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The Devilish Coyote

The coyote is a symbol in Native American culture in many creation stories always playing the central role as hero, creationist, or devious trickster.  Some of the traits of the coyote are similar to many human faults that we all can relate too from lust to greed. The coyote is a reminder that not all living things can be trusted and sometimes even the most altruistic intentions can become corruptible.

Coyote on Tunnel Mountain

In the myth The Coyote and the Spying Moon  he is portrayed as a trickster god who stepped forward to be the moon in the sky to assist  people in order to work late into the evening.

It soon became evident that the  coyote was not doing this out of the goodness of his heart.  But instead was causing mischief on  his friends below by tattling on their deceptions and  spying on the women bathing at night.

It was after that final discovery  of his spying the people decided that he could no longer be the moon and  was taken down from the sky.

But the coyote one day being a flirty devil attempted to impress the ladies by juggling his eyes up high in the air. One day he threw one of his eyes so high, it got stuck in the sky and became the star Arcturus. So even now legend claims he is still keeping one eye on us all.

As I was in a deep slumber early the other morning I thought  heard laughter and thought, “Wow! It’s 5:30 in the morning our neighbors like to party.”

As I began to awake a little more it was clear that it was not laughter but the sound of coyotes across the street. It sounded like they had caught their morning feast as they howled and snarled in the cold wind.

“Honey! Do you hear that?”

My husband rolled over, “What?”

“That noise.”

“Oh! It’s geese!”

“Geese! It’s not geese! It is coyotes!”

“Birds. Dear. Just birds. Go back to bed.”

I rolled over and attempted to go back to sleep.  “Yes. Honey. Geese in -15 Celsius weather. Yes. Dear.”

I believe at that moment the coyote was being a devious trickster that had cast its magical spell on my sleeping husband.  As I walked the kids to school that morning we could hear the coyotes chatting in the distance.

My kids moved a little closer to me as the noise grew louder!

“Do you think they are looking at us for breakfast?”

“No. You are too sweet. But just to be on the safe side if you see one in the school playground back away slowly, put your hands up high to appear bigger, go inside, and find a supervisor.”

Just as the myth states the coyote is always watching and people have to be on the lookout for what could be right before our eyes in this city landscape.  You never know what devious tricks they could be up too and cause harm within the blink of an eye.  Coyotes are sly, they can  blend in the snow, and you never know when they could be watching you with their eye in the sky.

Do you have a favorite mythological animal or character? What lessons have you learned from their great myths?

Categories: coyotes

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Darcie

Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/darciecameronlovesyoga

31 replies

  1. I am drawn to birds for some reason – song birds, sea birds, birds of prey. I saw a raven recently while visiting Yellowstone and such an interesting bird to watch – sorta stop and think who is watching who at times. I think one reason birds is because of the freedom and the ability to fly. Interesting post today – a thinker – thanks for sharing! Have a Great One:)

  2. I’ve always been fond of the coyote. Where I grew up they had been all but eliminated from the landscape until I was about 15 or 16. One evening as my Mom and I were outside looking down into the valley and heard an ambulance off in the distance. Within moments, another sound was joining that of the sirens and we sat still and listened. We turned to look at each other, the both of us mouthing, “Coyotes?” The howling continued until just after the ambulance passed out of our range of hearing, a few more quick yips and then silence once more. We figured out they were in the woods across the road, about a half a mile away.

    Now, where I live, I have coyotes, wolves, bear, cougars and even talk of wolverines has been whispered. I have a lot of crows, a lot of owls, resident hawks and once in a while I think I hear a raven or two in the forests around my home. Bald eagles frequent the neighborhood as well as vultures.

    I really enjoy all the wildlife around here, but coyotes… there is something magical about them.

    1. I love watching bald eagles soar across the skyline they are such majestic creatures.

      You know there is something magical about coyotes as they yip and howl. It is interesting to listen to them. We have a lot of hares in our neighborhood plus it’s mating season so they seem more active then usual.

