot eyes and waving his great jagged flint knife.  But as
he neared them he lowered the knife and smiled, straightened himself up and approaching the frightened ones as gently as would a young man.

The poor younger sister clung to the elder one, and sank moaning by her side, for the smile of Atahsaia was as fearful as the scowl of a triumphant
enemy, or the laugh of a rattlesnake when he hears any old man tell a lie and thinks he will poison him for it.

"Why do you run, and why do you weep so?" asked the old demon.  "I know you.  I am ugly and old, my pretty maidens, but I am your grandfather
and mean you no harm at all.  I frightened you only because I felt certain you would run away from me if you could."

"Ah!" faltered the elder sister, immediately getting over her fright.  "We did not know you and therefore we were frightened by you.  Come, sister,
come," said she to the younger.  "Brighten your eyes and thoughts, for our grandfather will not hurt us.  Don't you see?"

But the younger sister only shook her head and sobbed.  Then the demon got angry.  "What are you blubbering about?"  he roared, raising his knife
and sweeping it wildly through the air.  "Do you see this knife?  This day I will cut off the light of your life with it if you do not swallow your

"Get up, oh, do get up, hani!" whispered the elder sister, now again frightened herself.  "Surely he will not cut us off just now, if we obey him; and is it
not well that even for a little time the light of life shine- though it shine through fear and sadness- than be cut off altogether?  For who knows where
the trails tend that lead through the darkness of the night of death?"

You know, in the speech of the rulers of the world and of our ancients, a man's light was cut off when his life was taken, and when he died he came to
the dividing-place of life.  The hani tried to rally her and rose to her feet, but she still trembled.

"Now, my pretty maidens, my own granddaughters, even," said the old demon once more, as gently as at first, "I am most glad I found you.  How
good are the gods!  For I am a poor, lone man.  All my people are gone."  (Here he sighed like the hiss of a wildcat.)  "Yonder above is my home"
(pointing over his shoulder), "and as I am a great hunter, plenty of venison is baking in my rear room and more sweet-bread than I can eat.  Lo!  It
makes me homesick to eat alone, and when I saw you and saw how pretty and gentle you were, I thought that it might be you would throw the light
of your favor on me, and go up to my house to share of my abundance and drink from my vessels.  Besides, I am so old that only now and then can I
get a full jar of water up to my house.  So I came as fast as I could to ask you to return and eat with me."

Reassured by his kind speech, the elder sister hastened to say:  "Of course, we will go with our grandfather, and if that is all he may want of us, we
can soon fill his water-jars, can't we, hani?"

"You are a good girl," said the old demon to the one who had spoken; then, glaring at the younger sister:  "Bring that fool along with you and come
up; she will not come by herself; she has more bashfulness than sense, and less sense than my knife, because that makes the world more wise by
killing off fools."

He led the way and the elder sister followed, dragging along the shrinking hani.  The old demon kept talking in a loud voice as they went up the
pathway, telling all sorts of entertaining stories, until, as they neared the rocks where Ahaiyuta and Matsailema were waiting.  The Two heard him
and said to one another:  "Ahh, they come!"

Then the elder brother jumped up and began to tighten his bow, but the younger brother muttered:  "Sit down, won't you, you fool!  Atahsaia's ears
are like bat-ears, only bigger.  Wait now, till I say ready.  You know he will not hurt the girls until he gets them out from his house.  Look over there in
front of his hole.  Do you see the flat place that leads to that deep chasm beyond?"  "Yes," replied the elder brother.  "But what of it?"

"What but that there he cuts the throats of his captives and casts their bones and heads into the depths of the chasm!  Do you see the notch in the stone?
 That's where he lets their blood flow down, and for that reason no one ever discovers his tracks.  Now, stiffen your feet with patience, I say, and we
will see what to do when the time comes."

Again they sat and waited.  As the old demon and the girls passed along below, the elder brother again started and would have shot had not
Matsailema held him back.  "You fool of a brother elder, but not wiser.  No!  Do you not know that your arrow is lightening and will kill the maidens
as well as the monster?"

Finally, the demon reached the entrance to his cave, and, going in, asked the girls to follow him, laying out two slabs for them to sit on.  "Now, sit
down, my pretty girls, and I will soon get something for you to eat.  You must be hungry."  Going to the rear of the cave, he broke open a stone oven,
and the steam, which arose, was certainly delicious and meaty.  Soon he brought out two great bowls, big enough to feed a whole dance.  One
contained meat, the other a mess resembling sweatbread pudding.  "Now, let us eat," said the demon, seating himself opposite, and at once diving his
horny fingers and scaly hand half up to the wrist in the meat-broth.  The elder sister began to take bits of the food to eat it, when the younger made a
motion to her, and showed her with horror the bones of a little hand.  The sweatbread was the flesh and bones of little children.  Then the two girls
only pretended to eat, taking the food out and throwing it down by the side of the bowls.

"Why don't you eat?" demanded the demon, cramming at the same time a huge mouthful of the meat, bones and all, into his wide throat.  "We are
eating," said one of the girls.  "Then why do you throw my food away?"  "We are throwing away only the bones."

"Well, the bones are the better part," retorted the demon, taking another huge mouthful, by way of example, big enough to make a grown man's meal.
 "Oh, yes!" he added; "I forgot that you had baby teeth."

After the meal was finished, the old demon said:  "Let us go out and sit down in the sun on my terrace.  Perhaps, my pretty maidens, you will comb an
old man's hair, for I have no one left to help me now," he sighed, pretending to be very sad.  So, showing the girls where to sit down, without waiting
for their assent he settled himself in front of them and leaned his head back to have it combed.  The two maidens dared not disobey; and now and then
they pulled at a long, coarse hair, and then snapped their fingers close to his scalp, which so deceived the old demon that he grunted with satisfaction
every time.  At last their knees were so tired by his weight upon them that they said they were done, and Atahsaia, rising, pretended to be greatly
pleased, and thanked them over and over.  Then he told them to sit down in front of him, and he would comb their hair as they had combed his, but
not to mind if he hurt a little for his fingers were old and stiff.  The two girls again dared not disobey, and sat down as he had directed.  Uhh!  How the
old beast grinned and glared and breathed softly between his teeth.

The two brothers had carefully watched everything, the elder one starting up now and then, and the younger remaining quiet.  Suddenly Matsailema
sprang up.  He caught the shield the Sun-father had given him, --the shield, which, though made only of nets and knotted cords, would ward off alike
the weapons of the warrior or the magic of the wizard.  Holding it aloft, he cried to Ahaiyuta:  "Stand ready; the time is come!  If I miss him, pierce
him with your arrow.  Now, then--" He hurled the shield through the air.  Swiftly as a hawk and noiselessly as an owl, it sailed straight over the heads
of the maidens and settled between them and the demon's face.  The shield was invisible, and the old demon knew not it was there.  He leaned over as
if to examine the maidens' heads.  He opened his great mouth, and bending yet nearer, made a vicious bite at the elder one.

"Ai, ai!  My poor little sister, alas!" with which both fell to sobbing and moaning, and crouched, expecting instantly to be destroyed.

But the demon's teeth caught in the meshes of the invisible shield, and, howling with vexation, he began struggling to free him of the encumbrance.  
Ahaiyuta drew a shaft to the point and let fly.  With a thundering noise that rent the rocks, and a rush of strong wind, the shaft blazed through the air
and buried itself in the demon's shoulders, piercing him through ere the thunder had half done pealing.  Swift as mountain sheep were the leaps and
light steps of the brothers, who, bounding to the shelf of rock, drew their war-clubs and soon softened the hard skull of the old demon with them.  The
younger sister was unharmed save by fright; but the elder sister lay where she had sat, insensible.

"Hold!" cried Matsailema, "she was to blame, but then-"  Lifting the swooning maiden in his strong little arms, he laid her apart from the others, and,
breathing into her nostrils, soon revived her eyes to wisdom.

"This day have we, through the power of sawanikia, seen for our father an enemy of our children, men?  A beast that caused unto fatherless children,
unto "menless" women, unto "womenless" men (who thus became through his evil will), tears and sad thoughts, has this day been looked upon by the
Suit and laid low.  May the favors of the gods thus meet us ever."

Thus said the two brothers, as they stood over the gasping, still struggling but dying demon; and as they closed their little prayer, the maidens, who
now first saw whom they had to thank for their deliverance, were overwhelmed with gladness, yet shame.  They exclaimed, in response to the prayer:
 "May they, indeed, thus meet you and ourselves!"  Then they breathed upon their hands.

