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(Winnemucca, Nevada. Northern Paiute)

The north wind was blowing and Coyote could smell pine nuts. Coyote said, "It smells good. I will find the pine nut eaters." He traveled to where people were eating pine nuts. They were making mush of them. The people said, "Don't make the mush too thick. Put plenty of water in it. There is a stranger here. We don't know what he wants. Don't put coarse nuts in the mush. He may steal them."

Coyote came back and told his own people about it. He said, "Those people have fine food. I ate some soup. They made me some thin mush without any whole pine nuts in it, so I could not steal them. Hurry, pack up and we will go after them."

Coyote and his people started out to steal the pine nuts. Everybody--Chipmunk, Magpie, Chickenhawk, Mouse, Hawk, Skunk--everybody went. They were all people. [When they arrived] they gambled with the people in the north. Coyote said, "Mouse, you look for the pine nuts, while we play the hand game. They are hidden." Coyote told him to find the whole ones. Mouse was small and could get into small places. While they were playing the hand game, Mouse found the nuts under a house and started to run home with them. All Coyote's people ran to help him.

The northern people followed. They killed Coyote first. Then they killed the others. They cut each person open to find the pine nuts. [But before each person was overtaken] he had relayed the nuts to another. Finally, Rotten-legs (Hawk) was the only person left. He had the pine nuts in his leg. They cut Rotten-legs open, but did not find anything. His leg stunk so bad that they threw it away toward the south.

The people saw smoke in the hills. 7 The pine nuts [which had been scattered when the leg was thrown] grew fast. There used to be pine nuts in the north, but now they are all gone. They grow around Winnemucca now.


260:6 Although this story is known throughout the Basin, it is here told at the northern limit of pine nuts. The people to the north actually do not have pine nuts in their territory and it may well be in such a place that the story originated.

260:7 This smoke was presumably from the fires of people cooking pine nuts, though it is not explicitly explained In this myth.

Next: The Origin of People (Panamint Valley, California. Shoshoni)