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Oban's Myths & Legends

Coyote brings fire
Native American - Karok
retold by Oban

Oban the Knowledge Keeper

Long ago, the Fire Beings were the only people who had fire.

They guarded it closely and wouldn't share it with other tribes or animals.

This didn't matter so much in spring and summer, but in winter many young children and old people died from the icy cold.

Just before the next winter, some of the animals called a meeting. "We can't let our children and grandparents die from the cold this year," said Squirrel. "We have to get fire from the Fire Beings to keep warm."

"How can we do that?" asked Chipmunk. "The Fire Beings won't share it with us".

"Let's ask Coyote for help" said Frog. "He's crafty and cunning, and he'll know how to get fire".

Coyote listened and thought about the problem. Then he smiled a cunning smile.

"There is a way to get fire from the selfish Fire Beings" he said.

"How? How can we do that?" asked Chipmunk.  continue