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At Whirlpool Place (Koashka) there lived a duck with lots of little ducklings. She told her children to go to the river and have a bath. She said, "I will sit on the bank and sing for you." They got to the river. The mother sat on the bank, and she started to sing (unintelligible words). She said, "When this song ends, jump in all together." At the last word of her song, the ducklings jumped in and went under the water and came up again far off. They swam around and came back to their mother. She sang her song again and each time they ducked and swam and came back to her.

Coyote heard Mother Duck singing. He said, "What a pretty song you sing to your children. I must go and get mine too. I have as many children as you have. I will get them. Why don't your children get drowned in all that water?" Mother Duck answered, "It is because they have a great power that they don't get drowned. If your children have a great power like mine they won't drown either."

Coyote went off to get her children. She brought them all to the river bank and asked Mother Duck where they were to start. She said, "They must start from this bank when you sing the song for them." Old Coyote said, "How shall I sing the song? When you sing it, you call your children by name, but when I sing it must I call my children by name?" Duck said, "That is right." Coyote started to sing, but the little coyotes were afraid of the water and wouldn't go near the river. They all bunched together on the bank. Mother Duck started to sing for the little coyotes. She said, [paragraph continues]

p. 149

"When I get to the end, jump into the water." She got to the end but the coyotes all ran off home as fast as they could. Some of them Coyote caught and threw into the river. So she drowned half of them and all the ducks flew up away from Coyote. She started to cry for her children. She cried and cried until she died.


Once there was a high bank of paper bread of all colors. At the bottom it was blue, then white, red, gray, and white. On the top of this high bank there was a crow, and at the bottom there was a little pond of sweet-corn milk. The crow sang,

High bank of paper bread, high bank of paper bread;
Pond of sweet-corn milk, pond of sweet-corn milk.

[paragraph continues] Every time, he bit a piece, of paper bread off the bank he flew down to the sweet-corn pond to take a drink. Coyote came along and said, "How nicely you jump. Sing the song to me for I want to eat paper bread and drink the sweet-corn milk. I will do just as you do." "All right." He sang his song,

High bank of paper bread, high bank of paper bread;
Pond of sweet-corn milk, pond of sweet-corn milk.

[paragraph continues] Coyote listened and learned the song. He said, "All right, now I'll start." "All right, you sing first." Coyote stood on top of the high bank and sang and ate. He said, "Now I'll take a drink." He was singing and getting ready to jump at the end of his song. He jumped down and he fell straight into the pond and right there he died. Crow began to caw (for joy). She wanted his eyes. She took them out and shook them. They sounded like bells. She called, "Animals, whoever uses fur for nests, come and take it from Coyote who has done mischief." Wood rats and mice and chipmunks and squirrels came and took the fur from Coyote for nests. Crow said, "All the kinds of birds that eat meat, come and eat Coyote, for he has done mischief." The eagle and the vulture and the chicken hawk and hawk came, and they all ate him up. There was nothing left but his bones. Along came an old, old man with a carrying basket. He walked with a cane and he could hardly get along. He came to the place where Coyote's bones were and said, "These will make a nice soup for grandmother." He put them in the basket, put it on his back, and took the bones home to his wife.


148:3a Informant 2. Notes, p. 240.

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