Introduction: Coyote wanted to prove that he was the big boss of everything and everyone. In fact, he was turning into a big bully. Read about how he got himself in trouble and what he learned in the end. Afterward, click on the link to answer the discussion questions that accompany the tale.
This story was written back in 2006 by the new-deceased Terry Gardner. He was a clinical social worker all the way up to the time of his death. He also was a published author. This Four Directions story, as he called them, is shared in his memory and with permission of his widow, Lin Gardner.
Coyote Meets his Master
© 2006 by Terry & Lin Gardner; Re-told and re-formatted with the permission of his widow, Lin Gardner, by Debbie Dunn
Ellen Eagle swooped and soared high across the cloudless sky. She cocked her head and heard Carl Coyote’s faint words, “I’m the Master! I’m the BIG boss of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!”
Eagle saw Carl Coyote running around in circles. She shook her head and said to herself, “I HAVE to check this out.”
Eagle tightly tucked her wings and plummeted from high in the sky toward Coyote.
Coyote saw Eagle diving toward him. He picked up some rocks and began throwing them at her as she threw open her wings to brake herself.
Coyote yelled, “You wanna fight? NO ONE can beat me!”
Eagle made a sharp turn and landed on a tree ten feet from Coyote. She called to Coyote, “Hey Coyote, why are you running in circles and trying to throw rocks at me?”
Coyote yelled, “I’m tough and NO ONE can beat me or boss me. I’ll show you!”
Coyote wound up and threw a rock hard at Eagle. The rock whizzed ten feet from Eagle’s head.
A loud “Ha, ha, ha” rang from the nearby forest. Coyote whirled and yelled, “Who dares laugh at me, the BEST one around here?”
Ben Bear and Wendy Wolf stepped from the trees. Bear called to Coyote, “Hey, Coyote. We’re not laughing at you. We’re laughing at what you’re doing. Do you really think you are the greatest?”
Coyote said nothing. He just picked up two rocks and swiftly threw them at Bear and Wolf. The rocks missed Bear and Wolf by fifteen feet.
Wolf said, “His throws are as wild as his words.”
Eagle called to Coyote, “Why do you think you have to be so mean to us? We like you. You don’t have to prove how tough or great you are.”
Coyote picked up more rocks and began throwing them at Wolf, Bear, and Eagle. Coyote yelled as he, again, widely missed his three friends. “I’ll, I’ll show you I’m how tough I am.”
Coyote threw down his remaining stones and dashed down the trail.
Eagle fluttered to the ground so she could talk with her two friends. She said, “I wonder what got into Coyote. He’s trying to be a real bully.”
Coyote dashed down the forest path. He said to himself, “Those idiots. They’ll soon know I can beat any of them. I’ll find someone I can really beat up.”
Robbie Rabbit nibbled on some delicious berries in a tangle of wild thorn bushes. He saw Coyote dashing toward him and called out, “Coyote, why are you in such a hurry?”
Coyote’s eyes screamed murder. His face and mouth turned into a hateful snarl and he leaped at Robbie Rabbit.
Robbie Rabbit screamed and dashed away to safety deeper in the patch of thorns.
Coyote yelled, “I’ve got you now, Robbie Rabbit. I’m going to eat you right here.”
Coyote jumped high into the air and arched toward Robbie Rabbit’s former eating place. Coyote made one BAD mistake. He didn’t notice the wild thorn bushes.
Coyote plummeted to earth and he hit the hard ground, SPLAT.
Coyote’s agonizing yell-scream echoed for five miles, “YEOWWW!!!!”
Bear spoke very quickly to Eagle and Wolf, “Let’s hurry up. I think Coyote got himself into trouble again.”
Eagle spread her wings and screeched, “I’ll go ahead and let you know.”
Wolf nodded to her friends and they all left as fast as possible.
Coyote screamed, “I’m dying, I’m dying! Those thorns are killing me!” Coyote thrashed around the brier or thorn patch.
Robbie Rabbit’s heart settled down some and he SLOWLY poked his nose out of a pile of branches. He looked at Coyote. Robbie Rabbit saw he was safe for now.
Robbie Rabbit felt even better when he saw Bear and Wolf lope into the scene. He noticed Eagle swoop low and gracefully land on a nearby branch.
Coyote tore at the thorns piercing his hide and yelled to the three, “Help me! Help me!”
Eagle saw Robbie Rabbit with her ever-sharp eyes. She called to the Rabbit, “Hi, Robbie Rabbit. You are safe with us. What happened?”
Coyote’s agony caused him to scream, “Stop talking and help me!”
Bear spoke firmly and simply, “We can’t help you because you claim to be the Big Boss of all the animal folk.”
Wolf encouraged the Rabbit, “Robbie Rabbit, tell us what happened. Did it involve Coyote?”