The two brothers now turned toward the girls.  "Look ye upon the last enemy of men," said they, "whom this day we have had the power of sawanikia
given us to destroy; whom this day the father of all, our father the Sun, has looked upon, whose light of life this day our weapons have cut off; whose
path of life this day our father has divided.  Not ourselves, but our father has done this deed, through us.  Haste to your home in Heshokta and tell
your father these things; and tell him, pray, that he must assemble his priests and teach them these our words, for we divide our paths of life
henceforth from one another and from the paths of men, no more to mingle save in spirit with the children of men.  But we shall depart for our
everlasting home in the mountains-- the one to the Mountain of Thunder, the other to the Mountain of the Beloved --to guard from sunrise to sunset
the land of the Corn-priests of Earth, that the foolish among men break not into the Middle Country of Earth and lay it waste.  Yet we shall require of
our children the plumes wherewith we dress our thoughts, and the forms of our being wherewith men may renew us each year at "mid sun."  
Henceforth two stars at morning and evening will be seen, the one going before, the other following, the Sun-father --the one Ahaiyuta, his herald;
the other Matsailema, his guardian; warriors both, and fathers of men.  May the trail of life be finished ere divided!  Go ye happily hence."

The maidens breathed from the hands of the Twain, and with bowed heads and a prayer of thanks started down the pathway toward the Town of the
Cliffs.  When they came to their home, the old father asked whence they came.  They told the story if their adventure and repeated the words of the

The old man bowed his head, and said:  "It was Ahaiyuta and Matsailema!"  Then he made a prayer of thanks, and cast abroad on the winds white
meal of the seeds of earth and shells from the Great Waters of the World, the pollen of beautiful flowers, and the paints of war.

"It is well!" he said.  "Four days hence I will assemble my warriors, and we will cut the plume-sticks, paint and feather them, and place them on high
mountains, that through their knowledge and power of medicine our Beloved Two Warriors may take them unto themselves.

Now, when the maidens disappeared among the rocks below, the brothers looked each at the other and laughed.  Then they shouted, and Ahaiyuta
kicked Atahsaia's ugly carcass till it gurgled, at which the two boys shouted again most hilariously and laughed.  "That's what we proposed to do with
you, old beast!" they cried out.

"But, brother younger," said Ahaiyuta, "what shall be done with him now?"  "Let's skin him," Matsailema.  So they set to work and skinned the body
from foot to head, as one skins a fawn when one wishes to make a seed-bag.  They they put sticks into the legs and arms, and tied strings to them, and
stuffed the body with dry grass and moss; and where they set the thing up against the cliff it looked verily like the living Atahsaia.

"Uhh!  What an ugly beast he was!" said Matsailema.  Then he shouted:  "Wahaha, hihiho!" and almost doubled up with laughter.  "Won't we have fun
with old grandmother, though.  Hurry up; let's take care of the rest of him!"

They cut off the head, and Ahaiyuta said to it:  "Thou hast been a liar, and told a falsehood for every life thou hast taken in the world; therefore shall
thou become a lying star, and each night thy guilt shall be seen of all men throughout the wide world."  He twirled the bloody head around once or
twice, and cast it with all might into the air.  Wa muu!  It sped through the spaces into the middle of the sky like a spurt of blood, and now it is a great
red star.  It rises in summer time and tells of the coming morning when it is only midnight; hence it is called Mokwanosana (Great Lying Star).

Then Matsailema seized the great knife and ripped open the abdomen with one stroke.  Grasping the intestines, he tore them out and exclaimed:  "Ye
have devoured and digested the flesh of men over the whole wide world; therefore ye shall be stretched from one end of the earth to the other, and the
children of those ye have wasted will look upon ye every night and will say to one another:

'Ah, the entrails of him who caused sad thoughts to our grandfathers shine well tonight!' and they will laugh and sneer at ye."  Whereupon he slung
the whole mess aloft, and tsolo!  It stretched from one end of the world to the other, and became the Great Snow-drift of the Skies (Milky Way).  
Lifting the rest of the carcass, they threw it down into the chasm whither the old demon had thrown so many of his victims, and the rattlesnakes came
out and ate of the flesh day after day till their fangs grew yellow with putrid meat, and even now their children's fangs are yellow and poisonous.

"Now, then, for some fun!" shouted Matsailema.  "Do you catch the old bag up and prance around with it a little; and I will run off to see how it looks."

Ahaiyuta caught up the effigy, and, hiding himself behind it, pulled at the strings till it looked, of all things thinkable, like the living Atahsaia himself
starting out for a hunt, for they threw the lion skins over it and tied the bow in its hand.

"Excellent!  Excellent!" exclaimed the boys, and they clapped their hands and wa-ha-ha-ed and ho-ho-ho-ed till they were sore.  Then dragging the
skin along, they ran as fast as they could, down to the plain below Twin Mountain.

The Sun was climbing down the western ladder, and their old grandmother had been looking all over the mountains and valleys below to see if the
two boys were coming.  She had just climbed the ladder and was gazing and fretting and saying:  "Oh!  Those two boys!  Terrible pests and as
hardhearted and as long-winded in having their own way as a turtle is in having his!  Now, something has happened to them; I knew it would," when
suddenly a frightened scream came up from below.

"Ho-o-o-ta!  Ho-o-o-ta!  Come quick!  Help!  Help!" the voice cried, as if in anguish.  "Uhh!" exclaimed the old woman, and she went so fast in her
excitement that she tumbled through the trap door, and then jumped up, scolding and groaning.

She grabbed a poker of pinon, and rushed out of the house.  Sure enough, there was poor Matsailema running hard and calling again and again for
her to hurry down.  The old woman hobbled along over the rough path as fast as she could, and until her wind was blowing shorter and shorter,
when, suddenly turning around the crags, she caught sight of Ahaiyuta struggling to get away from Atahsaia.

"O ai o!  I knew it!  I knew it!" cried the old woman; and she ran faster than ever until she came near enough to see that her poor grandson was
almost tired out, and that Matsailema had lost even his war-club.  "Stiffen your feet, -my boys, -wait -a bit," puffed the old woman, and, flying into a
passion, she rushed at the effigy and began to pound it with her poker, till the dust fairly smoked out of the dry grass, and the skin doubled up as if it
were in pain.

Matsailema rolled and kicked in the grass, and Ahaiyuta soon had to let the stuffed demon fall down for sheer laughing.  But the old woman never
ceased.  She belabored the demon and cursed his cannibal heart and told him that was what he got for chasing her grandsons, and that, and this, and
that, whack!  Whack!  Without stopping, until she thought the monster surely must be dead.  Then she was about to rest when suddenly the boys
pulled the strings, and the demon sprang up before her, seemingly as well as ever.  Again the old woman fell to, but her strokes kept getting feebler
and feebler, her breath shorter and shorter, until her wind went out and she fell to the ground.

How the boys did laugh and roll on the ground when the old grandmother moaned:  "Alas!  Alas!  This day -my day -light is -cut off -and my wind of
life -fast going."

The old woman covered her head with her tattered mantle; but when she found that Atahsaia did not move, she raised her eyes and looked through a
rent.  There were her two grandsons rolling and kicking on the grass and holding their mouths with hands, their eyes swollen and faces red with
laughter.  Then she suddenly looked for the demon.  There lay the skin, all torn nd battered out of shape.

"So ho!  You pesky wretches; that are the way you treat me, is it?  Well!  Never again will I help you, never!" she snapped, "nor shall you ever live with
me more!"  Whereupon the old woman jumped up and hobbled away.

But little did the brothers care.  They laughed till she was far away, and then said one to the other:  "It is done!"  Since that time, the grandmother has
gone, no one knows where.  But Ahaiyuta and Matsailema are the bright stars of the morning and evening, just in front of and behind the Sun-father
himself.  Yet their spirits hover over their shrines on Thunder Mountain and the Mount of the Beloved, they say, or linger over the Middle of the
World, forever to guide the games and to guard the warriors of the Land of Zuni.  Thus it was in the days of the ancients.
Coyote and Eagle Steal the Sun and Moon

A Zuni Legend
Back when it was always dark, it was also always summer.  Coyote and Eagle went hunting.  Coyote was a poor hunter because of the dark.

They came to the Kachinas, a powerful people.  The Kachinas had the sun and the Moon in a box.  After the people had gone to sleep the two animals
stole the box.

At first Eagle carried the box but Coyote convinced his friend to let him carry it.  The curious Coyote opened the box and the Sun and the Moon
escaped and flew up to the sky.  This gave light to the land but it also took away much of the heat, thus we now have winter.
Coyote Steals the Sun and Moon

A Zuni Legend
Coyote is a bad hunter who never kills anything.  Once he watched Eagle hunting rabbits, catching one after another -more rabbits than he could eat.

Coyote thought, "I'll team up with Eagle so I can have enough meat."  Coyote is always up to something.

"Friend," Coyote said to Eagle, "we should hunt together.  Two can catch more than one."

