As we ended the last story, Coyote and Raven had only made quick acquaintances with each other telling one another their names and such and going on their way. Some days had passed and Raven was finally done moving and rearranging his mess of a house and had not seen his neighbor in some time. This is where we will begin our story.
|Death by Caserole?|
So, Raven whipped up a delicious casserole to take over to Coyote's house in hopes of breaking the ice and getting to know each other better. “Buzzzz” went the doorbell as Raven stood at the door awaiting it to be answered. Coyote came to the door after some time and stood there blankly looking at the casserole and then looking back up at Raven’s face.
“Can I help you?” Coyote said.
“Oh, uhm, maybe you have forgotten but I am Raven your next door neighbor and I thought you would like this casserole as a kind of neighbor to neighbor get to know you dinner,” Raven told him.
Coyote looked at the casserole kind of jiggling about in the pan and gulped deeply. He figured it to be best that he took the offer because he too was curious about how this new situation of having a neighbor would turn out.
Thus, Coyote told him, “Oh, I am sorry of course, come in, Raven.”
The two went into Coyote's house and sat down. After having a little bit to eat, Raven began to tell him about why he had come out this way and what he expected of his neighbors. He was not rude, or didn’t try to come off that way at least, but Coyote none the less did not appreciate the way Raven was coming off.
“I’m just going to stop you right there,” said Coyote.
“I have lived in these parts for quite some time now and have grown accustomed to the way I like things here and pretty much just do what I want,” Coyote said looking at Raven in the eyes.
He went on to discuss how he and his buddy Fox had always gone about playing jokes on one another and it would be noisy and most likely annoying, but they would not be stopping anytime soon just for the pleasure of a new neighbor.
Raven looked dismayed and frankly upset said, “Well, I hope that maybe you will reconsider so I don’t have to get…” At that moment Coyote began to cough and choke a little.
“What was in this casserole, bird?!” barked Coyote.
“Not much-just some potatoes, cheese, ham, some soups, and peanuts for some flavor,” said Raven.
“PEAUNUTS!?” Coyote said looking very concerned.
At that moment Coyote fell over in his chair and was not moving, looking very much dead. Raven was very scared but also somewhat relieved because he now wouldn’t have to worry about a rowdy neighbor. He got his dish and left the house. On the way back he thought to himself that now he must look out for Fox because he was the only one in town that liked Coyote and would go looking for him.
The basis of this story came from the original story "Coyote and Snake" from the Great Plains region and the Omaha Indians specifically. In the story the Snake is stepped on by Coyote and when he asked Coyote to go around him from now on, Coyote became angry and thought he was stronger and more cunning than Snake so he brushed off Snake's wishes and stepped on him once more. At this the Snake bit him and killed him with his venom. I changed the story to work into my plot by changing the Snake for Raven and adding other features that I'm sure you can point out such as the casserole instead of venom. I really enjoyed this story because it kind of portrays that the mighty should never “step on” or overlook the small “guy” because it could come back to bite them (no pun intended). For my story it works in somewhat the same way. The Coyote thought of himself an almighty trickster who could do whatever he wanted and didn’t need to do what his new neighbor asked of him. Unfortunately, the casserole got the best of him despite his big head. Next, we will see how Raven deals with this accident and how Coyote's old buddy Fox reacts to the death of his good friend.
"Coyote and Snake" by Katharine Berry Judson Web Source here.