Native American Tales

Coyote Steals Sun’s Tobacco

Coyote Steals Sun's TobaccoCoyote Steals Sun’s Tobacco

White Mountain Apache

Coyote went to Sun’s house, but he wasn’t there. Coyote told Sun’s wife that he and Sun were such good friends that Sun wouldn’t mind if Coyote smoked while he was waiting for Sun. Coyote made some sneaky maneuvers and took a lot of Sun’s tobacco and then took off with it. He said he couldn’t wait for Sun anymore.

Sun came home and noticed a whole lot of his tobacco missing. The wife told him about Coyote and Sun went after Coyote. Soon it began to rain and the tobacco Coyote had started to grow, this was when Sun quit chasing him.

Coyote went back to the Apache village where he lived and would not share any of his tobacco, even when asked for just a little smoke.

The people concocted a plan to get Coyote’s tobacco. They were going to pretend to give him a wife. At first, Coyote thought this was a trick, but the people said that they really wanted to give Coyote a wife. He gave them all of his tobacco because he was so overjoyed. They dressed a boy up in a girl’s clothes and told the boy not to let Coyote touch him until near sunrise. Coyote tried to get his new bride to come closer to him, but that didn’t work. Coyote kept trying, until finally, near sunrise, Coyote grabbed his bride, but found the bride had a little something extra. Coyote knew he had been tricked. The people would not give Coyote’s tobacco back and thus, this was how they first got tobacco.


Honestly, this would be a nasty trick. I feel a bit bad for Coyote, but not a lot.


If you steal something, does it matter if someone steals that something from you? The thing wasn’t rightfully yours to begin with, so can you actually blame someone for taking it from you? I don’t think you can. Theft doesn’t make an item yours. You can go out and steal a car, but on the DMV registration does it say the car is yours? Nope. Everybody, except Sun, seemed to be wrong in one aspect or another in this story.

Coyote isn’t exactly a model citizen and I doubt he would have shared freely, but things probably would have been a bit better if he had.


If you stole a thing and someone steals that thing from you, don’t expect a whole lot.

Weigh In

If you steal a thing does it ever rightfully become yours?

If a thing does become yours after you steal it, how long does it take?


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