(Lida, Nevada. Shoshoni)
Badger lived alone in his camp. He had lived there a long time. On a hill close by his home were some rocks. In these rocks were the houses of many Woodchucks (Yaha). 35
Badger thought, "These must be very good to eat. I am going to try them." He sharpened a big stick on both edges; he had some kind of knife. Then he climbed up to the Yaha holes in the rocks. He found a flat place below the entrance to the houses and lay down there with his stick close beside him. He thought, "I will sing a song and pretend I am singing in my sleep." He started singing:
[paragraph continues] He sang this song two or three times. Then he sat up and looked up to the rocks where the Woodchucks had their homes. A few had come out to look when he started singing. He thought "Maybe more will come out." He lay down again and continued singing. He thought, "I'll sing once more. Then I'll look again."
He sang the song twice more and then cautiously looked up. Many Woodchucks had come out to listen to him. They said, "Who is that singing? We will go down and see who is singing." Badger lay still with his head on the ground, and continued to sing. The Woodchucks said, "He has a very short tail." "What is that singing?" "His legs are very short, too." "Come and see what this is!"
Finally, many had come down to see Badger. Badger kept singing all the time. He didn't move at all. He kept his head down on the ground. He kept on singing. He held his stick down with his hand. The Woodchucks called up to those who remained on the rocks, "Come down and see what this is!" "He has very short ears." "It is hard to see his eyes. They are very small. He has a white spot on his nose." Badger continued singing all the time.
When all the Woodchucks were around him, watching him, Badger thought, "Now I have enough. I will knock them down with my stick." He jumped up quickly and began knocking the Woodchucks on the head with his sharp stick. He killed many of them. Only a few escaped, and ran back to their homes in the rocks. Badger thought, "I have plenty. I have enough."
He carried them on his back down to his camp and skinned then. They were very fat and good to eat. He dried the meat and made jerky of it. While he was skinning them he thought, "I have a lot of meat. These will be good to eat when they are dry."
When his meat was nearly all used up, Coyote came to see Badger. Badger had just made a stew of his meat. When it was cooked he gave Coyote some. Coyote said, "That is very good." He ate more; it tasted good. Coyote asked Badger, "What kind of meat is in that stew?" Badger answered, "That is not meat. I just pick them out of the rocks. They have a place up there. That is where I get them." Coyote said, "I am going to try to get some. How do you do it? Do you shoot them, or what?" Badger explained, "You just knock them down with a stick." Coyote said, "I'll bet I can catch more than you did. What kind of stick did you use?" Badger said, "Any kind of stick will do. It doesn't matter." Coyote said, "I am going to try it myself. I am going to lie up there, too."
Coyote made a stick for himself and then asked Badger, "What do you say to them while you are lying there?" Badger told him, "I sang a song, that is all." Coyote asked, "What kind of song? Can you give me the same song?" Badger gave him the song and Coyote practiced it. His voice was deep and hoarse and ugly. After he had practiced until he knew it, he went up to the rocks He looked around for a place to lie. He saw the holes of the Woodchucks and what he thought was a good place near them.
Coyote lay on his back. He started to sing Badger's song. It sounded bad. He only sang it once and then raised his head to look at the holes. There were no Woodchucks in sight. He sang once more and then looked again. No Woodchucks had come out. He thought, "I have been too impatient about looking up there." He sang the song two or three times and then looked. Some little Woodchucks had come out in front of their holes. They looked down to where Coyote lay. They said to the others, "Come out and look at this. It is a long one." Some of them went down to see better. They said, "This is a long one. What is it? It has a long tail." They called to the others to come and look. More of the Woodchucks came down. Coyote had not stopped singing. They said, "He has a very sharp nose." "His ears are pretty long." More Woodchucks came out to look. Coyote thought, "I have plenty," but he wanted more to come down. He kept on singing.
The Woodchucks said, "We will touch him with our hands to see how that fur feels." They gathered around Coyote and put their hands on him to feel the fur. This tickled Coyote and he began to laugh. He frightened the Woodchucks and they all ran away. Coyote jumped up, grasped his stick and tried to hit them, but he missed every one. They were too far away. He didn't get one.
Coyote said, "I will try once more." He lay down again in the same place. He started to sing again. He sang the song twice and looked up. There was not one Woodchuck outside his hole. Coyote
continued singing. He thought they would come out again. He sang the song five or six times, but no one came out to bear it. He thought he had better stop.
He got up and went to Badger's place. Badger saw that he had no meat. Coyote told Badger that the Woodchucks were too wild and had all gotten away. Badger said, "Yes?"
Coyote went home.
291:35 J. S. explained that these Yaha were like rats or mice, but that he had never, seen any of them. Actually Yaha are woodchucks and, though an important food farther north, are unknown in this region.