a Native American Tale
told by Cornerstoregoddess
One day Coyote was out walking, feeling hungry, when he met up with Skunk. "Hello, brother," said Coyote. "You look hungry and I'm quite hungry, too. If I lead the way, will you join me in a trick to get us something to eat?"
"I'd be happy to join you," answered Skunk. "There's a prairie dog village just over that hill. Why don't you go down there and play dead? I'll wait a while, and talk to the prairie dogs and say, 'Why don't we dance on the dead body of our enemy?'"
This sounded like a foolish idea to Skunk. How could one get anything to eat by playing dead and dancing. "Why should I do this?" he asked.
"Stop stalling," insisted Coyote. "Puff yourself up and play dead."
Skunk sighed, but did as Coyote asked. He went to the prairie dog village, clutched his heart, and pretended to fall over dead.
A while later, along came Coyote. He saw several Prairie Dogs playing outside their holes, keeping a good distance away from Skunk.
"Oh, look!" said Coyote. "Our enemy is dead on the ground. Let's dance to celebrate. Call everyone from their burrow holes, and be sure to stop up the doors behind them."
The foolish prairie dogs did as he said. "Now," said Coyote, "we must all stand in a big circle and dance with our eyes closed. If anyone opens his eyes to look, he will immediately turn into something very bad."
The Prairie Dogs, not being the brightest of creatures, began to dance with their eyes closed. Quickly Coyote killed one.
Then he called out, "Everyone open your eyes!" The Prairie Dogs opened their ees and were horrified to see one of their own lying dead on the ground.
"Oh, dear," said Coyote, "Look at your poor brother. He opened his eyes and died. Quickly, all of you! Close your eyes and dance again. Don't look, or you'll die, too!"