Sacred Texts  Native American  California  Index  Previous  Next 


(Saline Valley, California. Shoshoni)

Coyote, Owl, and Whippoorwill (To’ovego) were making the year. Coyote was fixing the length of winter. Coyote said, "It should

p. 282

have as many months as the hairs on my back." Owl said, "No, it should have as many months as my feathers." "No, there are too many feathers and hairs," Whippoorwill said, "it should be 4 months." He flew away singing, "Watsa mu’a (4 months)."

Coyote became angry, and ran after Whippoorwill, but could not catch him. While Coyote was following Whippoorwill, he came to some red berries (puhupuhya). As he sat eating them, a rattlesnake bit him. He wanted to tell somebody that he had been bitten. He found a man, and told him to tell the people. The man went a short distance and came back. Next time he went farther and camp, back. He kept doing this until he finally got tired. Coyote died while the man was going back and forth.

Next: Hawk and the Gambler (Saline Valley, California. Shoshoni)