      They are such an interesting pack animal but one I would never want to get too close to…

  3. That photo is gorgeous.

    I love cardinals, because they remind me of my Mamaw, who also loved them. Every time I see one flying, I feel a little closer to her now that she’s gone.

    1. Thank you! I took it when we were in Banff over the holidays. He was just coming out of the woods when we caught a glimpse of him from the car.

      Cardinals are beautiful! I find when the sun glimpses down a certain way through the trees I feel a connection to my father. It brings such warmth to the heart!

  4. When it comes to animal imagery I’ve always been drawn to the leopard. I don’t know any myths about them, but their fur with its distinct pattern fascinates me. So pretty.

  5. My daughter’s school sent a coyote warning home last week. They’re getting bold! As for favourite myths? The Wiccan myth of the moon as a woman, hands down. The first crescent is the maiden, leaping up into the stars, her back arched, her hands thrown back, her feet kicking joy. The full moon is the mother, swollen with life. And the last crescent, the fading moon, is the crone, bent with the weight of a life well-lived, and smiling 🙂

    1. Our principal doesn’t like to send home notices because we “do not want to upset the children.” Last week, several kids spotted a stranger in the school field taking photos instead of addressing concerns they ignored it. Also, told the kids they must be imagining things…I’m feeling rant I should stop 🙂

      Beautiful, Desi! I never heard that myth before it has such magical and powerful imagery.

  6. No favourites, but coyotes seem to be showing up in blog posts. These critters are becoming quite visible in populated areas, and I wonder if they fare poorly this winter.

    1. Hey Stranger! It’s good to see you!

      I know in our neighborhood some parts are still wooded and we have a large rabbit population. So I suspect they are faring well in our little community. We are just more apt to see them now because the leaves are off the trees and it’s mating season.

  7. I was’nt sure what a Coyote was, so I looked it up in Wikepedia .( Don’t like you to think I don’t do my homework before commenting on your Blog,). It looks like a wolf to me, although apparently a bit different. When I see one, I always remember that film, “Dances with Wolves” with Kevin Kostner. One of my all time favourites. Anyway, I may be drifting off topic hear, but I find them to be almost messengers from a vanishing world

    1. It is a smaller version of a wolf and also a pack animal. I haven’t seen Dances with Wolves in a very long time. I might have to watch it on our next snow day.

      If they are messengers I wonder what they are trying to tell us?

  8. Great story….

    I don’t really have a myth or anything but when I was very little we had sea horses etched on our shower doors. I was petrified of them! My mom had to put up a sign in the bathroom for them to leave me alone!

    1. Thank you! Yes, it happened last year that we had two roaming the school parking lot during morning drop-off. They have become quite use to people which makes them more dangerous. If someone is feeding them then they are more apt to view us as a food source.

  9. I grew up in eastern Washington and there are tons of coyotes. My parents still live there and coyotes trot across their lawn. I swear they occasionally sit outside the window and howl. My mother always keeps her cats in at night so they don’t become coyote chow.

  10. The first coyote I ever saw was one I encountered back in ’99 while en route from St. John’s NL to Clarenville. I was driving along the road around 6:30 AM and when I came close to Whitbourne I saw a ‘dog’ eating a dead bird right in the middle of the TCH. It was quite light and there was nobody else on the road but me. I eased up to the ‘dog’ and stopped when I was right alongside. I looked down. The animal–it was not a dog but a coyote–just looked up at me, unafraid, and with that 1000-yars stare I have since come to expect from Coyotes. Eerie. I eased on and resumed the trip thinking of the animal.
    My house is back on to a green belt and the hill–Kenmount Hill–behind my house is still mostly undeveloped. It is home to at least four moose and at least 3 coyotes. I don’t go up there much these days alone unless I carry the axe…just in case. Some things are best left alone.

    1. They are eerie creatures and I would hate to run into one alone. We went for a hike in Jasper one year over the spring thaw and we could hear them in the woods – yipping. We turned back because we had the kids with us and by the time we reached our car – there were two standing behind it and another set in the woods. It was very creepy feeling and a good reminder that you never know what you will run into when you are enjoying the beauty of natures playground.

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