Átsé Hashké dóó Nahashchidí (Coyote and the Badger)

Note: The Navajo (Diné) word for "Coyote" is Mąii, but the Diné word for the "Coyote" (of Navajo mythology) is Átsé Hashké. The Diné word for "Badger" is Nahashchidí.

Coyote was trotting along through the country one day, when he met a badger. "Where are you going Cousin," Coyote said. "I have some friends down there in the house you see," said the badger. "I think they will get supper for me. Do you want to come along?" Coyote always was hungry, so he said he'd go with the badger.

The people were friendly. They cooked food for both of their guests. Badger was bashful. He ate very little. Coyote ate all he could hold.

When they had finished eating, the people said, "Coyote and Badger, go out and hunt some rabbits for us. The one who brings in the most game can marry our daughter." Coyote liked the looks of the people's daughter. He decided to trick the badger and win the girl.

That night he sang for snow, and the next morning everything was white.

Coyote went out very early and began tracking rabbits. He caught one small one, but the others all ran into their burrows and he could not dig deep enough to pull them out.

"I'll dig them out," the badger said. "I have long, strong claws." He began digging and soon had many rabbits piled up. "Dig here; oh, dig there!" Coyote kept urging, until badger was getting very weak and tired. Then, once, as the badger went down into a rabbit's burrow, Coyote rolled a big, heavy stone into the hole. "He won't be able to push that out," Coyote thought, as he picked up all the rabbits and ran off to the home of the people who had the pretty daughter.

"I'll dig them out," the badger said. "I have long, strong claws." He began digging and soon had many rabbits piled up.

"I've brought back many rabbits," he told the people, giving them the animals. "Now I'll marry your daughter."

"Wait until the badger gets back," the people answered, knowing that their daughter preferred the badger to the coyote. "We'll cook all the rabbits at once when Badger gets back." Poor Badger. He pushed and pushed backward, but he couldn't push the rock out of the entrance to the hole. Finally, he gave up trying to back out and he began digging in the other direction. He didn't get to the people's house until late at night.

"What kept you so late?" the people asked. "Coyote put a big rock in the hole I was digging," the badger told them. "I didn't do that," Coyote shouted, acting very angry. "Badger is making that up." But the people knew all about Coyote and his tricks. They knew that Coyote had fooled the badger; so they gave Badger the rabbits that Coyote had brought in.

Next, the people told Badger that he could marry the girl because he had the most rabbits. Coyote was so angry that he tried to keep a fire burning all night so that the others could not go to sleep. And when Badger made him put out the fire, he went on top of the house and looked down at them through the smoke hole.

The next day, when Badger went hunting. Coyote slipped into the house. "Wouldn't you like to be married to me, instead of to Badger?" he asked the girl Badger had married. The girl looked at Coyote and turned away. "No. I wouldn't want you for a husband," she told him.

Coyote was surprised. He didn't see why she would like Badger better. But, because she did he decided he might as well go away.

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URL: http://www.lapahie.com /Coyote_Badger.cfm
Creator(s): Harrison Lapahie Jr.
Dated Created: 12/03/2011
Version: 2.0
Updated: 05/16/2014
Curator(s): Harrison Lapahie Jr.
Resource(s): Coyote Stories of the Navajo People, Navajo Curriculum Center Press, 1974 School Board, Inc. Rough Rock Arizona
Questions/Comments: Harrison Lapahie Jr.

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