This Sight is Continuously Evolving


Children of the Coyote
The History of the Fug-a-we

Chapter 4
Bringer of fire

     Speaks First In council, sits on the low hill south of camp waiting for the sun to rise . Sitting here watching the land come awake seams to help him get his thoughts in order. As the sky begins making the transition from night to day he wonders once again about all the strange aspects of this world. He thinks about the dark time, with its twinkling lights and the peculiar object that wanders over head changing its shape with each trip. What could this be? Each night when the cool, white shining body appears, there is less of it. After a period of time (about that of a woman's cycle) it disappears altogether. After a few periods of much darkness the object begins to grow until it is whole again. Is it some sort of creature? If so, is it being eaten by some larger creature when it drops below the shining jagged white line where it disappears before each new day begins? What is that high white barrier? What is on the other side? Is That other sky traveler, the one who brings light and heat to the world, chasing the one who travels during the dark time and taking bites out of the cool one when it is out of sight? If so, how can the white one remake it self? What about the twinkling lights? Are they holes in the sky admitting light from out side as the roof on his brush shelter dose during the time of light? Whenever he thinks about this land all he finds are more questions.
     While Speaks First sits waiting for the sun, his thoughts turn to the young man (not much more than a boy really) who had given him his name in the council. That one left camp and has been gone for three rising of the light giver. Where had the skinny one gone? Why had he left? He had told Speaks First that he was being called and that was all. Was the man still alive, or were his bones scattered on the landscape by some voracious predator? Questions! More questions! Never any answers in this world, only questions!
    Speaks First is brought back to the present by the streaks of light that signal the arrival of the sun. Red, yellow and violet beams shoot up from the curved surface of the land painting a layer of clouds with color. As a thin line of red peaks above the horizon the light begins to spread across the plains racing towards him. As the sun rises higher it is the color of heart blood not what he has come to expect. Not the orange ball changing to yellow then to almost white as it rises higher. This time it keeps its crimson hue. Clearing the edge of the land, the top begins to disappear behind dark clouds that streak across the sky. These aren't the light fluffy clouds that he has seen floating lazily across the blue canopy on warm sunny days. These clouds are angry malevolent clouds that rise high into the sky with dark almost black bottoms. Bright flashes of light flicker in their depths. The sun has completely disappeared now. The day has gone dark once again. Light flashes to the earth, Once, twice , three times. Speaks First stands, mouth agape, knees shaking, he wants to run but he is rooted to the spot. Then the thunder reaches him. Like a man struck by a giant fist, his knees buckle and he falls to the ground. Covering his head he curls himself into a ball.
    His mind is reeling. "What can be happening? Is this world tearing itself apart? Will this be the destruction of my people?"
   Once again the flashes of light strike the ground. Again the thunder rolls across the land. Speaks First pulls himself into an even tighter ball and begins to whimper and quake. Another flash, and another, and more thunder. The storm has begun far to the East of their camp and is moving away. A strong wind blows out of the West being sucked into the low pressure at the storm center. Speaks First, opens his eyes in time to see a giant bolt of lightning strike the prairie some miles away. Where the bolt strikes, a dark cloud rises into the sky, orange light flickering at the bottom of it and swirling up into the darkness. The dark column rises to the level of the clouds then spreads out to darken even more of the early morning sky. the orange flickering at ground level begins to spread out and move away with the storm. Speaks first has forgotten his fear and is watching the strange occurrences out on the llano. He has never experienced fire and can not fathom what is happening.
     The skinny one has been traveling for three days. Eastward always toward the rising sun. The days are hot and dry. The shoulder high prairie grasses are ripe. Pollen and dust rises from the stems as he moves along. His body is streaked with yellow and brown as rivers of sweat run down his torso and legs mingling with the dust. He has found nothing to eat except for a few shriveled berries and one small lizard. He finds water however, in the small creeks that crisscrossed his rout.
