The Legend of the Blue Coyote

A Pima Indian Legend

Long, long ago, before there were people on earth, and animals could speak to one another, there was a magic lake in the desert. It must have been magic, because no river was seen to flow in or out of the lake.

Bluebird was an ugly color then. It went to the lake and bathed 4 times every morning for 4 mornings. Each time it sang: "There is the blue lake, I go in, I am all blue." On the 4th morning when it came out, its feathers were bright blue!

All this time, Coyote had been watching, Coyote said to Bluebird, "Your ugly color is gone and now you are blue and beautiful! I want to be blue and beautiful too!"  Bluebird told Coyote, "Go in the water 4 times and sing this song." So Coyote got up courage and went in the water and sang the song. Sure enough, on the 4th morning, Coyote came out as blue and beautiful as the bird.

Coyote was so proud! He strutted around, looking left and right to see if everyone was noticing how fine and blue he was, And so, he wasn't watching the path and ran right into a stump. Coyote was thrown backward into the dirt. A cloud of dust rose around the coyote. He picked himself up and tried to wipe off the dirt from his new blue coat, but the dirt would not come off.

photo credit: Alan Vernon

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