Coyote And The Bee
April 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve always loved myths and stories, and since I just readCoyote Blue,I decided I’d turn my hand to writing a traditional-esque fable. This is just a short thing I threw together in about an hour, but it’s cute enough and warns against being too clever.
Coyote and the Bee
Now, one day long ago, Coyote was walking in the forest, and he got hungry. He sniffed and sniffed and sniffed, but all the Tribe Without Fires were in hiding. This made Coyote mad, but the pain in his stomach made it hard to think. Coyote was clever, and knew that his medicine was in his thought. Wolf was stronger and Rabbit was faster, but no-one was cleverer than Coyote.
But none of the Tribe Without Fires was around, and Coyote’s mouth watered. So Coyote looked for Corn and her children but didn’t find them in the forest. Coyote looked around for berries, but Bear had already eaten everything there was to eat.
“Woe is me!” Said Coyote. “Without food, my medicine will surely fail me, and then I shall certainly die.”
One of the People walked by and saw Coyote. She said, “If you will work with me as I plant, keep Rabbit from eating the young squash and Squirrel from the little corn, I shall feed you with lots of food.”
Coyote howled and gnashed his teeth at the woman. “Go away! Coyote does not work for his food! I am an honest trickster, and never will I work a day in my life!”
“So be it.” The woman said. “I will leave you now, because the corn needs planting and the squash needs tending. But beware, Coyote! There is nothing in this world earned without cost!”
Coyote laughed and laughed at the foolish woman, but the pains in his stomach did not stop. He looked and looked and looked for something to eat, until he came to a great tree.
“Bzzzz.” Said Bee.
Coyote looked up and saw Bee and his brothers flying around his hive. They were working hard, for that is what Bee does. Coyote was thinking of how to trick Bee, for that is what Coyote does. He knew that Bee had lots of honey stored away in his hive, but he also knew how Bee could sting! So Coyote thought of a plan.
“Bee, Bee! I need your help!” Coyote yelled.
“Bzz.” Said Bee. “I am busy.”
“Bee! Listen to me! Bear is coming to eat all of your honey! You must go and sting him with your needles, and then you will be safe! I will guard your honey while you are gone!”
“Bzzz.” Said Bee. “I do not hear him crashing through the forest.”
So Coyote ran behind a tree and stomped on the ground as hard as he could. He shook the branches and quivered the leaves, and after he grew weary, he ran back to Bee.
“Bzzz!” Said Bee. “Bear is coming! But Crow is here, and Crow will guard our hive!”
“Caw!” Said Crow, as he perched in the branches above the Hive. “Thank you for the warning, Coyote, but I can guard the Hive and all Bee’s honey.”
Now Coyote knew Crow, and knew him well. He knew that Crow wanted the honey all for himself, and that the moment Bee left, Crow would steal the honey while Coyote watched from the ground. Coyote could not fly, so he had to think of a plan to drive Crow away from the Hive. Coyote thought of the People, and how they scare away Crow. Coyote ran and found his bow and arrows, and came back to the Hive. By now, Coyote was weak with hunger and was tired from the running he was doing, but he wanted to eat the honey that was inside the hive.
“Bzzz!” Said Bee. “What is it, Coyote?”
“I have found my bow and arrows,” said Coyote as he brandished the weapon, “I will help Crow guard your Hive. Go, and sting Bear with your needles!”
“Bzzz!” Said Bee. “Thank you, Crow and Coyote! We will not forget your help!” And off they flew.
Crow looked at Coyote and his bow and said, “I just remembered, Coyote, that Robin and I have to help Badger find a new hole. You will have to guard the Hive yourself.” And with that, Crow flew off because Crow is no fool, and only a fool challenges a hungry Coyote with a bow.
“Success!” Said Coyote, now that he was alone. “The honey is mine! I have tricked and tricked and tricked, but finally I can eat that honey!”
But Bee works hard, and Bee put the honey at the top of the tree. Coyote can not climb trees, and looked sadly at the tall branches. Coyote used his medicine, and remembered how children of the People knock down Bee’s hives.
Coyote ran, his tongue lolling as he panted and strained, and gathered stones into a pile. So tired that he could hardly stand, Coyote picked up the stones and threw them at the Hive. Each stone knocked the hive closer to falling off, but it was slow. Bee worked hard to build his hive.
With a howl, Coyote threw his last stone, but did not knock the hive down. He fell down into the dust, unable to stand because of his hunger. Bear, who walked up without Coyote seeing him, asked him a question.
“Coyote, why are you so tired?”
“Bear, I have been tricking Bee all day to get some of his honey, and this has made me so famished that I cannot even think.”
“Coyote, did not that woman that I saw in the forest say she would feed you if you would work for her? Why did you not work with her and get your food that way”
“Coyote works for no-one! I am not a planter or a farmer, I am a trickster and a storyteller! I am Coyote!”
“True,” said Bear, as he walked up to the tree, “but you are also hungry.” With a swipe from his paw, Bear rattled the tree and caught the Hive as it fell. He walked away as he ate the honey.
“Wait!” Yelled Coyote. “The woman said that nothing in this world is earned without cost!”
“True,” said Bear as he smacked his lips, “but Coyote, she did not say that I had to pay the cost.”