catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 1, Num 3 :: 2002.10.11 — 2002.10.24


The coyote's song

Part 5 of 5



Sep turned up his snout and sang a love song to Old Woman Moon. She forgot all about her husband. Everything in her ached for this singer, but because of her poor eyesight she could not see who sang. Sep knew this. He told her that he sang from the bottom of the sea; he commanded her to come at once, and she could not resist. She dove into the sea, and because the Great Mage had created her to hang in the sky, she could not swim. She sank to the bottom.

Sep laughed. In the sky, Old Man Moon began to shake with rage until cracks and crevices and craters appeared in his white face. The animals whimpered, and the lion sulked. Then suddenly in the midst of this commotion stood the Great Mage.

"Things never meant for this world have been introduced through the pride of this coyote," he said.

The lion understood what the Great Mage meant. He had wounded an innocent creature.

The elephant also understood. This morning she had cried tears of joy, but now she cried the bitter tears of grief.

The squirrel understood. For the first time he felt fear.

The bees understood. Angry at having their honey stolen, they strapped thorns to their backs and called the thorns stingers. From now on they would hurt whoever came near their nest.

Most of all, Sep understood. Small animals would forever fear him. Bigger animals would want to kill him. More than any other animal, Sep felt all alone.

The Great Mage shook his head sadly and said, "Through a song you have become enemies, but take heart for someday through a song you shall all be made friends once more. But until that time you, coyote, shall not sing again."

That night the animals went their separate ways. As Sep snuggled into a ball to sleep, he gazed at Old Man Moon crying for his wife. Oh, how Sep wished he could cheer Old Man Moon. The coyote tilted his head back and tried to sing, but all that came out was a long, lonely, wild howl, the same howl Sep's children make to this day. Old Man Moon ignored Sep. It was a clear night, and he was staring at the sea where he could see his wife shining back at him.

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