"Why not?" eagle said, and so they began to hunt in partnership.  Eagle caught many rabbits, but all Coyote caught was some little bugs.

At this time the world was still dark; the sun and moon had not yet been put in the sky.

"Friend," Coyote said to Eagle, "no wonder I can't catch anything; I can't see.  Do you know where we can get some light?"

"You're right, friend, there should be some light," Eagle said.  "I think there's a little toward the West.  Let's try and find it."

And so they went looking for the sun and moon.  They came to a big river, which Eagle flew over.  Coyote swam, and swallowed so much water that
he almost drowned.

He crawled out with his fur full of mud, and Eagle asked, "Why don't you fly like me?"

"You have wings, I just have hair," Coyote said.  "I can't fly without feathers."

At last they came to a pueblo, where the Kachinas happened to be dancing.  The people invited Eagle and Coyote to sit down and have something to
eat while they watched the sacred dances.

Seeing the power of the Kachinas, Eagle said, "I believe these are the people who have light."

Coyote, who had been looking around, pointed out two boxes, one large and one small, that the people opened whenever they wanted light.  To
produce a lot of light, they opened the lid of the big box, which contained the sun.  For less light they opened the small box, which held the moon.

Coyote nudged Eagle.  "Friend, did you see that?  They have all the light we need in the big box.  Let's steal it."

"You always want to steal and rob.  I say we should just borrow it."

"they won't lend it to us."

"You may be right," said Eagle.  "Let's wait till they finish dancing and then steal it."

After a while the Kachinas went home to sleep, and Eagle scooped up the large box and flew off.  Coyote ran along trying to keep up, panting, his
tongue hanging out.

Soon he yelled up to Eagle, "Ho, friend, let me carry the box a little way."

"No, no," said Eagle, "you never do anything right."

He flew on, and Coyote ran after him.

After a while Coyote shouted again:  "Friend, you're my chief, and it's not right for you to carry the box; people will call me lazy.  Let me have it."

"No, no, you always mess everything up."

And Eagle flew on and Coyote ran along.

So it went for a stretch, and then Coyote started again.

"Ho, friend, it isn't right for you to do this.  What will people think of you and me?"

"I don't care what people think.  I'm going to carry this box."

Again Eagle flew on and again Coyote ran after him.

Finally Coyote begged for the fourth time:  "Let me carry it.  You're the chief, and I'm just Coyote.  Let me carry it."

Eagle couldn't stand any more pestering.  Also, Coyote had asked him four times, and if someone asks four times, you better give him what he wants.

Eagle said, "Since you won't let up on me, go ahead and carry the box for a while.  But promise not to open it."

"Oh, sure, oh yes, I promise."

They went on as before, but now Coyote had the box.  Soon Eagle was far ahead, and Coyote lagged behind a hill where Eagle couldn't see him.

"I wonder what the light looks like, inside there," he said to himself.  "Why shouldn't I take a peek?  Probably there's something extra in the box,
something good that Eagle wants to keep to himself."

And Coyote opened the lid.  Now, not only was the sun inside, but the moon also.  Eagle had put them both together, thinking that it would be easier to
carry one box than two.

As soon as Coyote opened the lid, the moon escaped, flying high into the sky.  At once all the plants shriveled up and turned brown.  Just as quickly, all
the leaves fell off the trees, and it was winter.

Trying to catch the moon and put it back in the box, Coyote ran in pursuit as it skipped away from him.

Meanwhile the sun flew out and rose into the sky.  It drifted far away, and the peaches, squashes, and melons shriveled up with cold.

Eagle turned and flew back to see what had delayed Coyote.

"You fool!  Look what you've done!" he said.  "You let the sun and moon escape, and now it's cold."

Indeed, it began to snow, and Coyote shivered.

"Now your teeth are chattering," Eagle said, "and it's your fault that cold has come into the world."

It's true.  It it weren't for Coyote's curiosity and mischief making, we wouldn't have winter; we could enjoy summer all the time.
Eagle Boy

A Zuni Legend
Long ago, a boy was out walking one day when he found a young eagle that had fallen from its nest.  He picked that eagle up and brought it home and
began to care for it.  He made a place for it to stay, and each day he went out and hunted for rabbits and other small game to feed it.

His mother asked him why he no longer came to work in the fields and help his family.  "I must hunt for this eagle," the boy said.  So it went on for a
long time and the eagle grew large and strong as the boy hunted and fed it.  Now it was large and strong enough to fly away if it wished to.  But the
eagle stayed with the boy who had cared for it so well.

The boy's brothers criticized him for not doing his share of work in the corn and melon fields, but Eagle Boy, as they now called him, did not hear
them.  He cared only for his bird.  Even the boy's father, who was an important man in the village, began to scold him for not helping.  But still the
boy did not listen.  So it was that the boy's brothers and his older male relatives in his family came together and decided that they must kill the eagle.  
They decided to do so when they returned from the fields the following day.

When Eagle Boy came to his bird's cage, he saw that the bird sat there with its head hanging down.  He placed a rabbit he had caught in the cage, but
the eagle did not move or eat it.  "What is wrong, my eagle friend?" asked the boy.  Then the eagle spoke, he had never spoken to the boy before.  He
said, "My friend, I cannot eat for I am filled with sadness and sorrow."  "But why are you so troubled?" asked the boy.  "It is because of you," said the
eagle.  "You have not done your work in the fields.  Instead you have spent all of your time caring for me.  Now your brothers and family have decided
to kill me so that you again will return to your duties in the village.  I have stayed here all of this time because I have learned to love you.  But now I
must leave.  When the sun rises tomorrow, I will fly away and never come back."  "My eagle," said the boy, "I do not want to stay here without you.  
You must take me with you."  "My friend, I cannot take you with me.  You would not be able to find your way through the sky.  You would not be able
to eat raw food," said the eagle.  "If you are certain, then you may come with me.  But you must do as I say.  Come to me at dawn, after the people have
gone down to their fields.  Bring food to eat on our long journey across the sky.  Put food in pouches so you can sling them over your shoulders.  You
must also bring two strings of bells and tie them to my feet."

That night the boy filled pouches with blue corn wafer bread, dried meats and fruits.  He made up two strings of bells, tying them with strong rawhide.
 The next morning, after the people had gone down to the fields, he went to the eagle's cage and opened it.  The eagle spread its wings wide.  "Now," he
said to Eagle Boy, "tie the bells to my feet and then climb onto my back and hold onto the base of my wings."  Eagle Boy climbed on and the eagle
began to fly.  It rose higher and higher in slow circles above the village and above the fields.  The bells on the eagle's feet jingled and the eagle sang and
the boy sang with it:

Huli-i-i, hu-li-i-i
Pa shish lakwa-a-a-a-a.......

So they sang and the people in the fields below heard them singing, and they heard the sound of the bells Eagle Boy had tied to the eagle's feet.  They all
looked up.  "They are leaving," the people called out in the village.  "They are leaving."  Eagle Boy's parents yelled up to him, but he could not hear
them.  The eagle and the boy went higher and higher in the sky until they were only a tiny speck and they disappeared from the sight of the village
people.  The eagle and the boy flew higher and higher until they came to an opening in the clouds.  They passed through and came out into Sly Land.  
They landed there on Turquoise Mountain where the Eagle People lived.

Eagle boy looked around the sky world.  Everything was smooth and white and clean clouds.  "Here is my home, " the eagle said.  He took the boy into
the city in the sky, and there were eagles all around them.  They looked like people, for they took off their wings ands their clothing of feathers when
they were in their homes.  The Eagle People made a coat of feathers for the boy and taught him to wear it and to fly.  It took him a long time to learn,
but soon he was able to circle high above the land just like the Eagle People and he was an eagle himself.  "You may fly anywhere," the old eagles told
him, "anywhere except to the South.  Never fly to the South Land."

All went well for Eagle Boy in his new life.  One day, though, as he flew alone, he wondered what it was that was so terrible about the South.  His
curiosity grew, and he flew further and further toward the South.  Lower and lower he flew and now he saw a beautiful city below with people
dancing around red fires.  "There is nothing to fear here," he said to himself, and flew lower still.  Closer and closer he came, drawn by the red fires,
until he landed.  The people greeted him and drew him into the circle.  He danced with them all night and then, when he grew tired, they gave him a
place to sleep.  When he woke the next morning and looked around, he saw the fires were gone.  The houses no longer seemed bright and beautiful.  All
around him there was dust, and in the dust there were bones.  He looked for his cloak of eagle feathers, wanting to fly away from this city of the dead,
but it was nowhere to be found.  Then the bones rose up from the dust and came together.  There were people made of bones all around him!  He stood
up and began to run away from them.  The people made of bones chased him.  Just as they were about to catch him, he saw a badger.

