February 6 2008 Native American Newsletter
Coyote Goes Fishing~~~
Coyote stood on the shore of Pyramid Lake looking across the waters at 'Great Stone Mother'. Normally he would either hike around the lake or find a canoe to paddle over to her and sit and talk for a few hours. He knew the story of Stone Mother and how she had filled the lake with her tears, waiting for her lost children to return to her. The huge basket next to her still remains empty in case her children come back. Coyote felt a tinge of sadness creep over him. He often would talk to her about so many things just to try and keep her mind off the children, but Stone Mother never forgot her little ones and never stops waiting. She had been there for countless generations and would never give up hope. Today, he decided to leave her to her own quiet space and not disturb her. Coyote was a trickster and pretty wily, but when it came to Stone Mother he had nothing but respect for her and honored her. He gave a little wave, just to let her know he was there and thinking about her, then turned away to make plans for the day.
"The snows are receding," he thought, "but, it is still cold here, and there may be more snow yet to come. I had better take take advantage of the clear skies and get some fishing plans together, for the fishing derby is coming up soon." Now, since Coyote was a great trickster, he did not intend to catch the fish himself. "Why should I," he pondered, "when there will be so many experienced fishers coming out this way to catch all those fish?" He knew all he had to do was to come up with a plan of how to get the fish from the fishers. He scratched his ears with both front paws - this was his way of clearing his head so he could think better. He knew that if the fishers caught "shakers", little trout under 16 inches, they had to be released unharmed, so he could not count on getting any of those. If, however, they caught "keepers", over 16 to 19 inches, that these would be kept. He also knew that each fisher could only catch two "keepers", one of 16-19 inches and one over 24 inches. Also, he knew they could not fish within 500 feet of any dock. "So," he screwed up his face, "I have to keep away from the docks. And since each fisher can only have two fish, that doesn't give me an easy way of sneaking a lot of fish at one time. I will have to be very crafty this weekend."
Then he thought of the little puppy he had seen last week outside the trading post. The puppy was so cute and just sat there looking up at everyone who came by with his big brown eyes full of hope. Every time someone walked by they would say, "Oh, what a cute little guy you are! Want a treat?" and they would toss him a biscuit or some other delicious tidbit. "That's it!" Coyote snapped his paws together. "All I have to do is just sit out in the open and look cute and everyone will toss me some fish when I look up at them with my big brown eyes." He ran over to the water to look at a reflection of himself. "Yup...hm...mmm...hm mm...yes," he was pleased with himself, turning his head side to side, "eyes are big, eyes are brown. Yes, I think it will work!" Then he practiced looking cute which was not easy for a scruffy coyote, but he finally found just the right look.
Coyote looked up at the sun rising higher. It's almost time, he thought. I have to find the best place possible so all can easily see me. He was getting rather hungry but knew he would have more than enough to eat that night. He ran to the best fishing spot he knew, found a nice round rock to sit by then practiced his "cute looks". Several hours later, Coyote was still sitting there, still hungry. "Why is no one coming by with fish?" he wondered, "It is getting late and I am starving!" He forgot all about looking cute and began looking very puzzled indeed.
Along about 4:00 in the afternoon, Grandfather and his grandson came walking along the beach. "Grandfather, who is that out there in the lake in the canoe?" Grandfather shaded his eyes with his hand and looked out upon the waters. "Oh," he smiled, "that's just Coyote. He forgot the dates again for the fishing derby. The derby is next weekend and the week after that, February 9 and 10 and February 16 and 17. So, Coyote has gone fishing."
The fishing derby's are coming up all over the country. Check into it and get out your poles and have fun. And if you see a coyote sitting around trying to look innocent and cute, just ignore him, he always manages to find something to eat somewhere.
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