Kingfisher’s Way…

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One time when there was no food at Coyote’s Lodge he went round to Kingfisher’s.

“I’m really hungry,” said Coyote, “what is there to eat here?”

Kingfisher did not like Coyote’s way with words but he sent his son out to find willow sticks nonetheless. When he returned with them Kingfisher heated them over the fire and then twisted them up and tied them to his belt. He flew up to the top of his lodge then and dived into the river through a hole in the ice. When he came back up from the river there were fish hanging from each willow stick.

Coyote ate until his belly was bloated but remembered to save some fish for his family back at the lodge.

“You must come to mine tomorrow,” said Coyote, “we will eat well.”

Kingfisher did not really want to go but agreed to it.

The next day, when Kingfisher arrived, Coyote immediately sent his son to fetch willow sticks. Upon his return he held them over the fire and then bent them up and strapped them to his belt.

“What on earth are you doing?” asked his wife as Coyote shimmied up to the top of his lodge.

“What I always do when we want food,” said Coyote, before leaping from the roof, missing the hole in the river ice and breaking his neck.

Kingfisher, who had been watching Coyote’s antics the whole time, took the willow sticks from his belt, dived into the river and came up a short time later laden with fish, then he stepped over Coyote four times and healed his neck.

“This is my way, not yours,” said Kingfisher, “I do not imitate others like you.”

Coyote took up the fish to his lodge.

“Look at this haul,” he said to his family, “Kingfisher has warned me off his patch. He knows my skill is the greater.”

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