"Grandson," the badger said, "I will save you."  Then the badger carried the boy down into his hole and the bone people could not follow.  "You have
been foolish," the badger scolded.  "You did not listen to the warnings the eagles gave you.  Now that you have been in this land in the South, they will
not allow you to live with them anymore."

Then the badger took pity on Eagle Boy and showed him the way back to the city of the eagles.  It was a long hard journey and when the boy reached
the eagle city, he stood outside the high white walls.  The eagles would not let him enter.  "You have been to the South Land," they said.  "You can no
longer live with us."  At last, the eagle the boy had raised below took pity on him.  After all this boy and feed and cared for him.

He brought the boy an old and ragged feather cloak, "With this cloak you may reach the home of your own people," he said.  "But you can never return
to our place in the sky."  He gratefully accepted the gift of the tattered feather cloak.  His flight back down to his people was a hard one, more difficult
than any flights in Sky Land.  He almost fell through the sky many times.  His eagle friend circled and circled in the clouds watching over him.  When
he finally reached the village of his people on earth, the eagle flew down and carried off the feather cloak they had given him.

From that time on, Eagle Boy lived among his people.  Though he lifted his eyes in joy whenever eagles soared overhead, he shared in the work in the
fields, and his people were honored and happy to him among them.  He could fly away if it wished to, but he the eagle stayed with the people who loved
How Ahaiyutaa and Matsailema Stole
The Thunderstone and The Lightning-Shaft

A Zuni Legend
Ahaiyutaa and Matsailema, with their grandmother, lived where now stands the ancient Middle Place of Sacrifice on Thunder Mountain.

One day they went out hunting prairie-dogs, and while they were running about from one prairie-dog village to another, it began to rain, which made
the trail slippery and the ground muddy, so that the boys became a little wrathful.  Then they sat down and cursed the rain for a brief space.  Off in the
south it thundered until the earth trembled, and the lightning-shafts flew about the red-bordered clouds until the two brothers were nearly blinded
with the beholding of it.

Presently the younger brother smoothed his brow, and jumped up with an exclamation somewhat profane, and cried out:  "Elder brother, let us go to
the Land of Everlasting Summer and steal from the gods in council their thunder and lightning.  I think it would be fine fun to do that sort of thing we
have just been looking at and listening to."

The elder brother was somewhat more cautious; still, on the whole, he liked the idea.  So he said, "Let us take our prairie-dogs home to the
grandmother, that she shall have something to eat meanwhile, and we will think about going tomorrow morning."

The next morning, bright and early, they started out.  In vain the old grandmother called rather crossly after them:  "Where are you going now?"  She
could get no satisfaction, for she knew they lied when they called back:  "Oh, we are only going to hunt more prairie-dogs."  It is true that they skulled
round in the plains about Thunder Mountain a little while, as if looking for prairie-dogs.  Then, picking up their wondrously swift heels, they sped
away toward that beautiful country of the corals, the Land of Everlasting Summer.

At last,--it may be in the mountains of that country, which are said to glow like shells of the sea or the clouds of the sunset,--they came to the House of
the Beloved Gods themselves.  And that red house was a wondrous terrace, rising wall after wall, and step after step, like a high mountain, grand and
stately; and the walls were so smooth and high that the skill and power of the little War-gods availed them nothing; they could not get in.

"What shall we do?" asked the younger brother.

"Go home," said the elder, "and mind our own affairs."

"Oh, no," urger the younger.  "I have it, elder brother.  Let us hunt up our grandfather, the Centipede."

"Good!" replied the elder.  "A happy thought is that of yours, my brother younger."

forthwith they laid down their bows and quivers of mountain-lion skin, their shields, and other things, and set about turning over all the flat stones
they could find.  Presently, lifting one with their united strength, they found under it the very old fellow they sought.  He doubled himself, and covered
his eyes from the sharpness of the daylight.

He did not much like being thus disturbed, even by his grandchildren, the War-gods, in the middle of his noonday nap, and was by no means polite to
them.  But they prodded him a little in the side, and said:  "Now, grandfather, look here!  We are in difficulty, and there is no one in the wide world who
can help us out as you will."

The old Centipede was naturally flattered.  He unrolled himself and viewed them with a look which he intended to be extremely reproachful and
belittling.  "Ah, my grandchildren," said he, "what are you up to now?  Are you trying to get yourselves into trouble, as usual?  No doubt of it!  I will
help you all I can; but the consequences be on your own heads!"

"That's right, grandfather, that's right!  No one in the world could help us as you can," said one of them.  "The fact is, we want to get hold of the
thunder-stone and the lightning-shaft which the Rain-gods up there in the tremendous house keep and guard so carefully, we understand.  Now, in the
first place, we cannot get up the wall; in the second place, if we did, we would probably have a fuss with them in trying to steal these things.  Therefore,
we want you to help us, if you will."

"With all my heart, my boys!  But I should advise you to run along home to your grandmother, and let these things alone."

"Oh, pshaw, nonsense!  We are only going to play a little while with the thunder and lightning."

"All right," replied the old Worm; "sit here and wait for me."  He wriggled himself and stirred about, and his countless legs were more countless than
ever with rapid motions as he ran toward the walls of that stately terrace.  A vine could not have run up more closely, nor a bird more rapidly; for, if
one foot slipped, another held on; so the old Centipede wriggled himself up the sides and over the roof, down into the great sky-hole; and, scorning the
ladder, which he feared might creak, he went along, head-downward, on the ceiling to the end of the room over the altar, ran down the side, and
approached that most forbidden of places, the altar of the gods themselves.

The beloved gods, in silent majesty, were sitting there with their heads bowed in meditation so deep that they heard not the faint scuffle of the
Centipede's feet as he wound himself down into the altar and stole the thunder-stone.  He took it in his mouth --which was larger that the mouths of
Centipedes are now-- and carried it silently, weighty as it was, up the way he had come, over the roof, down the wall, and back to the flat stone where
he made his home, and where, hardly able to contain themselves with impatience, the two youthful gods were awaiting him.

"Her he comes!" cried the younger brother, "and he's got it!  By my war-bonnet, he's got it!"

The old grandfather threw the stone down.  It began to sound, but Ahaiyutaa grabbed it, and, as it were, throttled its world-stirring speech.  "Good!  
Good!" he cried to the grandfather, "thank you, old grandfather, thank you!"

"Hold on!" cried the younger brother, "you didn't bring both.  What can we do with the one without the other?"

"Shut up!" cried the old Worm.  "I know what I am about!"  And before they could say any more he was off again.  Ere long he returned, carrying the
shaft of lightning, with its blue, shimmering point, in his mouth.

"Good!" cried the War-gods.  And the younger brother caught up the lightning, and almost forgot his weapons, which, however, he did stop to take up,
and started on a full run for Thunder Mountain, followed by his more deliberate, but equally interested elder brother, who brought along the
thunder-stone, which he found a somewhat heavier burden than he had supposed.

It was not long, you may well imagine, so powerful were these Gods of War, ere they reached the home of their grandmother on the top of Thunder
Mountain.  They had carefully concealed the thunder-stone and the shaft of lightning meanwhile, and had taken care to provide themselves with a few
prairie-dogs by way of deception.

Still, in majestic reverie, unmoved, and apparently unwitting of what had taken place, sat the Rain-gods in their home in the mountains of

Not long after they arrived, the young gods began to grow curious and anxious to try their new playthings.  They poked one another considerably,
and whispered a great deal, so that their grandmother began to suspect they were about to play some rash joke or other, and presently she espied the
point of lightning gleaming under Matsailema's dirty jacket.

"Demons and corpses!" she cried.  "By the moon!  You have stolen the thunder-stone and lightning shaft from the Gods of Rain themselves!  Go this
instant and return them, and never do such a thing again!" she cried, with the utmost severity; and making a quick step for the fireplace, she picked up
a poker with which to belabor their backs, when they whisked out of the room and into another.

They slammed the door in their grandmother's face and braced it, and, clearing away a lot of rubbish that was lying around the rear room, they
established themselves in one end, and, nodding and winking at one another, cried out:  "Now, then!"  The younger let go the lightning shaft; the elder
rolled the thunder-stone.

The lightning hissed through the air, and far out into the sky, and returned.  The thunder-stone rolled and rumbled until it shook the foundations of the
mountain.  "Glorious fun!" cried the boys, rubbing their thighs in ecstasy of delight.  "Do it again!"  And again they sent forth the lightning and rolled
the thunder-stone.

And now the gods in Summerland arose in their majesty and breathed upon the skies; and the winds rose, and the rains fell like rivers from the clouds,
centering their violence upon the roof of the poor old grandmother's house.  Heedlessly those reckless wretches kept on playing the thunder-stone and
lightning-shaft without the slightest regard to the tremendous commotion they were raising all through the skies and all over Thunder Mountain; but
nowhere else as above the house where their poor old grandmother lived fell the torrent of the rain, and there alone, of course, burst the lightning and
rolled the thunder.

