Native American Tales

Coyote, Iktome, and the Rock

Coyote, Iktome, and the RockCoyote, Iktome, and the Rock

White River Sioux

Coyote and his friend Iktome were walking along one day. Coyote saw Iya the rock and gave his blanket to Iya. He gave the blanket saying that the rock looked cold. Coyote and Iktome went on. That night it was cold and rainy and Coyote wanted his blanket back. He asked Iktome to go and get it, but Iktome told him no because he had given the blanket to the rock. Coyote thought this was silly because the rock had been doing just fine without a blanket for some time.

Coyote went back himself to get the blanket, but Iya didn’t want to give it up. He said what was given was given, but Coyote finally took it by force. Iya was not happy about this.

Later when Coyote and Iktome were eating dinner, they heard a rumbling. They finally saw Iya rolling towards them. They ran. Iya could go anywhere they could. They tried going through the river, but Iya went through the river just fine. They tried going through the woods, but Iya went through the woods just fine. Iktome said he remembered that this wasn’t his battle and turned into a spider and crawled into a hole. Coyote was all alone.

Iya caught up with him and turned rolled straight over him, making him flat. A rancher came along and saw flat Coyote and took him home to make a rug. Coyote can make himself come back to life, but because he was so flat, it took him all night to puff himself back up. The wife of the rancher told the rancher that she had seen his rug running away that morning. If you have something to give, give it forever.


The wife probably didn’t like the coyote rug anyway. Coyotes can be kind of scraggly looking. They’re not the prettiest of animals sometimes.


The non-PC moral of this story is not to be an Indian-giver, which is a term I haven’t heard in years, but it’s exactly what Coyote has done. He gave him blanket and then asked for it back. That’s not a gift, that’s called borrowing.

If you give something to someone, you don’t ask for it back. You let them keep it because it was a gift. Let me tell you something, I had a heck of a time with this when I was getting divorced. Some of my things walked off that were gifts to me, but it’s not like they were supposed to stop being gifts to me. They were mine, but yet, they disappeared. Nice huh?

Look, just don’t try to take something back from someone if you gave it to them. Capisce?


A coyote rug would suck.

Weigh In

Would you give a present to a rock?

Has someone ever given something to you and then demanded it back?


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