As seekers of the spiritual aspects of life, it is only natural that one would turn to books and people for spiritual guidance. This is fine. However… beware. Spirituality cannot be bought. Those who have it, do not sell it. Those who do not have it, sell as much as the market will bear. Coyote is always around to remind us of that fact.
Coyote was walking with his friend Iktome. By their path stood Iya the rock. Now Iya was not just any old rock. Iya was special. This was the kind of rock that tells a story. Power Iya had. Coyote said, “Hmmm, this is a pretty good-looking rock. I think it has power.” He took off the heavy blanket he was wearing and placed it on the rock. “Here, Iya, ” he said. “Take this as a present my friend rock. Take my blanket to keep you from freezing for you must feel cold.”
“Wow,” said Inktomi. “A giveaway! You are for sure in a giving mood today my friend.”
“Huh,” Coyote replied. “It’s nothing. I am always giving things away. Iya looks real nice in my blanket.” Inktomi said, “His blanket now.”
The two friends moved along. Soon a cold rain began to fall. The rain turned to hail. The hail turned to slush. Coyote and Iktome ran into a cave to seek shelter. The cave was cold and wet. Inktomi was fine for he had his thick buffalo robe. Coyote had only his shirt. By now he was shivering. He was freezing and his teeth were chattering. “Kola, a friend of mine,” said Coyote to Inktomi.
“Go back and get me my thick blanket. I need it and that rock has no use for it. He’s been getting along for ages without a blanket. Hurry. I am freezing.” Inktomi went back to Iya and said, ” Can I have that blanket back. Please?” The rock said, “No, I like it. What is given is given.”
Inktomi went back and told Coyote, ” He won’t give it back.” Coyote said, “Why that old, no good, ungrateful rock! He didn’t pay for the blanket. Did he work for it? Huh, I’ll go get it myself.” Inktomi replied, “Friend, Tunka, Iya, the rock….there’s a lot of power there! Maybe you should let him keep it.”
Coyote snorted, “Are you crazy? This is an expensive blanket of many colors and great thickness. I’ll go talk to him.” So, Coyote went back and confronted Iya. “Hey, rock!” he said. “What’s the meaning of this? What you need a blanket for ? Give it back to me right now!”
“No, ” said the rock, “what is given is given.” “You are a bad rock!” Coyote retorted. “Don’t you care that I’m freezing? I’ll catch a cold!” Coyote jerked the blanket from Iya and put it on himself. “So there,” Coyote said. “That’s the end of that.”
“By no means the end,” said the rock.
Coyote went back to the cave. The rain and hail had stopped and the sun was shining. Coyote and Iktome sat out in front of the cave sunning themselves. They ate pemmican and fry bread with wojapi. After they finished eating, they hauled out their pipes and had a smoke. All of a sudden Iktome said, “What’s that noise?” Coyote said he didn’t hear anything. Inktomi said, “A crashing noise. A rumble very far off!” Coyote then replied, “Yes friend, I hear it now.”
“Friend Coyote,” Iktome cried, “it is getting stronger and nearer. It is like thunder or an earthquake!”
To that, Coyote said, “It is rather strong and loud.. hmm, I wonder what it can be?” Inktomi said, “I have a pretty good idea friend.” It was then they saw the great rock. It was Iya. Iya was rolling and thundering, ready to crash in on them!
“Friend, let’s run, Iya means to kill us!”
So, the two ran as fast as they could while the rock rolled after them coming closer and closer.
They ran to the river absolutely sure that the rock could not swim.
They were positive they would be safe. So, they swam the river. But Iya, the great rock, swam the river also. Iya swam as if he had been made of wood. “Into the Woods,” cried Coyote. He was sure that Iya could not get through the forest of trees. They ran among the trees and Iya rolled right along behind them. The trees shivered and splintered. Little splinters and chunks flew left and right. Coyote and Iktoma came out into the flats.
“Uh-oh,” said Iktome, the Spider-Man.
“Coyote, this is really not my quarrel. I forgot, I have some stuff I have to attend to. So long, my friend.”
Inktomi rolled himself into a tiny ball and became a spider. He disappeared into a hole in the ground.
Coyote ran on and on as the rock thundered at his heels. Then, Iya rolled right over Coyote and flattened him. Iya took the blanket and rolled back to his place saying, “So there.” A waischu rancher was riding along and saw Coyote lying there, flat as could be. “What a nice rug!” exclaimed the rancher. He picked Coyote up and took the rug home.
The rancher put Coyote right in front of the fireplace. Now, whenever Coyote is killed, he can make himself come to life again. But this time it took him the whole night to puff himself back up into his usual shape. In the morning, the rancher’s wife said to her husband, “Your rug is running away.”
Friends, hear this.
Always be generous in heart.
If you have something to give, give it forever.