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Three brothers were herding sheep and they had one burro among them. One day they were out of food. Next morning they sent one of their men to get their burro. He brought the burro and said to the brothers, "Here is the burro." "We are out of food," said the men to the burro, "you must go and get some. They have it ready for you at our house." One of the men saddled him and put off the saddlebags. The burro started for home. They said, "Keep going along this road and don't leave it." When the burro got to the town, he stopped before the brothers' house and their father heard him and came out. "Maybe the burro has come back for food for my sons. Go down and see what he wants," he said to the head servant, who had charge of the house. They were about to take off Burro's saddle, but Burro said, "Don't take it off. I must take the food to the brothers." They brought out a big sack of bread that was all ready for him. One of them put the bread into one of the saddlebags, and one put corn into the other saddlebag. On top they put a sack of flour and tied it on with rope. "Go along and carry this food to the three brothers," they said.

On the way back he had to pass a great hole on one side of the road where Coyote and her little children lived. They were dying of hunger. Mother Coyote came out and said, "I'll watch for the burro as he goes by, for he might be carrying the brothers' food." She saw him coming and she thought, "What shall I do to fool this burro?" She made herself lame; when the burro came up she went up to him and said, "My leg is broken. Will you put me on your back and take me home? I live a little ways along." "Maybe I had better not. They might scold me. I am in a hurry." "I live very near, you'll soon get me there." "All right, get on. You must not eat any of the food on my back." "No, I won't." He went on. When he had gone half the way he heard something fall. "Look out, maybe you're tearing my sack." "No, no; I almost fell off and that is the noise you heard. I have tight hold of you now." Burro went on. At last the load wasn't so heavy. Burro said to Coyote, "Get down, old Coyote! My load isn't heavy

p. 153

any more." He threw her down. "You ate all of my bread," he cried. "Yes," said Coyote, "that's the way I always do, I fool everybody. Just look at me, my leg isn't broken at all! Watch me run!" She ran back to her hole as fast as she could run and went in.

The burro kept on walking. He got to the place where the brothers. were herding. He was very sad. The brothers said, "Why do you come so late, and why do you bring so little bread? You never brought so little before." "It is because old Coyote met me, and she asked me to carry her because she had a broken leg. She got on my back and ate my bread and ran away." So Burro got a whipping. The brothers said, "Get that old Coyote this minute. Did you see where she lived?" Burro started back, braying. When he had gone a little way he turned back again and asked the eldest brother how he should bring old Coyote to the place where they were herding. "You know the way?" "Yes." "When you get there, turn your back and put your arse to the hole."

The little Coyotes saw Burro at their hole. "Look, mother," they cried, "what a great lot of meat is coming in at our door." Mother Coyote came running to get the meat. As she was about to bite it, Burro put her in his arse. Just as her head went in, he shut it up and went off. The little Coyotes all came to see. "There goes mother!" they cried, "she's caught a great big buffalo! See how she runs!" At last they couldn't see anything more of their mother.

Burro brought her to camp and the three brothers took her down and whipped her as hard as they could. They let her go back to her home. Blood was streaming over her body. The little Coyotes said, "Let's go and meet our mother. She's killed a buffalo. It shows red all over!" They got close. "Did you kill a buffalo, mother?" they cried. They fell upon her to bite the buffalo meat. "Don't bite me! Don't bite me!" she cried. But they kept on biting and biting the meat. That was the way it happened that the little Coyotes ate their mother all up.


152:3 Informant 2. Notes, p. 241.

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