Coyote Tails: Coyote and Horned Toad

I’ve been spending my days in front of the computer, my mind out on the Navajo Reservation.  And I keep coming across Coyote.  Maybe I’ll share some of his escapades.

There was a day when Coyote was very hungry indeed and stole some young green corn out of the patch which belonged to Horned Toad. Horned Toad saw him doing this, and he told Coyote he liked people to ask him for his corn and not to steal it. Coyote just laughed at the little toad, and said he’d like some more corn.

Horned Toad cooked some for him three times, but when Coyote asked for corn the fourth time Horned Toad was tired of his begging and refused.

Coyote swallowed Horned Toad, and then walked all around the cornfield telling the birds he met that it was his cornfield. After a while he went to  Horned Toad’s shelter and went to sleep.

Soon after this Horned Toad got his strength back and began to stir about in Coyote’s stomach. Coyote thought the young green corn was giving him a stomach ache. But when Horned Toad made a loud hissing noise inside Coyote he woke up and was frightened. He thought that this was the noise spirits made when someone was going to die.

Now Horned Toad began to laugh and laugh and to call out to Coyote. “Where am I, where am I? It is very dark in here,” he said.

“Ouch, that’smy stomach. Stop hurting me,” Coyote called back.

“Now I know you are sorry you ate my young green corn. Where am I now?” sang out Horned Toad, giving Coyote another kick.

“Stop hurting me and come out. The place where you are now is in my bowels,” said Coyote.

“Where am I now?” yelled Horned Toad as he kept crawling along.

“Get out of there. That’s my windpipe,” said Coyote, feeling almost choked.

But by this time Horned Toad was in Coyote’s heart, and he just cut a cross on it, and Coyote jumped four times into the air and fell back dead. Then Horned Toad crawled out of Coyote’s anus and went back to his work in the field.

(Lucky for Coyote he can regenerate himself–he gets himself into so many scrapes!)

About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States" in Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, and a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico. Karen and her husband traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, spending many summers in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala . Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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