Native American Tales

Coyote Takes Water from the Frog People

Coyote Takes Water from the Frog PeopleCoyote Takes Water from the Frog People

Kalapuya

The frog people used to have all the water and people used to have to trade with them for the water they needed. They kept all the water behind a big dam. Coyote took them a nice shell one day and asked if he could have a long drink.

Coyote started drinking, and kept on drinking, or so it appeared. The frog people thought Coyote had enough of a drink, but Coyote said he was still drinking. The frog people started to say that they should have asked for two shells, as much water as Coyote was drinking.

Coyote wasn’t actually drinking water. The entire time his head was under the surface of the water, he was digging. He dug underneath the dam and when he said he had enough water, the dam burst and water went all over out into the world. Coyote told the frog people that one people should not have all the water because it belonged to everyone.

Observations

Coyote isn’t always a bad guy. He has his good side in addition to his tricky side. Sometimes, he uses his tricky side for the good of others.

Themes

Again, we have this idea of inherent human rights. You can’t deny your fellow humans water. Your fellow-man has a right to anything that they need to sustain their lives. Water, sun, nourishment…and so forth, are all things that humanity has a right to.

Overall

Coyote is sure a good digger.

Weigh In

Was Coyote right for letting the water lose, even though it was technically stealing?

Would you have let the water out?

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