Louie Pitt (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) retells a story about Coyote that he heard from his father. 2:54.
Bio: Louie Pitt works for the Warm Springs tribe in Governmental Relations. Louie Pitt works to continue traditional culture education opportunities, and advocates for treaty rights and protection of natural resources. He is the brother of artist Lillian Pitt.
“Probably the most funniest story I’ve ever heard came from my dad was about the day that Spilyay was jumping up and down and playing and having a good time on the river. Because Coyote half the time was very serious Creator type and other times just the jokester. While Coyote was playing down there and jumping up, trying to get some berries and things like that. Coyote could make himself real big too. So anyway Coyote looked over the ridge, got real big because he heard these dogs. This was before there was people and so Coyote looked over that ridge and he could see these dogs all in line looking down there, and he saw them heading towards the forest. So then he went to another spot and he could see another line of dogs heading to…There’s this meeting place out in the forest and so Coyote was really getting concerned. He said: ‘are they having a dog meeting without inviting me, the Great and Wonderful fluffy tailed Coyote?’So, he looked again and sure enough. So he snuck up on their meeting, out in the woods and all the dogs got together. And you know the big dogs would come in there and just like men do today, they take their hats off and put it up, hang it on a rack. Well, the dogs couldn’t sit down, they had to pull of their tails. And they would put it up, the big dog would put his tail up there and the bigger dog would put his tail up there. The little dogs put them down below. And so Coyote saw that and he goes ‘oh yes’. [rubs hands together] ‘I know what I can do now.’ So they all sat down at their table, hang all their tails up. And then Coyote, finally he dug around a little bit: ‘I know what to do.’So they were barking at each other and doing their dog business and so he hollered ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’. And before that happened–of course I forgot the main part– before that happened, he switched the tails all around and then all the dogs ran over there and the big dog grabbed what he thought was his tail, but it was really a little dog’s tail, and put it on. And the little dog accordingly and so that’s why, today when you see dogs run up to each other and they sniff around, they’re looking for their tail. Betcha didn’t you didn’t know that.”