Robbie Rabbit hopped out of his hiding place and nodded his head. He reported to Wolf, Eagle, and Bear, “I heard Coyote say he would beat somebody up. Then he saw me and tried to eat me.”
Coyote continued to rip at the thorn vines digging into his hide. He yelled, “Will ALL of you PLEASE help me?”
Wolf shook her head sadly and said, “We can’t help anyone who thinks he is the Big Boss of all the animal folk, acting all big and tough like a bully.”
Coyote’s face darkened with anger and he screamed, “I’ll get all of you! I’ll get all of you!”
Eagle screeched, “Do you think we should beat Coyote up some and show him who is really the Big Boss around here?”
Wolf grinned widely and her fangs gleamed as she said, “I’d like to take just a nip or two out of him now.”
Bear shook his head and growled, “I think we best leave him alone. Hurting him like he wants to hurt Robbie Rabbit and all of us won’t help him. However, we’ll let Robbie Rabbit make the decision. Coyote wanted to really hurt and even eat Robbie. Robbie, do you want to hurt Coyote?”
Robbie Rabbit looked puzzled and finally understood Bear’s question. Robbie Rabbit said, “We’re all okay. Coyote hurt himself but no one else. Let’s leave him alone.”
Eagle looked very puzzled and worried. She said to Robbie Rabbit, “What will you do if Coyote tries to hurt you again?”
Robbie Rabbit answered Eagle by raising his rear foot and stamping the ground very hard three times. Fifty brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, mother, and father of Robbie Rabbit instantly appeared.
Grandfather Rabbit called to Robbie, “What’s going on?”
Robbie Rabbit answered, “Coyote tried to hurt me. He said he wished to eat me.”
Grandfather Rabbit looked sternly at Coyote and asked, “Did you really try to do hurt Robbie Rabbit?”
Coyote shook with fear when he saw all the rabbits. He knew they could and would kick him hard with their powerful hind legs if he really tried to hurt Robbie Rabbit and they found out.
Coyote answered, “Ah, ah, yes. Please, please, don’t hurt me.”
Grandfather Rabbit replied, “We won’t hurt you now. But you better leave Robbie Rabbit and all our other little ones alone.”
“Yes, Yes, and more Yes,” gasped Coyote. “Please, please, help me with these thorns.”
Grandfather Rabbit stroked his chin and said, “Do you still think you are the Big Boss of all the Animal Folk?”
Coyote THREW back his head and strangled out an answer, “NO, NO, NO!!”
Grandfather Rabbit looked around and nodded to his many relatives. They all grinned and hopped toward Coyote.
Coyote started to run but he was so tangled in the vines, he tripped on his feet and went SPLAT on the ground.
All the rabbits reached Coyote and began nibbling on the thorn vines.
Coyote’s terror changed to side-splitting laughter. He yelled, “You’re all eating my fur but it tickles!”
Grandfather Rabbit ordered Coyote, “Stay still! We can’t nibble the thorn vines off you unless you are still.”
Coyote immediately lay down as the rabbits swarmed over him. The rabbits quickly ate all the thorn vines.
Coyote stood up and said, “Ah, I don’t know how to thank all you rabbits.”
Grandfather Rabbit told him, “Thank all of us by keeping your promise. You MUST leave Robbie Rabbit and all our other little ones alone. Thank Ben Bear, Ellen Eagle, and Wendy Wolf by being a friend and not trying to be a bully.”
Bear told Coyote, “You did not do such as good job at being a master of anything. You can only be the boss of yourself.”
Coyote replied, “You’re all right. I’ll be a friend to all of you from now on and not try to be either a bully or a master.”
Click “Story Comprehension Questions: Coyote Meets his Master” to get a copy of the twelve questions for your class to discuss or write about or both.
OTHER STORIES BY TERRY GARDNER
Four Coyote tales
- Read-Aloud Story for Grades 2-6: Coyote Meets his Master
- Read-Aloud Story for Grades 2-6: Courage to Fear
- Read-Aloud Story for Grades 2-6: Coyote Travels Inside
- Read-Aloud Story for Grades 2-6: Coyote Becomes Mindful
Story featuring Bear
- Read-aloud story for grades 2-6: Bear becomes bearable
Seven Stories from the East
- Read-Aloud Story for Grades 2-6: Dog Learns to Dance
- Read-aloud story for grades 2-6: Teeter-Totter Eagle reviews her past
- Read-aloud story for grades 2-6: Beaver Busy
- Read-aloud story for grades 2-6: Coyote and Fawn learn about growth within
- Read-aloud story for grades 2-6: Argument between the Deer and Rabbits (Coming Soon)
- Read-aloud story for grades 2-6: Wise Guy(Coming Soon)
- Read-aloud story for grades 2-6: Flying Eights(Coming Soon)
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