Coyote tales are among the best loved in Native American folklore, and those recorded by anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing at the end of the nineteenth century have well survived the test of time. This collection of authentic stories extracted from his classic Zuñi Folk Tales offers modern readers of all ages a new appreciation of magic and myth as celebrated by the Zuñi Indians of western New Mexico.
These tales pit the wily Coyote against various demons and other creatures in order to convey simple lessons or explain animal characteristics or behavior. They tell how the tip of the coyote's tail became black after dancing with blackbirds and how coyotes learned never to insult horned-toads—and to keep clear of burrowing-owls. Through these tales, we learn why Coyote meddles with everything that does not concern him, makes a universal nuisance of himself, and is ready to jump into any trap laid for him.