The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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74. THE COYOTE AND THE BADGER. 1
Halíksai! In the village they were living, and south of Lâ'nangva at Coyote Gap (Íshmovala) the Coyote was living. At Badger Gulch (Honáncika), about one-eighth of a mile south-east of Oraíbi, lived the Badger. These two were great friends with each other, and often visited each other. One time the Oraíbi were cleaning out the spring of Lâ'nangva, in which the maidens of the village assisted. They had taken their food along, which they placed near a rock not far from the spring. Towards evening the chief said: "Now get your food and let us eat." So they spread blankets on the ground and placed the food on it and ate. After they were through they went to the village.
The Coyote was sitting a short distance away watching the people as they ate, and envied them. Early the next morning he heard the crier announce another spring cleaning. As soon as the Coyote heard this announcement he ran over to his friend, the Badger. Arriving at the latter's house, he asked: "Is my friend in?" "Yes," the latter replied, "come in!" "Very well," the Coyote said, "but I am in a hurry. These Oraíbi are going to clean the spring again and they have something very fine to eat there. Let us go over and take part in the eating, but do not be slow. Follow me soon." "Very well," the Badger said. Hereupon the Coyote left, the Badger soon following him. They entered the Coyote's house, and from there the Badger commenced to dig a hole towards the place where the food was, and after he had gone a little way he turned around, which is the custom, of the badgers. The Coyote noticed it and said: "Oh! you are turning back again." "Yes," the Badger replied, "that is the way I dig. We must not be alone in this." "Yes," the Coyote said, here is some one else close by. He digs straight ahead."
Hereupon the Coyote left his house and ran over to a place a short distance east of his house where the Mole (Mû'yi) lived. he entered the latter's house and said: "The people are cleaning the spring there and they have a great deal of food there, of which we want to get
some. But the Badger, who has been digging towards it, always turns around, and we shall not get there. You come and scratch a hole for us and we shall give you a great deal of it." The Mole was at once willing and said: "Very well, I shall come," and went along with the Coyote. After entering the Coyote's house the Mole at once commenced to dig a hole underground, which he did very rapidly. The Badger followed him, enlarging the hole. The Coyote followed the Badger and scratched out the loose dirt.
They arrived at a place not far from the rock where the food had been placed the day before. Here the Mole made a small opening and looked out and saw that the people were just arriving, and that the maidens again placed the food near the rock. So the Mole continued his digging to the place where the food was, and while the Hopi were at work he reached all the food to his companions. The Mole handed it to the Badger, the Badger to the Coyote, and the latter carried it to his house. When the Hopi were through with their work the chief again said to the maidens that they should now go and get their food. They would eat and then go home. So the maidens raced towards the rock where they had placed the food, but when they arrived here they found all their food gone. They looked around and found a hole in the ground, but only for a short distance, because the Badger had tightly closed up the hole from the inside. "Well now," the maidens said, "somebody has put our food in here." So the men and the youths brought their hoes and followed the opening in the ground, but they soon found that it was only open a short distance. Hereupon they abandoned it and went home hungry.
In the Coyote's house the three now divided up the food and the Badger and the Mole carried home their portions. On this they lived for some time afterwards. Soon afterwards the Coyote again visited the Badger. The Badger had cut up into small pieces some lölö'okongs and roasted them. They were very fat. This food he set before his friend, the Coyote, and with it some comíviki. The Coyote ate the food with relish. "But that tastes well," he said; "what is it? where did you get it?" "Why, I opened my side," the Honáni said. "My intestines are covered with much fat, and I took out some of that fat and prepared this food from it," "Did it not hurt you," the Coyote asked, "when you opened your body?" "No," the Badger replied, "I opened it, took out the fat, and you see there is nothing the matter with my body. With this knife here I opened my body," showing the knife to the Coyote. "Very well," the Coyote said, "I am going to take this knife along and I am going to do the same, so to-morrow you must visit me, too." Hereupon he left and went home.
The Badger laughed, saying: "That Fool Old Man (Uná Wuhtaka) believes that I took that fat out of my body."
The next morning the Coyote took the knife and commenced to cut into his abdomen. It hurt him very much, 'and as he was cutting he moaned, "Ana-na-na," but he kept on cutting and the blood was running out profusely. When he had cut through the abdomen wall he took hold of the fat and commenced to pull at it, but before he got through he became exhausted and fell down and died. When his friend, the Badger, arrived he found the Coyote lying there dead. "That Fool Old Man," he said, "thinking that I extracted that fat from my body!" And thus the Badger killed his friend, the Coyote.
204:1 Told by Kiwánhongva (Oraíbi).
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