(Lida, Nevada. Shoshoni)
Coyote and his brother Wolf had a camp in the Shoshoni Mountains. They had no baskets. Wolf asked Coyote to get some willows and make a basket. Coyote found the willows, cut them down, and rolled them up in a bundle. He heard a noise like singing, but he did not know where it came from. He looked and looked for the source of the singing. He put his willows on his back and departed from Wolf's camp.
Coyote soon began to dance with the willows on his back. He said, "Now I am a doctor." He asked some seeds on the ground, "How do I look while I am dancing?" He still heard the singing. Finally, he looked up in the air and saw some Geese who sang as they flew. Coyote called to them, "Which way are you going? Wait, boys, I want to go with you." But the Geese said, "No; we cannot take that Coyote along." Coyote continued calling to them to wait for him, but, they started to fly north. Coyote then took the willows from his back and followed them, singing as they sang.
The Geese tired of having Coyote follow them. They stopped to wait for him to see what he wanted. They sat on some little round hills and waited. Soon Coyote came up to them, panting and sweating. He said, "I am tired. Each of you, give me one of your feathers and I will stick them in my arms and fly as you do." Each gave him one of his feathers, and he stuck them along his arms.
The Geese said to Coyote, "When you fly, go down to that little hill and stop there. Be sure to sit down facing away from us." Coyote said, "All right, I will."
Coyote ran along the ground, flapping his wings. His feet rose from the ground a little way. Then he rose higher and higher in the air. He was flying. He flew down to the little hill the Geese had indicated, but when he lighted on it, he faced the Geese. At this they became angry. They went to Coyote and smashed his head with rocks. Coyote died.
When Coyote awoke, he was lying on his back. He stretched himself and as his hands passed over his head he felt something soft near his head. He thought the Geese had left him mush to eat. He ate it with his fingers. Then he sat up. He felt his head and found that there was a large wound in it, and that he had eaten his brains, thinking they were mush. He vomited.
Coyote stood up and saw that the Geese were far away over the mountains. He said to himself, "I will travel on." He followed the Geese to the mountains, but when he arrived at the summit, he found that they had crossed the next range and were still far ahead of him over another range. He followed them to that range, and saw that they were over the summit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When he came to the summit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, he could not see the Geese anywhere.
Coyote started down into the valley, but at the canyon mouth he saw many Indians lying dead. He looked at them all but every one was dead. He saw one, woman with a large belly, but she too was dead. He took his knife and cut her belly; inside, he found a little baby girl. He said to this girl, "You are my sister. Yes, you must be my little sister."
Coyote made a. willow cradle for the baby. He tied her to it, and told her, "We are going to my brother's camp." He carried her on his back, and started out. On the journey the girl grew very fast. Coyote called her his sister all the time. The girl was walking before they reached Wolf's camp.
When Coyote arrived at Wolf's camp he left the girl, who was now a young woman, outside the camp and went in to see Wolf. Coyote said "I have a wife. I left her outside the camp." Wolf said, "That is not your wife, that is our sister. Bring her into camp." Coyote said, "No, that is not our sister. That is my wife." Wolf said, "She is our sister," and he went out and brought her in. He gave her a place to sit.
The girl stayed for a little while, and then wanted to go back home. As she was leaving, Wolf gave her a stick painted white. He said to her, "Take this stick and when you are a short distance from camp, throw it over your head. Then turn around and look and you will see something." The girl put the stick on her back, and walked away. When she had traveled a short distance, she threw
the stick over her head. She turned around to look and saw that it had become a little boy. This was her brother. She took him with her and they returned to their home.
When they had been there a little while, the girl cut some willows and made two baskets. One was very good and finely woven. The other was a poor basket. The girl gave them to the young boy and told him to take them back to Wolf's camp. She told him to give the good basket to Wolf and the poor one to Coyote. She also told him not to go into any caves. This boy was Coyote and Wolf's nephew (nadabu, "sister's son").
While the young man was traveling to Coyote's camp, a heavy rain started to fall. He saw a cave ahead. He said, "I am not going to sleep out tonight and get wet." He went into the cave, and spent the night there. In the morning he stood up and bumped his head on the roof of the cave. He found that he, had two big horns. He said, "I am a mountain sheep." He left the baskets in the cave, and jumped out on top of some big rocks by the cave. He said, "Now I know I am a sheep." He found two other sheep. They went with him to Coyote's and Wolf's camp. This Mountain Sheep, Wolf's nephew, had some beads around his neck.
When the Sheep approached the camp, Coyote said, "We must go out and kill that ram." Wolf said, "No, that is our nephew." Wolf saw the beads around Mountain Sheep's neck.
There were two brothers, also Wolf's and Coyote's nephews, who lived in the air, directly above the camp. They, too, saw the Mountain Sheep. The younger brother said to the older, "We must kill that ram." The older said, "No, that mountain sheep has beads around his neck. That is Coyote's nephew." The younger brother did not believe this, and continued to talk all day, asking the older brother to help him kill the ram. The older brother finally became tired of hearing the younger talk, and said, "All right. Go down and kill him." After the younger brother had killed Mountain Sheep, he saw the beads around his neck. He was sorry, because he knew then what he had done.
The younger brother said to the older one, "I am dry as a fish. 24 I want some water." Both went down to the spring to get a drink. Wolf asked Spider to make a fire. He asked Spider to put heavy rocks in it, so that they would get hot. Spider did as he was told. While the two brothers from the sky were drinking at the spring, Spider hit both of them with the hot rocks from the fire. Then he crawled inside them and killed them.
Wolf was singing, "Our nephew has been killed. Dig a hole and bury him there." Coyote said, "What kind of brush shall I use?" Wolf cried, and, finally, Coyote cried.
276:24 The simile is not obvious; and almost certainly is not native.