Collection: Traditions of the Caddo

Tale of Coyote And Rabbit Kill A Buffalo

Rabbit and his grandmother lived by themselves, and Rabbit often went out to hunt to get something for them to eat. He began to go pretty far from home, and his grandmother scolded him and told him not to go so far, but to remember that he was little and might be killed. Rabbit did not pay any attention, for he knew that he was a good runner. One time he went far away, but could not find any game, and so he turned around to go home. As he went he played along the way and sang to himself. Coyote was out the same day looking for something to eat. He was just about to give up and go home when he heard some one singing. He looked all about and saw Rabbit. He grinned to himself and quietly slipped up behind Rabbit. When he knew that he was so close that Rabbit could not get away, he yelled “Bo!” at Rabbit and made a grab for him. Rabbit was badly frightened, but he determined not to give up. He said: “Coyote don’t kill me yet and I will tell you how to kill some good game. I cannot do it alone, and I have just been wishing that you would come and help me with my scheme.” “What is it?” asked Coyote, very much interested. “I know...

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Tale of Buffalo Woman

In a village there lived a cannibal at that time and the people called him Snow-Bird-with-White-Wings. He had a handsome son, who would not marry any of his own tribe. The father named his son Braveness because he was very brave in hunting. Whenever he went out to hunt he brought home many kinds of game that he had killed. Many of the young girls tried to win him as a husband, but Braveness would pay no attention to any of them. One night he decided to go hunting the next day. Early the next morning he started out toward the west. While he was going along looking and watching for wild animals he saw some one sitting ahead of him under a small elm tree. He approached the person and saw that it was a woman. She called him to come where she was, and he obeyed and saw that she was very beautiful and very young. She told him that she knew he was coming there and so she had come to meet him. He listened eagerly to hear what she had to say. She asked him if she could stay with him, and if he would take her to his home and let her become his wife. He told her that he would take her to his home, but that she must ask his parents if...

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Tales of Coyote Imitates His Host

In the days of old, when animals were like people and talked and visited each other, Coyote and Raven were great friends. One day after Coyote had grown weary of hunting for game and finding none, he went up to the top of the mountain to see his friend Raven. Raven had control of the buffalo and was always seen with the herds. (Now, since the buffalo has gone from the earth, Raven has disappeared and is seldom seen any more.) Raven invited Coyote to enter, and when he saw Coyote weary and sad and silent he arose, took an arrow, shot it up into the air, and then stood waiting for it to come down. It came down and pierced him under the right arm. He drew the arrow out and with it came buffalo meat and fat. He gave the meat to Coyote, who ate heartily. Then Coyote smacked his mouth, arose, and said that he must be going, but before he went he gave Raven an urgent invitation to come over and make him a visit, and Raven promised to come. When Coyote went home he began making a bow and arrow, and when he had finished them he put them away until Raven should visit him. One day Raven bethought himself of his promise, and so he left his home in haste to pay Coyote...

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Traditions of the Caddo

The Caddo tales presented were collected during the years 1903-1905, under the auspices of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and form part of a systematic investigation of the religious system and ceremonial organization of the tribes of the Caddoan stock.

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