    Coming now upon one such stream he walks into the cool shade of the cottonwood's that border the water coarse and continues right into the water and sits down. A gasp escapes his lips as the coolness wraps around his body then he lets out a sigh. Plunging his face below the surface he drinks of the refreshing liquid. He drinks deep for his stomach is very empty. After taking in his fill he crawls to the bank and pulls himself to a flat spot, closes his eyes and dozes.  The lack of food is making him week and his mind is beginning to play tricks on him.
    After a time he feels the presence of another. He opens one eye, then sits straight up. A large old coyote watches from a few feet away staring at him with amber eyes, and a quizzical expression. "What do you want?" The little man asks, a bit frightened. "Shoo! Go away!" He orders.
     "I have come to help you. I have called you here to give you a special gift." Says Coyote.
"What manner of gift can a coyote give to a human being"? Asks the boy some what amazed that he is speaking to a coyote.
     "This gift I offer you will make you renowned among your people. This prize will give your species grate power in this world. A time of extreme cold is approaching. The boon I offer you will help to keep your people warm during the cold time, for with out fur or feathers on your bodies you will surly parish. You must sleep know and when the light giver rises, I will return and tell you what to do." Then the coyote disappears.
     The boy awakes before first light. He moves to the stream and drinks, then he sits on a log and thinks about the night. He considers the dreams he had and wonders about reality. His unconscious world is populated with strange beasts who talk to him in his own tongue. Great winged creatures swoop low over an unreal landscape. Strange feathered serpents crawl from holes in the ground or drop from huge leafless trees. The little yellow wolf. speaks to him of gifts and honors.
    Yet, is his waking world any less strange? He has seen much these last days. He has seen the great herds of grass eaters being shepherded by the large Prairie Wolves. He has seen even larger herbivores with long curved white tusks and long snouts moving with out fear across the plains. He has witnessed a battle between one of these beasts and a great bear.        The titanic struggle seams like it will never end. Yet it only lasts short time. The bear attacks from the rear, tearing at the flanks of his opponent. The tusked one turns on the bear and grabs him with his long trunk lifting him into the air bellowing fiercely. The bear rips large chunks of flesh and hair from the head of his captor. The woolly one lets out a chilling scream and slams the bruin to the ground with great force.
    From his hiding place the man can hear the loud snap of bone as the bear lands on a rock with his shoulder.
    The bear roars and stands on his hind legs, foam spraying in an ark as he tosses his massive head back and forth. He advances on the mammoth, his left arm hanging limp. The tusked one backs away with his head low. A slab of flesh hangs down the side of his face his right eye destroyed. The two antagonists circle each other. The great pachyderm backs around to the left trying to keep his good eye on his tormentor.
    The grizzly makes his move. With a deafening roar, running on his hind legs like a man, he charges the mammoth head on. As he rushes forward, the mammoth lifts his head and one of the long tusks pierces the bear just below the sternum. The great herbivore continues to lift the bear high into the air. The bruin sinks his teeth into the flesh behind the pachyderms ear, and as he is thrown from the head, he tares a gaping hole in the neck of the woolly one. Hart blood pumps from the wound in a pulsing stream. The mammoth steps back, bellows, drops to his knees and with a groan roles onto his side. His antagonist seizes the opportunity and attacks again. But there is to be no victory, for even as the bear begins to rip flesh from his vanquished prey. His lungs are filling with his own blood. The great bruin sits back on his haunches for a short time then simply lays down along side his foe and expires.
    The man sits thinking about all that he has seen in the last few days. He shakes his head still unable to separate the dreams from reality. Then he notices the world becoming light. The air around him seams thicker, a wind has begun to blow from the west. He can see the first streaks of sunlight painting the thick clouds with purple, orange, and red. The clouds catch his attention. He has never seen clouds like this before. They are dark boiling masses with black menacing bottoms. As the sun rises they are tinged with blood red. Then the sun disappears behind them and the land becomes dark once again. Not the dark of full night but a dark shade of purple gray. The wind is beginning to blow very hard whipping the cotton woods sending leaves and small branches flying eastward. As the little man looks at the clouds he can see flashes of light beginning to dart with in their interior. He can hear a low rumbling coming from the sky. Fear begins to work it's way into his being. This is a feeling he is becoming quite familiar with in this land.
