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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

 

Feline folklore: Cat-dog face-off

The catalog of stories about cats and dogs is as lengthy as the wildcat's tail, before he met up with the Trickster Coyote. This story comes from the Unitah Ute people:

Long ago Wildcat had a long nose and tail. One day he was sleeping on a rock when Coyote came along. He pushed Wildcat's nose and tail in, and then went home. At noon Wildcat woke up, and noticed his short nose and tail. "What's the matter with me?" he asked. Then he guessed the cause. "Oh! Coyote did that," he said, and he hunted for him.

Now, Coyote was sleepy and had lain down. Wildcat came and sat down beside him. He pulled out Coyote's nose and tail and made them long. They were short before. Then he ran off. After a while Coyote woke up and saw his long nose and tail.
The only thing I don't understand about this story is why it's called Wildcat Gets a New Face. Undoubtedly the human who first wrote it down in English was a dog person, so he focused on Coyote.

Get your human to read the story from Tales of the North American Indians, by Stith Thompson, 1929, at the Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

Find out Why Cats Are Much Better than Dogs.

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