Soon the water poured through the roof of the house; but, move the things as the old grandmother would, she could not keep them dry; scold the boys
as she would, she could not make them desist.  No, they would only go on with their play more violently than ever, exclaiming:  "What has she to say,
anyway?  It won't hurt her to get a good ducking, and this is fun!"  By-and-by the waters rose so high that they extinguished the fire.

Soon they rose still higher, so that the War-gods had to paddle around half submerged.  Still they kept rolling the thunder-stone and shooting the
lightning.  The old grandmother scolded harder and harder, but after awhile desisted and climbed to the top of the fireplace, whence, after recovering
from her exertion, she began again.  But the boys heeded her not, only saying:  "Let her yell!  Let her scold!  This is fun!"

At last they began to take the old grandmother's scolding as a matter of course, and allowed nothing but the water to interrupt their pastime.  It rose
so high, finally, that they were near drowning.  Then they climbed to the roof, but still they kept on.

"By the bones of the dead!  Why did we not think to come here before?  It is ten times as fine up here.  See him shoot!" cried one to the other, as the
lightning sped through the sky, ever returning.

"Hear it mutter and roll!" cried the other, as the thunder bellowed and grumbled.

But no sooner had the Two begun their spot on the roof, than the rain fell in one vast sheet all about them; and it was not long ere the house was so full
that the old grandmother --locked in as she was-- bobbed her poor pate on the rafters in trying to keep it above the water.  She gulped water, and
gasped, coughed, strangled, and shrieked to no purpose.

"What a fuss our old grandmother is making, to be sure!" cried the boys.  And they kept on, until forsooth, the water had completely filled the room,
and the grandmother's cries gurgled away and ceased.  Finally, the thunder-stone grew so terrific, and the lightning so hot and unmanageable, that
the boys, drawing a long breath and thinking with immense satisfaction of the fun they had had, possibly also influenced as to the safety of the house,
which was beginning to totter, flung the thunder-stone and the lightning-shaft into the sky, where, rattling and flashing away, they finally
disappeared over the mountains in the south.

\Then the clouds rolled away and the sun shone out, and the boys, wet to the skin, tired in good earnest, and hungry as well, looked around.  
"Goodness!  The water is running out of the windows of our house!  This is a pretty mess we are in Grandmother!  Grandmother!"  they shouted.  
"Open the door, and let us in!"  But the old grandmother had piped her last, and never a sound came except that of flowing water.

They sat themselves down on the roof, and waited for the water to get lower.  Then they climbed down, and pounded open the door, and the water
came out with a rush, and out with a rush, too, their poor old grandmother, --her eyes staring, her hair all mopped and muddied, and her fingers and
legs as stiff as cedar sticks.

"Oh, ye gods!  Ye gods!" the two boys exclaimed; "we have killed our own grandmother --poor old grandmother, who scolded us so hard and loved us
so much!  Let us bury her here in front of the door, as soon as the water has run away."

So, as soon as it became dry enough, there they buried her; and in less than four days a strange plant grew up on that spot, and on its little branches,
amid its bright green leaves, hung long, pointed pods of fruit, as red as the fire on the breast of the red-bird.

"It is well," said the boys, as they stood one day looking at this plant.  "Let us scatter the seeds abroad, that men may find and plant them.  It seems it
was not without good cause that in the abandonment to our sport we killed our old grandmother, for out of her heart there sprung a plant into the
fruits of which, as it were, has flowed the color as well as the fire of her scolding tongue; and, if we have lost our grandmother, whom we loved much,
but who loved us more, men have gained a new food, which, though it burn them, shall please them more than did the heat of her discourse please us.

Poor old grandmother!  Men will little dream when they eat peppers that the seed of them first arose from the fiery heart of the grandmother of
Ahaiyutaa and Matsailema."

Thereupon the two seized the pods and crushed them between their hands, with an exclamation of pleasure at the brisk odor they gave forth.  They cast
the seeds abroad, which seeds here and there took root; and the plants which sprang from them being found by men, were esteemed good and were
cultivated, as they are to this day in the pepper gardens of Zuni.

Ever since this time you hear that mountain wherein lived the gods with their grandmother called Thunder Mountain; and often, indeed, to this day,
the lightning flashes and the thunder plays over its brows and the rain falls there most frequently.

It is said by some that the two boys, when asked how they stole the lightning-shaft and the thunder-stone, told on their poor old grandfather, the
Centipede.  The beloved Gods of the Rain gave him the lightning-shaft to handle in another way, and it so burned and shriveled him that he became
small, as you can see by looking at any of his numerous descendants, who are not only small but appear like a well-toasted bit of buckskin, fringed at
the edges.
How the Corn-Pests Were Ensnared

A Zuni Legend
In the days of the ancients, long, long ago, there lived in our town, which was then called the Middle Ant Hill of the World, a proud maiden, very pretty
and very attractive, the daughter of one of the richest men among our people.  She had every possession a Zuni maiden could wish for, --blankets and
mantles, embroidered dresses and sashes, buckskins and moccasins, turquoise earrings and shell necklaces, bracelets so many you could not count
them.  She had her father and mother, brothers and sisters, all of whom she loved very much.  Why, therefore, should she care for anything else.

There was only one thing to trouble her.  Behold!  It came of much possession, for she had large corn-fields, so large and so many that those who
planted and worked them for her could not look after them properly, and no sooner had the corn ears become full and sweet with the mild of their
being than all sorts of animals broke into those fields and pulled down the corn-stalks and ate up the sweet ears of corn.  Now, how to remove this
difficulty the poor girl did not know.

Yes, now that I think of it, there was another thing that troubled her very much, fully as much as did the corn-pests, --pests of another kind, however,
for there wasn't an unmarried young man in all the valley of our ancients who was not running mad over the charms of this girl.  Besides all that, not
a few of them had an eye on so many possessions, and thought her home wouldn't be an uncomfortable place to live in.  So they never gave the poor
girl any peace, but hung round her house, and came to visit her father so constantly that at last she determined to put the two pests together and call
them one, and thereby get rid, if possible, of one or the other.  So, when these young men were very importunate, she would say to them, "Look you!  If
any one of you will go to my cornfields, and destroy or scare away, so that they will never come back again, the pests that eat up my corn, him I will
marry and cherish, for I shall respect his ability and ingenuity."

The young men tried and tried, but it was of no use.  Before long, everybody knew of this singular proposition.

There was a young fellow who lived in one of the outer towns, the poorest of the poor among our people; and not only that, but he was also so ugly
that no woman would ever look at him without laughing.

Now, there are two kinds of laughs with women.  One of them is a very good sort of thing, and makes young men feel happy and conceited.  The other
kind is somewhat heartier, but makes young men feel depressed and very humble.  It need not be asked which kind was laughed by the women when
they saw this ugly, ragged, miserable-looking young man.  He had bright twinkling eyes, however, and that means more than all else sometimes.

Now this young man came to hear of what was going on.  He had no good present to offer the girl, but he admired her as much as --yes, a good deal
more than-- if he had been the handsomest young man of his time.  So just in the way that he was he went to the house of this girl one evening.  He was
received politely, and it was noticeable to the old folks that the girl seemed rather to like him, --just as it is noticeable to you and me today that what
people have they prize less than what they have not.  The girl placed a tray of bread before the young man and bade him eat; and after he had done, he
looked around with his twinkling little eyes.  And the old man said, "Let us smoke together."  And so they smoked.

By-and-by the old man asked if he were not thinking of something in coming to the house of a stranger.  And the young man replied, it was very true;
he had, thoughts, though he felt ashamed to say it, but he even wished to be accepted as a suitor for his daughter.

The father referred the matter to the girl, and she said she would be very well satisfied; then she took the young man aside and spoke a few words to
him, --in fact, told him what were the conditions of his becoming her accepted husband.  He smiled, and said he would certainly try to the best of his
ability, but this was a very hard thing she asked.

"I know it is," said the girl; "that is why I ask it."

Now, the young man left the house forthwith.  The next day he very quietly went down into the corn-fields belonging to the girl, and over toward the
northern mesa, for that is where her corn-fields were --lucky being!  He dug a great deep pit with a sharp stick and a bone shovel.  Now, when he had
dug it --very smooth at the sides and top it was-- he went to the mountain and got some poles, placing them across the hole, and over these poles he
spread earth, and set up corn-stalks just as though no hole had been dug there; then he put some exceedingly tempting bait, plenty of it, over the center
of these poles, which were so weak that nobody, however light of foot, could walk over them without breaking through.

