Owl used to kill deer by driving them into the river and then sitting between their horns until they landed. When he had the meat dressed and packed up ready to carry home, Two-neck used to come along and carry it off for himself. One day Coyote came to Owl' s house and said, "Why have you no venison?" "Something always takes it away from us," said Owl. "I will kill him," said Coyote.
The next morning when Owl landed with his deer, Coyote was sitting in the brush ready to fight. As soon as the load was ready Two-neck came along as usual. Coyote, from his place in the brush, saw what sort he was and decided not to come out. Then Two-neck said, "Come lift the load onto my back." As Owl was lifting it up he suddenly pushed it back toward the ground. "What are you doing?" said Two-neck. "Well, what am I doing?" said Owl. 1 When Two-neck had carried it off, Owl came to the place where Coyote had been lying in wait. He was not there. When Owl got back to his house he found Coyote sitting with his legs stretched each side of the fire. "Don't you remember? I told you he was a terrible fellow," said Owl. "Well, I will kill him to-morrow," said Coyote. The following morning Owl brought another deer to land. When the load was ready, Two-neck came along. Coyote was watching ready to fight. "Come lift the load on my back," said Two-neck. As Owl was lifting it up he jerked it back. Coyote jumped out and struck the monster where his neck was crotched. The heads fell off but jumped back again. Coyote slashed him all over with his knife but could not kill him. Then he ran to the river and got a sedge and whipped him with that. Two-neck, cut everywhere, died.
Owl and Coyote carried the meat home. When they had eaten, Coyote said, "Well, I am going to walk down the river a way." "Very well," said Owl. As Coyote was walking along he saw a woman coming towards him. When he met her he saw she was
dressed all in white. On looking closer be was surprised to see that her dress was of deer fat. He killed her on the spot for the sake of her dress which he ate. The woman was Frog. Coyote walked on till he came to a house, which he entered. Several boys were sitting there. "Where are they all gone?" asked Coyote. "This morning the old man went up the valley and has not come back yet. After awhile the old woman went after him, Didn't you meet her?" they said. "No," said Coyote. Then they came up to him and smelled of him. "You have her odor about you," they said. Then they attacked him and there was a fight. Over and over again he pushed them into the fire only to see them jump out again. When he was nearly dead with the exertion, they said, "You can't kill us, our hearts hang in a row there in the smoke-hole." Then Coyote jumped up, got their hearts, and threw them in the fire. The boys fell back dead. A great quantity of venison was stored in the house and Coyote stayed until he had eaten it all. Then be went back to see Owl for whom he had killed so many.
When he got to the house be was surprised to see grass growing all over the roof. He went in and sat down. After a little he heard a noise outside. "That is right," said Coyote, looking toward the door through which he fancied someone was about to come in. Finally he went out and looked around. No one was to be seen. Then looking up toward the hillside he saw a dead tree. Owl was climbing up this tree carrying something with him. When he got up with it, his wife began to boil some venison. Holding out a piece Owl said," Take it, Coyote, eat it." "Come down," said Coyote, but they would not. Then Coyote tried to shoot them, but he could not hit them. After that he tried to burn the tree by building a fire at its base, but the fire would not burn. All the time the Owls kept saying, "Here, Coyote, take this, eat it." They were only fooling him. Finally Coyote said, "Owls you may become since you have treated me so badly." Then they turned into Owls. It happened this way: Coyote thought he had been away only one night but he had really stayed away a whole year. 1 The Owls did not recognize him as their benefactor.
162:1 Told at Hupa, June 1902, by Oscar Brown.
167:1 Owl pretends he is absent minded.
168:1 Compare p. 149.