Native American Tales

A Contest for Wives

A Contest for WivesA Contest for Wives


Old Man Coyote and Old Man Beaver made a deal. They would each go out hunting and take their game to the other’s wife, after which they could then sleep with the other wife. Both agreed to the terms.

Old Woman Beaver was anticipating sleeping with Old Man Coyote, but he didn’t catch anything, as Beaver predicted he wouldn’t.

The next day Beaver went out and caught so much he could barely carry it. He went to Coyote’s house, where dinner was cooked, but afterwards it was Beaver who retired to bed with Old Woman Coyote. Old Man Coyote heard the woman making all sorts of noises and told Beaver not to hurt his wife, but the wife said, “I’m making these noises because I like it.”

After it was over, the two were just as good as friends as ever because they had followed the terms they agreed upon.


Was wife-swapping a common practice among this tribe? I don’t feel as if this would be a normal thing, but maybe it was.


Coyote did not get to take advantage of this situation, but instead, Beaver got to sleep with Coyote’s wife. They were still friends afterwards though, even if Coyote had maybe felt a little jealous while the whole thing went down.

This reminds me of more than a few Dear Prudie articles. There was one guy who agreed to do a partner swap with another couple, but the wife enjoyed herself immensely and the guy got really upset about it. I wouldn’t have even have known what to say to this guy. Prudie came up with something or the other. The guy agreed to it though and should have been willing to accept whatever consequences that came about, even if the wife enjoyed sex with the other guy a lot more.

Coyote’s story is an example of how one should act in this situation. You made your bed, now lie in it. Capisce?


How about just not get in this situation at all?

Weigh In

Do you think Coyote should have been more upset?

Do you think Coyote should have had a go at Old Woman Beaver anyway?


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