Night came on, and you could the Coyotes begin to sing; and the whole army of pests --Bears, Badgers, Gophers, all sorts of creatures, as they came
down slowly, each one in his own way, from the mountain.  The Coyotes first came into the field, being swift of foot; and one of them, nosing around
and keeping a sharp lookout for watchers, happened to espy those wonderfully tempting morsels that lay over the hole.

"Ha!" said he (Coyotes don't think much what they are doing), and he gave a leap, when in he went --sticks, dirt, bait, and all-- to the bottom of the
hole.  He picked himself up and rubbed the sand out of his eyes, then began to jump and jump, trying to get out; but it was of no use, and he set up a
most doleful howl.

He had just stopped for breath, when a bear came along.  "What in the name of all the devils and witches are you howling so for?" said he.  "Where are

The Coyote swallowed his whimpers immediately, set himself up in a careless attitude, and cried out:  "Broadfoot, lucky, lucky, lucky fellow!  Did you
hear me singing?  I am the happiest creature on the face of the earth, or rather under it."

"What about?  I shouldn't think you were happy, to judge from your howling."

"Why!  Mercy on me!" cried the Coyote, "I was singing for joy."

"How's that?" asked the Bear.

"Why," said the Coyote, "I came along here this evening and by the merest accident fell into this hole.  And what do you suppose I found down here?  
Green-corn, meat, sweet-stuff, and everything a corn-eater could wish for.  The only thing I lacked to complete my happiness was someone to enjoy
the meal with me.  Jump in!  --It isn't very deep-- and fall to, friend.  We'll have a jolly good night of it."

So the old Bear looked down, drew back a minute, hesitated, and then jumped in.  When the Bear got down there, the Coyote laid himself back, slapped
his thighs, and laughed and laughed and laughed.  "Now, get out if you can," said he to the Bear.  "You and I are in a pretty mess.  I fell in here by
accident, it is true, but I would give my teeth and eyes if I could get out again!"

The Bear came very near eating him up, but the Coyote whispered something in his ear.  "Good!" yelled the Bear.  "Ha! Ha! Ha!  Excellent idea.  Let us
sing together.  Let them come!"

So they laughed and sang and feasted until they attracted almost every corn-pest in the fields to the spot to see what they were doing.  "Keep away, my
friends," cried out the Coyote.  "No such luck for you.  We got here first.  Our spoils!"

"Can't I come?  Can't I come?" cried out one after another.

"Well, yes, --no, -there may not be enough for you all."  "Come on, though; come on!  Who cares?" --cried out the old Bear.  And they rushed in so fast
that very soon the pit-hole was almost full of them, scrambling to get ahead of one another, and before they knew their predicament they were already
in it.  The Coyote laughed, shuffled around, and screamed at the top of his voice; he climbed up over his grandfather the Bear, scrambled through the
others, which were snarling and biting each other, and knowing what he was about, skipped over their backs, out of the hole, and ran away laughing
as hard as he could.

Now, the next morning down to the corn-field came the young man.  Drawing near to the pit he heard a tremendous racket, and going to the edge and
peering in he saw that it was half filled with the pests which had been destroying the corn of the maiden, -every kind of creature that had ever meddled
with the corn-fields of man, there they were in that deep pit; some of them all tired out, waiting for "the end of their daylight," others still jumping and
crawling and falling in their efforts to get out.

"Good! Good! My friends," cried the young man.  "You must be cold; I'll warm you up a little."  So he gathered a quantity of dry wood and threw it into
the pit.  "Be patient!  Be patient!" said he.  "I hope I don't hurt any of you.  It will be all over in a few minutes."  Then he lighted the wood and burned the
rascals all up.  But he noticed the Coyote was not there.  "What does it matter?" said he.  "One kind of pest a man can fight, but not many."

So he went back to the house of the girl and reported to her what he had done.  She was so pleased she hardly knew how to express her gratitude, but
said to the young man with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye, "Are you quite sure they were all there?"

"Why, they were all there except the Coyote," said the young man; "but I must tell you the truth, and somehow he got out or didn't get in."

"Who cares for a Coyote!" said the girl.  "I would much rather marry a man with some ingenuity about him than have all the Coyotes in the world to
kill."  Whereupon she accepted this very ugly but ingenious young man; and it is notable that ever since then pretty girls care very little how their
husbands look, being pretty enough themselves for both.  But they like to have them able to think and guess at a way of getting along occasionally.  
Furthermore, what does a rich girl care for a rich young man?  Ever since then, even to this day, as you know, rich girls almost invariably pick out
poor young men for their husbands, and rich young men are sure to take a fancy to poor girls.

Thus it was in the days of the ancients.  The Coyote got out of the trap that was set for him by the ugly young man.  That is the reason why coyotes are
so much more abundant than any other corn-pests in the land of Zuni, and do what you will, they are sure to get away with some of your corn,

Thus shortens my story.
How the Coyote Danced With the Blackbirds

A Zuni Legend
One late autumn day in the times of the ancients, a large council of Blackbirds were gathered, fluttering and chattering, on the smooth rocky slopes of
Gorge Mountain, northwest of Zuni.  Like ourselves, these birds, as you are well aware, congregate together in autumn time, when the harvests are
ripe, to indulge in their festivities before going into winter quarters; only we do not move away, while they, on strong wings and swift, retreat for a
time to the Land of Everlasting Summer.

Well, on this particular morning they were making a great noise and having a grand dance, and this was the way of it:  They would gather in one vast
flock, somewhat orderly in its disposition, on the sloping face of Gorge Mountain, --the older birds in front, the younger ones behind, --and down the
slope, chirping and fluttering, they would hop, hop, hop, singing:

"Ketchu, Ketchu, ontila, ontila,
Ketchu, Ketchu, ontila, ontila!
Ashokta a ya-a-laa Ke-e-tchu,

Blackbirds, Blackbirds, dance away, O, dance away, O!
Blackbirds, Blackbirds, dance away, O, dance away, O!
Down the Mountain of the Gorges, Blackbirds,
Dance away, O!
Dance away, O!''

and, spreading their wings, with many a flutter, flurry, and scurry, keh keh, --keh keh, --keh keh, --keh keh, --they would fly away into the air,
swirling off in a dense, black flock, circling far upward and onward; then, wheeling about and darting down, they would dip themselves in the broad
spring which flows out at the foot of the mountain, and return to their dancing place on the rocky slopes.

A Coyote was out hunting (as it he could catch anything, the beast!) and saw them, and was enraptured.

"You beautiful creatures!" he exclaimed.  "You graceful dancers!  Delight of my senses!  How do you do that, anyway?  Couldn't I join in your dance
--the first part of it, at least?"

"Why, certainly; yes," said the Blackbirds.

"We are quite willing," the masters of the ceremony said.

"Well," said the Coyote, "I can get on the slope of the rocks and I can sing the song with you; but I suppose that when you leap off into the air I shall
have to sit there patting the rock with my paw and my tail and singing while you have the fun of it."

"It may be," said an old Blackbird, "that we can fit you out so that you can fly with us."

"Is it possible!" cried the Coyote, "Then by all means do so.  By the Blessed Immortals!  Now, if I am only able to circle off into the air like you fellows,
I'll be the biggest Coyote in the world!"

"I think it will be easy," resumed the old Blackbird. {p. 239}  "My children," said he, "you are many, and many are your wing-feathers.  Contribute
each one of you a feather to our friend."  Thereupon the Blackbirds, each one of them, plucked a feather from his wing.  Unfortunately they all plucked
feathers from the wings on the same side.

"Are you sure, my friend," continued the old Blackbird, "that you are willing to go through the operation of having these feathers planted in your skin?  
If so, I think we can fit you out."

"Willing? --why, of course I am willing."  And the Coyote held up one of his arms, and, sitting down, steadied himself with his tail.  Then the Blackbirds
thrust in the feathers all along the rear of his forelegs and down the sides of his back, where wings ought to be.  It hurt, and the Coyote twitched his
mustache considerably; but he said nothing.  When it was done, he asked:  "Am I ready now?"

"Yes," said the Blackbirds; "we think you'll do."

So they formed themselves again on the upper part of the slope, sang their songs, and hopped along down with many a flutter, flurry, and scurry,
--Keh keh, keh keh, keh keh, --and away they flew off into the air.

The Coyote, somewhat startled, got out of time, but followed bravely, making heavy flops; but, as I have said before, the wings he was supplied with
were composed of feathers all plucked from one side, and therefore he flew slanting and spirally and brought up with a whack, which nearly knocked
the breath out of him, against the side of the mountain.  He picked himself up, and shook himself, and cried out:  "Hold!  Hold!  Hold on, hold on,
there!" to the fast-disappearing Blackbirds.  "You've left me behind!"

