Native American Tales

The Industrious Daughter Who Would Not Marry

The Industrious Daughter Who Would Not MarryThe Industrious Daughter Who Would Not Marry


An old couple had a daughter. When she was young, she decided to learn how to do things. First she made her own yard, and then she made something with that. Then she decided to learn how to sew. Then she decided to learn how to dye fabric. Then she decided to learn how to embroider. By the time she was grown, she had become to be revered and admired by the entire community. Many people would come to buy things from her.

She became quite pretty and was skilled. The young men would come from the village to admire her. They would buy things from her. They would dance for her. She would just keep at her work. She said she did not want to marry. She had to take care of her mother and her father.

The young men started trying to impress her. They painted their houses. They bought many clothes. They made things beautiful, but she was still not impressed. She said she could make her own clothes. She could make her own money. Why did she need to get married?

Coyote was wandering around and heard about this girl. He said he could get her to marry him. He only took with his a branch of black currants. He said he would offer her nothing. Coyote took some very nice clothes to put on. Each time he put an item of clothing on he would stamp his foot four times and say, “Do I look Pretty? Yes, I look pretty.” He decided he would dance in the center of the plaza.

The girl happened to see Coyote who looked like a fine-looking boy and she was quite impressed. She had never seen him before. She told him to give her the branch of black currants and that she would take him to her house. The other boys were mad that she would take coyote to her house. Her parents weren’t very happy either, but the girl brought Coyote home and had sex with him. She later gave birth to little coyotes. The village lost interest in her.

Coyote said he would take his wife and child to his home. They came to a big hole in the ground, which was not easy to fit into. First Coyote went in, then the two little coyotes, and then the woman. The house was just as good as her parents’ home. Coyote had as many pieces of clothing as she did so she lived there and was happy.


This girl liked clothes and Coyote also liked clothes.

Who’s that pretty girl in the mirror there? What mirror where? Such a pretty face, such a pretty smile, such a pretty me! I feel pretty, oh so pretty…

This is what I feel like the music should be for this story.


The girl was industrious and smart, but she was also a bit vain. She thought her industriousness and smartness made her better than the boys in the village. She could make her own money and own clothing–what did she need them for?

Honestly, I tend to agree with her. If you’re a hard-working and smart woman, why should you marry some dork? If you’re smart, get a smart guy. If you’re hard-working, get a hard-working guy. A good relationship should be with someone who is somewhat on par with yourself. If you’re a rocket scientist, don’t marry the girl/guy who thinks onions grow on trees.

Coyote liked clothes, but he was also smart. He had several things in common with the girl, even though he’s a coyote, or a man, or something. He and the girl could talk about nice clothes. They could have intelligent conversations. He knew what she liked because he showed up with black currants instead of a vacuum cleaner.

The girl was definitely holding out for someone as impressive as herself, but the boys of the village were also trying really hard and that can be a little off-putting. Girls don’t want that guy who is peeping at them through the window and sending the stalker song to them. It’s weird. I mean, wouldn’t it be kind of weird if a bunch of guys showed up in your yard and started dancing?

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…

My embroidery brings all the boys to the yard…


I think she made the best choice.

Weigh In

Who would you have married?

Do you think the girl made the best decision for herself, or did she make her life difficult?


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