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~Welcome To the Myths and Legends~
~Old Man Coyote and the Rock-Legend~
The tribe is Pawnee from the Great Plains where this legend comes from
Old Man Coyote was going along.
It was quite a while since he had eaten and he was feeling cut in half by hunger.
He came to the top of a hill and there he saw a abig rock. Old Man Coyote took out his flint knife.
"Grandfather." Old Man Coyote said to the rock.
"I give you this fine knife. Now help me in some way, because I am hungry."
Then Old Man Coyote went along further. He went over the top of the
hill and there at the bottom was a buffalo that had just been killed.
"How lucky I am." Old Man Coyote said.
"But how can I butcher this buffalo without a knife? Now where did I leave my knife?"
Then Old Man Coyote walked back up the hill until he came to the big rock where his knife still lay on the ground.
"You don't need this knife." he said to the big rock.
Then he picked his flint knife up and ran back to where he had left the buffalo.
Now, though, where there had been a freshly killed buffalo,
there were only buffalo bones and bones were very old and gray. Then, from behind him,
Old Man Coyote heard a rumbling noise. he turned around and looked up.
the big rock was rolling down the hill after him. GA-DA-RUM, GA-DA-RUM.
Old Man Coyote began to run. He ran and ran, but the stone still rumbled after him.
GA-DA-RUM, GA-DA-RUM. Old Man Coyote ran until he came to a bear den.
"Help me." he called in to the bears den.
The bears looked and saw what was chasing Old Man Coyote,
"We can't help you against Grandfather Rock," they said.
GA-DA-RUM, GA-DA-RUM. the big rock kept coming and Old Man Coyote kept running.
Now he came to a cave where the mountain lions lived and called out again.
"Help me." Old Man Coyote said. "I am about to be killed."
The mountain lions looked and saw what was after Old Man Coyote.
"No," they said, "we can't help you if you have angered Grandfather Rock."
GA-DA-RUM, GA-DA-RUM. The big rock kept rumbling after Old Man Coyote
and he kept running. Now he came to the place where a bull buffalo was grazing.
"Help me," Old Man Coyote yelled. "That big rock said it was going to kill all the buffalo.
When I tried to stop it, it began to chase me."
The bull buffalo braced his legs and thrust his head out to stop the big rock.
but the rock just brushed the bull buffalo aside and left him standing there dazed,
with his horns bend and his head pushed back into his shoulder. To this day all buffalo are still like that.
GA-DA-RUM, GA-DA-RUM. The big rock kept rolling and Old Man Coyote kept running.
But Old Man Coyote was getting tired now and the rock was getting closer.
Then Old Man Coyote looked up and saw a nighthawk flying overhead.
"My friend," Old Man Coyote yelled "this big rock that is chasing me said you are ugly.
It said you have a wide mouth and your eyes are too big and your beak is all pinched up.
I told it not to say that and it began to chase me."
The nighthawk heard what Old Man Coyote said and grew very angry.
He called the other nighthawks. They began to swoop down and strike at the big rock with their beaks.
Each time they struck the big rock a piece broke off and stopped rolling.
GA-DA-RUM, GA-DA-RUM. the rock kept rolling and Old Man Coyote kept running,
but now the rock was much smaller. The nighthawks continued to swoop down and break off pieces.
Finally the big rock was nothing but small pebbles.
Old Man Coyote came up and looked at the little stones.
"My, my," he said to the nighthawks, "Why did you wide-mouthed, big-eyed,
pinch-beaked birds do that to my old friend?"
Then Old Man Coyote laughed and started on his way again.
Now the nighthawks were very angry at Old Man Coyote.
They gathered all of the pieces of the big rock and fanned them together with their wings.
The next thing Old Man Coyote knew, he heard a familiar sound behind him again.
GA-DA-RUM, GA-DA-RUM. He tried to run, but he was so tired now he could not get away.
The big rock rolled right over him and flattened him out.
Please take the wolf and
send her on her way around
the world to continue
in the name of the plight
of the animals who cannot
for themselves yet continue
to die at the hands of
A Lakota Prayer
Great Spirit, you are
And yet above everything
You are first and always
Through you our children
will have strong hearts
And they will walk the
straight path in a sacred
Help me to walk the sacred
path of life
With my mind and heart
continually fixed on you!
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