S H O R T S T O R Y
A GIFT FOR BROTHER COYOTE
b y l a r r i a n n r o s s e r ~ f o r t w o r t h , t e x a s
HER SOCIETY would probably think what she's doing is barbarous and wrong, but I understand. She loves her unborn baby, but has no space for him in her life so she's offering him to Brother Coyote. It's the humane thing to do, better than grudging him a place in this world only to resent or ignore him.
She doesn't know the ritual, but, oh, she has the spirit. Bramble scratches bleed on her naked legs and her feet leave bloody footprints where she dances. Her white skin gleams with sweat and her raw angry voice rides the wind just as if she were one of the People.
She knows. Better to spill her infant here on the plains for Brother Coyote to take than to go to one of those cold white places where the Jesus warriors congregate and waste him into a shiny pan with no way at all to get back to the world.
Oh, yes, she has the heart. She dances and shrieks her grief to the night, feeds her blood and her hunger to the world, just like one of the People.
And Brother Coyote honors this and takes the baby she wept onto the dirt. He's impressed, I think, that someone from the World of Noise could come so close to the way. So impressed, in fact, that he will take her into himself, too, unless I take this stick and chase him away from where she lies.
I think I will not. She deserves the honor. But I will sing for her, for her admittance to the world of the People's spirits, a world to which one act of carelessness has brought her home.
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