Átsé Hashké dóó Naashǫ́ii Dichízhii (Coyote and the Horned Toad)

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 "Horned Toad" is Naashǫ́ii Dichízhii.

Horned Toad was very busy in her cornfield, where the corn was just ripening. Coyote came to her and said, "Please give me some of your delicious corn." "No," said Horned Toad. Coyote asked her four times; then she picked some corn for him.

"Corn is very hard to raise," Horned Toad told him. "We have to hoe the weeds away from it and pick off the bugs and worms that want to eat it. We even have to water it during dry weather. I can't afford to give all my corn away."

Coyote kept begging. Horned Toad said he couldn't have any more.

Then Coyote ran out into the field and-pulled off a big ear of corn, stripped the husks away and began eating the kernels. Horned Toad grabbed one end of the ear, and, when he gulped it down. Coyote also gulped Horned Toad down inside him.

Since she wasn't there to scold him, he ate all the corn he could hold. Then he lay down in the shade. He felt very lazy, but when he heard birds flying down to eat the corn, he raised his head and shouted at them. "Go away! Don't bother my corn," he shouted "Don't you know it takes work to raise corn? I have to hoe it and water it, and all that."

Down inside him, Horned Toad made some sort of noise. Horned Toad was very angry with Coyote and wanted to do something to get even with him. As she lay inside Coyote's stomach, she called, "Hey, Cousin!" Coyote jumped up and looked around to see who was calling. He saw nobody, and he lay down again. The second time he heard someone calling, he jumped up again and ran around the edge of the cornfield, looking for the person whose voice he had heard.

This happened four times. The fourth time that Horned Toad called, Coyote realized where the sound was coming from and he looked down at his stomach and asked, "Is that you making noises inside me?" "Yes," replied Horned Toad. "I'm going to take a little walk down here and see what I can find."

Soon Coyote began to feel strange, and he told Horned Toad to lie down and be still. Instead, Horned Toad continued to walk around, and she tugged at different parts of Coyote's insides.

"What is this?" she asked. "And what is that?" Each time she gave a little pull at an organ, she hurt Coyote. Once she touched Coyote's heart and asked, "What is this?" She pulled at the heart, and Coyote shrieked in pain and yelled, "That's my heart."

Horned Toad climbed upward, and when she reached his throat she called, "Now I'm going to cut your throat, Coyote." "What are you going to cut it with?" Coyote inquired. "I'm not very smart, but I know that you don't have a knife." " Just then Coyote felt something sharp hacking at the inside of his throat, and he began begging Horned Toad not to kill him. The toad was using her sharp horns for cutting.

"Just come out of me," he promised, "and I'll help you raise your corn. I'll hoe the weeds in your garden and water the corn. I'll even bring you some firewood." Horned Toad replied, "No," and she kept on hacking his throat. Coyote got worried and tried to think of something else that might change the Horned Toad's mind.

"I'm going to run very fast and make you fall out of my throat," he said. But just as he started to run Horned Toad finished cutting his throat. When he fell dead. Horned Toad crawled out of Coyote's mouth. She stood there looking at poor Coyote, lying dead. "I warned you not to bother my corn," she said.

And she went about caring for her cornfield.

You are visitor 2,801 to Coyote_Horned_Toad.cfm since 12/03/11
and visitor 17,039,532 to LAPAHIE.com since 06/15/97

URL: http://www.lapahie.com /Coyote_Horned_Toad.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.

Coyote_Horned_Toad.cfm: Copyright © 2011 - Harrison Lapahie Jr. - All Rights Reserved.