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Miwok Reading Studies

How People Were Made

A long time ago, animals were more like people. They asked questions, considered ideas, and made choices that affected life on earth.

One day Falcon asked Coyote (who was known to have a powerful magic) "Why don't you try and make some human beings"?

Coyote said "Nah, its too much work, I do not wish to be bothered".
But Falcon persisted. Finally Coyote agreed.

Next he lay down and pretended to be dead. Up came some buzzards & crows. Coyote let them work their way inside him, and then he jumped up, trapped them inside him, and headed quickly to his house.

When Falcon found him there, Coyote asked him to reach inside the wound the birds had made, and pull out the birds and take their feathers.

Coyote then healed himself and invited Falcon to join him for now it was time to create human beings. They took those feathers and planted them on hilltops all around.

Each crow eather became a man or woman. Every buzzard feather became a wise leader. And villages sprang up the very next day.

Coyote noticed that these new human beings looked just like the animals. He realized the mistake in this. They would not be able to tell the first people who had lived on earth for many years from the newcomers, these human beings!

So, he turned all of the original people into the animal & bird forms of fur and feathers.

This is how the animals we know today took their form, and it is how people were made.