Coyote Spills The Stars

Coyote Spills The Stars

A Cochiti Legend

In the beginning days when all came up from the underworld a huge gathering was planned, uniting all.  At this meeting Our Mother selected a human being to take a jar of stars, hang them in the sky, then name them for all to enjoy.

Coyote was very interested in what was going on. Being a wiggler and trickster, Our Mother turned to him and said, "Do not make mischief here!"

The human being was busy, placing the stars in ordered patterns upon the sky. Seven Stars here and the three Pot Rest Stars there. When he had placed the beautiful Morning Star he stood back and admired his work. The four-footed animals and birds were amazed, as were the rest gathered there.

While everyone including Our Mother was gazing at the luminous Morning Star, Coyote tiptoed over to the jar of stars. He wanted to see for himself what the man was doing. As he lifted the jar's lid just a little, the stars rose to the top, pushed the lid away and raced for the sky. This is the reason so many twinkle without order or pattern, and why so many are not named.

Our Mother was angry with Coyote, and said that because of his mischief with the stars Coyote would forever be a wanderer and bring trouble with him wherever he went. Some days he could be happy and abundant, but other days he would see unhappiness and hunger.