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Oban's Myths & Legends

How Bluebirds and Coyote Got Their Colours (continued)
Native American - Pima Story
retold by Oban

Oban the Knowledge Keeper

The birds told Coyote about the blue lake, and how he needed to bathe on four mornings and sing the magic words - “This water is blue and I am in it. I will be blue too.” They said “On the fifth morning your coat will turn blue. Be careful, Coyote. You must follow the rules and bathe each morning.”

The next morning Coyote went to the lake and bathed. He was impatient. “I want my coat to be blue today” he said. “I’m not going to wait four mornings.” So he jumped back in the water four times that morning.

On the fifth time, the hairs in Coyote’s coat came loose and floated away, and new blue hairs grew in their place. He was very excited.

He ran out of the water and raced back along the track to show his beautiful new blue coat to the Bluebirds. But he was admiring his coat while he ran and wasn’t looking where he was going. Because his feet were wet, he slipped and fell, rolling over and over in the dust and dirt.

He got up, shook himself and howled when he looked at his coat. It was no longer blue, but dirt-coloured all over.

And that is why Bluebirds have shiny blue feathers and Coyote’s coat is the colour of dirt. He was impatient and didn’t do as he was told.


The End

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