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(Saline Valley, California. Shoshoni)

Coyote had a house in Saline Valley where he lived alone. He decided to make a basket and he went out to gather willows. He did this for many days. While he was gathering the willows he heard a sound but did not know what caused it. He said, "Oh, what was that noise I just heard?" There were green blowflies all over Coyote. The flies buzzed so loudly he could not hear the noise. . . . He killed them. After he had killed all the flies he knew what the noise was. It was somebody singing. Then Coyote began to sing and dance, carrying all his basket willows. He said, "Maybe I am going to be a doctor."

While he danced, he heard someone laughing at him. He looked up in the air and saw that Geese were laughing. He said, "What are you fellows, my brothers, doing up there?" Geese said, "We are going to eat eggs." Coyote said, "I think I will go along with you fellows." He dropped the basket willows and ran along under the Geese.

After a while, the Geese rested on the ground to wait for Coyote. They said, "We had better give some feathers to Coyote." When Coyote overtook them, each one gave him a feather. After this, they pointed to a mountain some distance off and said, "You fly

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around that hill and try your feathers." Coyote put on the feathers, and flew away saying, "Wo’ wo’ wo’." The Geese told Coyote to land on a certain mountain top and face them. But he lighted on it. with his back to them. The Geese did not like to have Coyote's back to them. It made them angry.

Coyote left the mountain and walked back to the Geese. They were angry and killed him. They smashed his head with a rock. Then they flew away toward the east (Hauta). Coyote lay dead.

When Coyote came to life again, he stretched and placed his hands behind his head. His fingers felt his brain, which was running out of his skull. He said "My brothers have left me something to eat," and he began to eat, thinking his brains were food they had given him. Then he got up and found that he had been eating his own brains. He said, "I was eating my own brain," and vomited.

Then Coyote looked for the Geese. He saw them way over the mountains, toward the east. Coyote picked up some rocks and put them into his head, in place of the brains he had eaten, and started after the Geese. He went to the top of the mountain where he had seen the Geese, and saw that they were over the next mountain to the east. He went on to that mountain, and saw that they were over the next one to the east. In this way, Coyote kept going until he came to the shore of the ocean.

Here he saw many people, lying scattered on the shore, with their faces down. They were all dead. He turned over each one to look under him for eggs, but the Geese had eaten all of them.

One woman was lying at some distance from the others; she had one egg. Coyote cut her open, and found a girl baby. He said to the baby, "You are going to be my sister." Then he said, "You are going to be my baby." Coyote got himself some clay and made himself like a woman, with all the parts. He built a fire and steamed himself, as women do after childbirth. After this he drank only warm water. In this way Coyote made himself into a woman to nurse and care for the baby.

Coyote started back for her old home, carrying the baby on her back. While she traveled along, the baby became bigger each day. As the girl rapidly grew bigger, Coyote began to remove the clay which he had used to make himself into a woman. He changed himself back into a man, for the girl had grown very large. He said to her, "You will be my wife." But the girl said to him, "When you first cut open the woman and found me as a baby, you called me sister." Coyote said, "No, I called you my wife then." The girl said, "No you didn't, you called me sister." Coyote said, "No, I called you my wife." Coyote liked that girl.

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Coyote and the girl stayed together that night. She became pregnant at once. They traveled on toward this country. A baby was born on the trail. Coyote began to weave a water jug. When he finished it, he put the baby inside. His wife disappeared, and Coyote came home alone, carrying the jug with the baby inside.

When Coyote arrived in his own country, he set the jug down. Out came dozens of boys and girls, fully grown, walking by themselves. The first to come out were fine looking, but they had no bows and arrows. They started off toward the north, running and raising a big dust. Coyote shouted, "Wait! I want to pick some of the best ones for my people." Fine looking people without bows and arrows also ran across the mountains to the west. Those that went toward the east (süvü watü nümü) were scrubby people, and carried bows and quivers full of arrows. Those who went south were also scrubby, and had bow and arrows. These were Coyote's people, the Shoshoni. Those who went north, settled at different places along Owen's Valley. They were the Northern Paiute.

If Coyote had not found a live egg on the shore of the ocean, there wouldn't be any people.

Next: Coyote Learns to Fly; Coyote Becomes a Mother (Ash Meadows, Nevada. Shoshoni)