Nez Perce - Coyote and Bull
Coyote [itsaya' ya] was going along upstream, hungry as usual. He came upon a fat buffalo bull [qoq a' Ix tus' lirn]. Coyote said to him, "Friend, I am hungry. Can you change me into a bull just like you so that I, too, could become fat and sleek?" Bull heeded him not the least. He only wandered away grazing, and not a word would he reply to Coyote. Coyote was insistent. He said again and again, "I wish that I, too, were a bull so that I could get fat."
Finally, Bull got tired of hearing this and said to him, "Coyote! You are foolhardy in the things you do; you could never do what I might ask of you. You are becoming a great bother."
Coyote replied, "No, friend, I will do exactly what you tell me to do. Here I see you fat and sleek. Here is much grass, and you live well, while, you see, I am painfully hungry. I will do just anything you tell me."
Then Bull said to him, "Go over there and lie down." Coyote accordingly went and lay down. "Absolutely do not flee; do not move when I dash at you. You must remain absolutely still, and I will heave you upward with my horns."
"Yes, friend, why should I flee?" replied Coyote as he lay down.
Bull went off to the side, and there he incited himself to terrific anger. He tore up the turf; he threw dirt upward; he bellowed and breathed clouds of vapor from his nostrils. He became terribly angry, and then he dashed upon Coyote. But Coyote had been glancing at Bull and he had seen him become so terrible. He saw Bull come at him, and he jumped quickly aside.
"Now that is what I spoke of-that you would run away," Bull said to him.
"Let me try again, just one more," Coyote said. "I will not move next time." But Bull went away even though Coyote beseeched him weeping. Coyote followed, tearfully entreating him, "Once more, just once more; I will not run away again."
Bull said to him at last, "You are most bothersome to me. Now I will try you once more; and if you move do not beg me anymore, for I will never heed you again. We are trying for the last time."
Coyote placed himself on the designated spot again, and Bull went aside, as before, to become terribly angry. Now he dashed at Coyote. This time Coyote steeled himself, and Bull threw him high into the air with his horns. Coyote fell and suddenly became a Buffalo Bull. He walked away and went along grazing. He would see all kinds of things and eat them. Then, finally, he parted with the other Bull which now wandered off somewhere feeding. Here now another coyote met him and recognized him as formerly Coyote.
"Oh, friend, how is it that you have become like that? I am terribly hungry; I wish that you would make me like that, too." Coyote-Bull only looked at him sullenly and walked away to feed, unmindful of what the other said. The coyote insisted, "Friend, make a bull of me, too. I fare piteously and you are very fat."
Coyote-Bull then spoke to him, "You are very bothersome. You would never do those things which I would ask."
"Yes, friend, I will follow out absolutely every word you say. Try me."
"You have been a nuisance to me," Coyote-Bull said to him, "but place yourself there and I will dash upon you angrily and toss you into the air with my horns. You absolutely are not to move. If you run away, do not tearfully entreat me for another chance."
The coyote now placed himself there while Coyote-Bull made himself angry. He bellowed and pawed the ground. He imitated in every way those things that he had seen the other Bull do. Now Coyote-Bull dashed upon him, and oh! he picked him up and hurled him upward with his horns. Now coyote fell --"Thud!" To the ground he fell, still a coyote. At the very same moment Coyote-Bull, too, changed back into Coyote. Here they were suddenly standing there, both coyotes.
They stormed, and they scolded each other. "You! You have caused me to change back into a coyote. There I was a bull living happily, and you caused me to change back into coyote."
"Ha, you imitator! You thought you could make me into a bull too, as the other one did to you." Now one chased the other up the valley. The coyotes chased each other. There one lost interest and forgot that he had been acting silly -- had become a bull. He went along up the valley from there, unmindful of all that had happened.
Taken from Tales of the Nez Perce by Donald M. Hines, Ye Galleon Press; Fairfield, Washington, 1999 [gathered from other source books dated between 1912 and 1949]