The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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67. THE COYOTE AND THE TURTLE-DOVE. 1
Alíksai! The Shongópavi were living in their village, and South of the village there was a hill called Kwákchomo. There was a great deal of this grass called kwákwi there. A Turtle-dove one time was rubbing out the seed from the tassels of this grass, and while doing so cut her hand with the sharp edge of one of the blades of grass. It bled profusely, and the Turtle-dove was moaning as follows:
Hooho, hoo, hooho, hoo, hooho, hoo,
While she was moaning a Coyote came along and heard somebody singing, as he believed. So he approached the place. When he arrived at the place he saw the Turtle-dove sitting and leaning forward in deep distress. "Are you singing?" he asked the Dove. "Are you thus singing?" "No," she said, "I am not singing; I am crying. I have cut myself." "No, you are singing," the Coyote replied. "Now you sing to me." "No," the Dove insisted, "I was crying," thus refusing to confirm the Coyote's statements. "Now, if you are not willing to sing to me, I shall devour you," the Coyote said. The Dove then yielded and sang the above song again. The Coyote then imitating the song of the Dove, left her and ran away.
As he was running he stumbled over a rock and fell down. As he fell he lost the song, so that he was only able to say, "Ho-ho-ho." So the Coyote made up his mind to go back again to the Turtle-dove, and, arriving at the place where she was sitting, he began to urge her to sing. "But I am not singing," she said, "I am crying." But he would not listen, so she again sang her song to him. He again ran back, singing the Turtle-dove's song as he was running. Again he stumbled over a rock and lost the song. He again tried to sing, but could only say, "Ho-ho-ho." So he again returned to the place Where the Turtle-dove had been, but the latter had gone immediately after the Coyote had left her, leaving at the place where she had been
sitting a stone which very much resembled her form, and was also placed in about the position in which the Dove had been sitting. "I have fallen down again and have forgotten my song, so I came back again," the Coyote said, but he received no reply. "If you do not sing I am going to devour you," and again receiving no reply, he grabbed what he believed to be the Dove, but found that it was a stone. He broke all his teeth, and much blood was streaming from his mouth. He at once ran back and taking his way towards Shupaúlavi, came to the spring Toríva, which he approached in order to drink. As he put his mouth to the water he saw a bloody face staring at him from the depth of the water. Not knowing what it was, he did not dare to drink, and ran away. Making his way northward, he ran to another spring by the name of Nánkava, which is situated north of Shupaúlavi. Here he again saw his reflection in the water, and did not dare to drink. He then ran to a third spring by the name of Íshk'achokpu. Seeing the same reflection in the water again, he was angry and gnarled, or rather belched, at it, from which the spring has derived its name, the Coyote Belching Water. He again was afraid to drink, but was very tired and thirsty by this time. "I am going to run to Oraíbi," he said to himself; "there is a place where there is some water, and I believe there is nobody living in that place." So he ran to a place south-east of Oraíbi, called Kurítvahchikpu. When he arrived at this place he again put his snout to the water, and was just about to drink when he discovered a skeleton staring at him from the water. This time he was very angry and tore up the rocks around the spring, from which that place has derived its name. He by this time was so thirsty and exhausted that he fell down and died there.
195:1 Told by Lomávântiwa (Shupaúlavi).
Next: 68. The Coyote and the Blue Jays