A Blackfoot Legend

Published on September 21, 2010 by Alice

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Blackfoot Teepees
Blackfoot Teepees,
Glacier National Park, 1933

When the World was young

When the world was young, Old Man and Old Woman Coyote were walking around. “Let us decide how things will be,” Old Man Coyote Said.

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“That would be good,” said Old Woman Coyote. “How shall we do it?”

“It was my idea so I’ll have the first say” said Old Man Coyote.

“That is fine ,” said Old Woman Coyote .”Just as long as I have the last say.”

So for a while they walked around looking at things. Finally Old Man Coyote said something. “The men will be the hunters. Any time they want to shoot an animal they will call it and it will come.”

“I too think men should be the hunters,” said Old Woman Coyote. “But if the animals come so easily then life will be too easy for the people. The animals shall run away and hide. This will make it harder for the hunters but it will make them smarter and stronger.”

“You have the last say,” said Old Man Coyote.

They walked around some more and again Old Man Coyote said something. “I’ve been thinking about how people will look. They will have eyes on one side of their face and their mouth on the other. Their mouths will go up and down. They will have ten fingers on each hand.”

“I too think that people should have their eyes and their mouth on their faces, but their eyes will be at the top of their face and their mouth at the bottom and they will be across from each other.” Said Old Woman Coyote “and I agree they should have fingers, but ten on each hand will be too awkward. They will have 5 fingers on each hand.”

“You have the last say,” said Old Man Coyote.

They continued to walk and finally they were by the river when Old Man Coyote spoke. “Let us decide about life and death. I will do it this way. I will throw this buffalo chip into the river. If it floats then when people die they will come back to life after 4 days and live forever.”

Old Man Coyote threw the chip in and it floated.

“I too think we should decide this way,” Old Woman Coyote said. “But I we will use a stone instead of a buffalo chip. I will throw this stone in the river. If it floats then people will come back in 4 days and live forever. If it sinks then people will not come back to life after they die.”

Old Woman Coyote threw the stone in the river and it sank.

“That is the way it should be,” Old Woman Coyote said. “If people lived forever the Earth would get to crowded and there would not be enough food. This way people will learn compassion.”

Old Man Coyote said nothing.

Some time passed. Old Woman Coyote had a child. She and Old Man Coyote loved the child a lot and they were happy.

One day, the child became ill and died. Then Old Woman Coyote went to Old Man Coyote.

“Let us have our say again about death,” she said.

But Old Man Coyote shook his head.” NO, you had the last say.”

Source: www.firstpeople.us

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