When the birds returned they explained:  "Your wings are not quite thick enough, friend; and, besides, even a young Blackbird, when he is first
learning to fly, does just this sort of thing that you have been doing --makes bad work of it."

"Sit down again," said the old Blackbird.  And he called out to the rest; "Get feathers from your other sides also, and be careful to select a few strong
feathers from the tips of the wings, for by means of these we cleave the air, guide our movements, and sustain our flight."

So the Blackbirds all did as they were bidden, and after the new feathers were planted, each one plucked out a tail-feather, and the most skillful of the
Blackbirds inserted these feathers into the tip of the Coyote's tail.  It made him wince and "yip" occasionally; but he stood it bravely and reared his head
proudly, thinking all the while:  "What a splendid Coyote I shall be!  Did ever anyone hear of a Coyote flying?"

The procession formed again.  Down the slope they went, hopity-hop, hopity-hop, singing their song, and away they flew into the air, the Coyote in
their midst.  Far off and high they circled and circled, the Coyote cutting more eager pranks than any of the rest.  Finally they returned, dipped
themselves again into the spring, and settled on the slopes of the rocks.

"There, now," cried out the Coyote, with a flutter of his feathery tail, "I can fly as well as the rest of you."

"Indeed, you do well!" exclaimed the Blackbirds.

"Shall we try it again?"

"Oh, yes!  Oh, yes!  I'm a little winded," cried the Coyote, "but this is the best fun I ever had."

The Blackbirds, however, were not satisfied with their companion.  They found him less sedate than a dancer ought to be, and, moreover, his irregular
cuttings-up in the air were not to their taste.  So the old ones whispered to one another:  "This fellow is a fool, and we must pluck him when he gets into
the air.  We'll fly so far this time that he will get a little tired out and cry to us for assistance."

The procession formed, and hopity-hop, hopity-hop, down the mountain slope they went, and with many a flutter and flurry flew off into the air.  The
Coyote, unable to restrain himself, even took the lead.  On and on and on they flew, the Blackbirds and the Coyote, and up and up and up, and they
circled round and round, until the Coyote found himself missing a wing stroke occasionally and falling out of line; and he cried out:  "Help! Help,
friends, help!"

"All right!" cried the Blackbirds.  "Catch hold of his wings; hold him up!" cried the old ones.  And the Blackbirds flew at him; and every time they caught
hold of him (the old fool all the time thinking they were helping) they plucked out a feather, until at last the feathers had become so thin that he began to
fall, and he fell and fell and fell, --flop, flop, flop, he went through the air, --the few feathers left in his forelegs and sides and the tip of his tail just
saving him from being utterly crushed as he fell with a thud to the ground.  He lost his senses completely, and lay there as if dead for a long time.  
When he awoke, he shook his head sadly, and, with a crestfallen countenance and tail dragging between his legs, betook himself to his home over the

The agony of that fall had been so great and the heat of his exertions so excessive, that the feathers left in his forelegs and tail-tip were all shrivelled up
into little ugly black fringes of hair.  Hid=s descendants were many.

Therefore you will often meet coyotes to this day who have little black fringes along the rear of their forelegs, and the tips of their tails are often black.  
Thus it was in the days of the ancients.

Thus shortens my story.   
How the Coyote Joined the Dance of the Burrowing-Owls

A Zuni Legend
You may know the country that lies south of the valley in which our town stands.  You travel along the trail which winds round the hill our ancients
called Ishana-tak'yapon, which means the Hill of Grease, for the rocks sometimes shine in the light of the sun at evening, and it is said that strange
things occurred there in the days of the ancients, which makes them thus to shine, while rocks of the kind in other places do not, you travel on up this
trail, crossing over the arroyos and foot-hills of the great mesa called Middle Mountain, until you come to the foot of the cliffs.  Then you climb up back
and forth, winding round and round, until you reach the top of the mountain, which is as flat as the floor of a house, merely being here and there
traversed by small valleys covered with pinon and cedar, and threaded by trails made not only by the feet of our people but by deer and other animals.  
And so you go on and on, until, hardly knowing it, you have descended from the top of Middle Mountain, and found yourself in a wide plain covered
with grass, and here and there clumps of trees.  Beyond this valley is an elevated sandy plain, rather sunken in the middle, so that when it rains the
water filters down into the soil of the depressed portion (which is wide enough to be a country in itself) and nourishes the grasses there; so that most of
the year they grow green and sweet.

Now, a long,long time ago, in this valley or basin there live a village of Prairie-dogs, on fairly peaceable terms with Rattlesnakes, Adders, Chameleons,
Horned-toads, and Burrowing-owls.  With the Owls they were especially friendly, looking at them as creatures of great gravity and sanctity.  For this
reason these Prairie-dogs and their companions never disturbed the councils or ceremonies of the Burrowing-owls, but treated them most respectfully,
keeping at a distance from them when their dances were going on.

It chanced one day that the Burrowing-owls were having a great dance all to themselves, rather early in the morning.  The dance they were engaged in
was one peculiarly prized by them, requiring no little dexterity in its execution.  Each dancer, young man or maiden, carried upon his or her head a
bowl of foam, and though their legs were crooked and their motion disjointed, they danced to the whistling of some and the clapping beaks of others, in
perfect unison, and with such dexterity that they never spilled a speck of foam on their sleek mantles of dun-black feather-work.

It chanced this morning of the Foam-dance that a Coyote was nosing about for Grasshoppers and Prairie-dogs.  So quite naturally he was prowling
around the by-streets in the borders of the Prairie-dog town.  His house where he lived with his old grandmother stood back to the westward, just over
the elevations that bounded Sunken Country, among the rocks.  He heard the click-clack of the musicians and their shrill, funny little song:

"I yami hota utchu tchapikya,
Tokos! Tokas! Tokas! Tokas!

So he pricked up his ears, and lifting his tail, trotted forward toward the level place in the hillocks and doorways of the village, where the Owls were
dancing in a row.  He looked at them with great curiosity, squatting on his haunches, the more composedly to observe them.  Indeed, he became so
much interested and amused by their shambling motions and clever evolutions, that he could no longer contain his curiosity.  So he stepped forward,
with a smirk and a nod toward the old master of ceremonies, and said:  "My father, how are you and your children these many days?"

"Contented and happy," replied the old Owl, turning his attention to the dancing again.

"Yes, but I observe you are dancing," said the Coyote.  "A very fine dance, upon my word!  Charming!  Charming!  And why should you be dancing if
you were not contented and happy, to be sure?"

"We are dancing," responded the Owl, "both for our pleasure and for the good of the town."

"True, true," replied the Coyote; "but what's that which looks like foam these dancers are carrying on their heads, and why do they dance in so limping
a fashion?"

"You see, my friend," said the Owl, turning toward the Coyote, "we hold this to be a very sacred performance -very sacred indeed.  Being such, these my
children are initiated and so trained in the mysteries of the sacred society of which this is a custom that they can do very strange things in the
observance of our ceremonies.  You ask what it is that looks like foam they are balancing on their heads.  Look more closely, friend.  Do you not
observe that it is their own grandmothers' heads they have on, the feathers turned white with age?"

"By my eyes!" exclaimed the Coyote, blinking and twitching his whiskers; "it seems so."

"And you ask also why they limp as they dance," said the Owl.  "Now, this limp is essential to the proper performance of our dance --so essential, in
fact, that in order to attain to it these my children go through the pain of having their legs broken.  Instead of losing by this, they gain in a great many
ways.  Good luck always follows them.  They are quite as spry as they were before, and enjoy, moreover, the distinction of performing a dance which
no other people or creatures in the world are capable of!"

"Dust and devils!" ejaculated the Coyote.  "This is passing strange.  A most admirable dance, upon my word!  Why, every bristle on my body keeps time
to the music and their steps!  Look here, my friend, don't you think that I could learn that dance?"

"Well," replied the old Owl; "it is rather hard to learn, and you haven't been initiated, you know; but, still, if you are determined that you would like to
join the dance --by the way, have you a grandmother?"

"Yes, and a fine old woman she is," said he, twitching his mouth in the direction of his house.  "She lives there with me.  I dare say she is looking after
my breakfast now."

"Very well," continued the old Owl, "if you care to join in our dance, fulfill the conditions, and I think we can receive you into our order."  And he added,
aside:  "The silly fool; the sneaking, impertinent wretch!  I will teach him to be sticking that sharp nose of his into other people's affairs!"

"All right!  All right!" cried the Coyote, excitedly.  "Will it last long?"

"Until the sun is so bright that it hurts our eyes," said the Owl; "a long time yet."

"All right!  All right!  I'll be back in a little while," said the coyote; and, switching his tail into the air, away he ran toward his home.  When he came to
the house, he saw his old grandmother on the roof, which was a rock beside his hole, gathering fur from some skins which he had brought home, to
make up a bed for the Coyote's family.

"Ha, my blessed grandmother!" said the Coyote, "by means of your aid, what a fine thing I shall be able to do!"

The old woman was singing to herself when the Coyote dashed up to the roof where she was sitting, and, catching up a convenient leg-bone, whacked
her over the pate and sawed her head off with the teeth of a deer.  All bloody and soft as it was, he clapped it on his own head and raised himself on his
hind-legs, bracing his tail against the ground, and letting his paws drop with the toes outspread, to imitate as nearly as possible the drooping wings of
the dancing Owls.  He found that it worked very well; so, descending with the head in one paw and a stone in the other, he found a convenient
sharp-edged rock, and, laying his legs across it, hit them a tremendous crack with the stone, which broke them, to be sure, into splinters.

"Beloved Powers!  Oh!" howled the Coyote.  "Oh-o-o-o-o! The dance may be a fine thing, but the initiation is anything else!"

However, with his faith unabated, he shook himself together and got up to walk.  But he could walk only with his paws; his hind-legs dragged
helplessly behind him.  Nevertheless, with great pain, and getting weaker and weaker every step of the way, he made what haste he could back to the
Prairie-dog town, his poor grandmother's head slung over his shoulders.

When he approached the dancers, -for they were still dancing, -they pretended to be greatly delighted with their proselyte, and  greeted him,
notwithstanding his rueful countenance, with many congratulatory epithets, mingled with very proper and warm expressions of welcome.  The Coyote
looked sick and groaned occasionally and kept looking around at his feet, as though he would like to lick them.  But the old Owl extended his wing and
cautioned him not to interfere with the working power of faith in this essential observance, and invited him (with a hem that very much resembled a
suppressed giggle), to join in their dance.

The Coyote smirked and bowed and tried to stand up gracefully on his stumps, but fell over, his grandmother's head rolling around in the dirt.  He
picked up the grisly head, clapped it on his crown again and raised himself, and with many a howl, which he tried in vain to check, began to prance
around; but ere long tumbled over again.  The Burrowing-owls were filled with such merriment at his discomfiture that they laughed until they spilled
the foam all down their backs and bosoms; and, with a parting fling at the Coyote which gave him to understand that he had made a fine fool of
himself, and would know better than to pry into other people's business next time, skipped away to a safe distance from him.

Then, seeing how he had been tricked, the Coyote fell to howling and clapping his thighs; and, catching sight of his poor grandmother's head, all bloody
and begrimed with dirt, he cried out in grief and anger:  "Alas! Alas!  I'll smoke you out of your holes."

"what will you smoke us out with?" tauntingly asked the Burrowing-owls.

"Ha! You'll find out.  With yucca!"

"O! O!  Ha! Ha!" laughed the Owls.  "That is our succotash!"

"Ah, well!  I'll smoke you out!" yelled the Coyote, stung by their taunts.

"What with?" cried the Owls.


"He, ha!  Ho!  Ho!  We make our mush-stew of that!"

"Ha!  But I'll smoke you out, nevertheless, you little beasts!"

"What with?  What with?" shouted the Owls.

"Yellow-top weeds," said he.

"Ha, ha!  All right; smoke away!  We make our sweet gruel with that, you fool!"

"I'll fix you!  I'll smoke you out!  I'll suffocate the very last one of you!"

"What with?  What with?" shouted the Owls, skipping around on their crooked feet.

"Pitch-pine," snarled the Coyote.

This frightened the Owls, for pitch-pine, even to this day, is sickening to them.  Away they plunged into their holes, pell-mell.

Then the Coyote looked at his poor old grandmother's begrimed and bloody head, and cried out --just as Coyotes do now at sunset, I suppose --"Oh, my
poor, poor grandmother!  So this is what they have caused me to do to you!"  And, tormented both by his grief and his pain, he took up the head of his
grandmother and crawled back as best he could to his house.

When he arrived there he managed to climb up to the roof, where her body lay stiff.  He chafed her legs and sides, and washed the blood and dirt from
her head, and got a bit of sinew, and sewed her head to her body as carefully as he could and as hastily.  Then he opened her mouth, and, putting his
muzzle to it, blew into her throat, in the hope of resuscitating her; but the wind only leaked out from the holes in her neck, and she gave signs of
animation.  Then the Coyote mixed some pap of fine toasted meal and water and poured it down her throat, addressing her with vehement expressions
of regret at what he had done, and apology and solicitation that she should not mind, as he didn't mean it, and imploring her to revive.  But the pap
only trickled out between the stitches in her neck, and she grew colder and stiffer all the while; so that at last the Coyote gave it up, and, moaning, he
betook himself to a near clump of pinon trees, intent upon vengeance and designing to gather pitch with which to smoke the Owls to death.  But
weakened by his injuries, and filled with grief and shame and mortification, when he got there he could only lie down.

He was so engrossed in howling and thinking of his woes and pains that a Horned-toad, who saw him, and who hated him because of the insults he
had frequently suffered from him and his kind, crawled into the throat of the beast without his noticing it.  Presently the little creature struck up a song:

"Tsakina muuu-ki

Iyami Kushina tsoiyakya

Aisiwaiki muki, muki,

Muuu ka!"

"Ah-a-a-a-a-a," the Coyote was groaning.  But -when he heard this song, apparently far off, and yet so near, he felt very strangely inside, so he thought
and no doubt wondered if it were the song of some musician.  At any rate, he lifted his head and looked all around, but hearing nothing, lay down
again and bemoaned his fate.

Then the Horned-toad sang again.  This time the Coyote called out immediately, and the Horned-toad answered:  "Here I am."  But look as he would,
the Coyote could not find the Toad.  So he listened for the song again, and heard it, and asked who it was that was singing.  The Horned-toad replied
that it was he.  But still the Coyote could not find him.  A fourth time the Horned-toad sang, and the Coyote began to suspect that it was under him.  So
he lifted himself to see; and one of the spines on the Horned-toad's neck pricked him, and at the same time the little fellow called out:  "Here I am, you
idiot, inside of you!  I came upon you here, and being a medicine-man of some prominence, I thought I would explore your vitals and see what was the

"By the souls of my ancestors!" exclaimed the Coyote, "be careful what you do in there!"

The Horned-toad replied by laying his hand on the Coyote's liver, and exclaiming:  "What is this I feel?"

"Where?" said the Coyote.

"Down here."

"Merciful daylight! It is my liver, without which no one can have solidity of any kind, or a proper vitality.  Be very careful not to injure that; if you do, I
shall die at once, and what will become of my poor wife and children?"

Then the Horned-toad climbed up to the stomach of the Coyote.  "What is this, my friend?" said he, feeling the sides of the Coyote's food-bag.

"What is it like?" asked the Coyote.

"Wrinkled," said the Horned-toad, "and filled with a fearful mess of stuff!"

"Oh!  Mercy! Mercy!  Good daylight!  My precious friend, be very careful!  That is the very source of my being --my stomach itself!"

"Very well," said the Horned-toad.  Then he moved on somewhat farther and touched the heart of the Coyote, which startled him fearfully.  "What is
this?" cried the Horned-toad.

"Mercy,mercy!  What are you doing?" exclaimed the Coyote.

"Nothing --feeling of your vitals," was the reply.  "What is it?"

"Oh, what is it like?" said the Coyote.

"Shaped like a pine-nut," said the Horned-toad, "as nearly as I can make out; it keeps leaping so."

"Leaping, is it?" howled the Coyote.  "Mercy!  My friend, get away from there!  That is the very heart of my being, the thread that ties my existence, the
home of my emotions, and my knowledge of daylight.  Go away from there, do, I pray you!  If you should scratch it ever so little, it would be the death
of me, and what would my wife and children do?"

"Hey!" said the Horned-toad, "you wouldn't be apt to insult me and my people any more if I touched you up there a little, would you?"  And he hooked
one of his horns into the Coyote's heart.  The Coyote gave one gasp, straightened out his limbs, and expired.

"Ha, ha!  You villain!  Thus would you have done to me, had you found the chance; thus unto you" --saying which he found his way out and sought the
nearest water-pocket he could find.

So you see from this, which took place in the days of the ancients, it may be inferred that the instinct of meddling with everything that did not concern
him, and making a universal nuisance of himself, and desiring to imitate everything that he sees, ready to jump into any trap that is laid for him, is a
confirmed instinct with the Coyote, for those are precisely his characteristics today.

Furthermore, Coyotes never insult Horned-toads nowadays, and they keep clear of Burrowing-owls.  And ever since then the Burrowing-owls have
been speckled with gray and white all over their backs and bosoms, because their ancestors spilled foam over themselves in laughing at the silliness of
the Coyote.

Thus shortens my story.



Zuni Legends