    Then with out warning a great flash of light streaks across the sky and an enormous noise shakes the ground. Surprise and fear cause our friend to fall over backwards from his log. Stunned he lays there for a few seconds. Then it happens again. This time he jumps to his feet and cast about trying to find a place to hide then again comes the flash and crash of thunder. this time the bolt strikes a tree not far away. The tree explodes, the top flying off and bark blasting out in all directions. The stump smokes and smolders. Some dry grass near the base of the blasted tree begins to burn. The wind blows the flames toward the creek where they are quickly extinguished when they reach the green foliage at the waters edge. By now our intrepid explorer is trying to dig his way back to the land of darkness. Tearing up hands full of turf from under the log that had been his seat a few moments before. He tries his best to disappear under the log.
    Again and again the lightning flashes and the thunder roars. Our friend quivers and whimpers. After a time the storm moves off to the east the lightning bolts striking further out on the prairie. The thunder's roar becomes less and less until it is just a low rumble in the distance. The skinny man pokes his head up from behind his log fortress and looks around. Not far away sits Coyote looking at him with his head cocked and an amused expression on his face.
    "You are still here." The little yellow wolf says. "Good, I thought maybe you had managed to dig your way back to the land of darkness" Coyote gives a little barking laugh. "Now I will give you the present I told you of"
    Turning around he walks to the smoldering tree. "Come here" he says to the boy.
    Uncertainly the skinny one stands and looks stupidly at the yellow wolf.
    "Come, come" said Coyote. "Don't stand there like a frightened pup. Come here and see the boon I bestow upon you".
    Presently the young man begins to move forward. He walks slowly to the smoking cottonwood stub. Looking down, he sees several embers smoldering on the ground. His mind tries to grapple with what he is seeing but lack of food, and fear have taken there toll on his faculties.
    "Can this be the great gift that this coyote is so proud of?"   He thinks. A few pieces of colored rock?"
     He notices wisps of white cloud or dust rising off the stones and wonders at this as he reaches to pick one up. The pain is excruciating and instantaneous. He drops the stone and leaps back, automatically stuffing his fingers into his mouth. He has never known such pain. He pulls his fingers from his mouth and inspects them. The tips are white where he touched the ember.
    Well my skinny little friend, you have just learned his first lesson about fire. Coyote chuckles.
    "Don't touch it!"
    Coyote laughs his funny little laugh. "Silly human, you truly have much to learn," he says. " This Is called fire," Coyote continues. "It can be a friend or an enemy. It all depends on how you treat it. If you are careful and treat fire with respect, it can make your race the most powerful in this hand. If you do not respect it, fire can destroy you. Now, go and find one of the large white fungus balls that grow among the trees. Get an older dry one and bring it to me."
    The man dose as he is told, and returns with three large puffballs. He sets them on the ground in front of Coyote. The little wolf sniffs at all three. Nudging one with his nose he says. "This one will do," Coyote tells him. "Now go out onto the prairie and find a large skull."
    Again the skinny one dose as he is told. As he walks out of the cover of the trees and looks to the east he can see, not far away a line of black clouds rising from the ground flecked with orange and yellow light. He dose not know what it is but an instinctive fear shivers through his body. After walking out on the plain for a ways he stumbles on the skull of a bison. As he picks it up several small beetles scurried from the eye sockets and disappeared in to the tall grass. For a split second he thinks of grabbing the little creatures for a quick meal but he hears Coyote calling him from the woods. Obediently he turns and heads back to where his benefactor waits for him.
    "Now" says Coyote. "First you must make a hole in the puffball. Then pick up some of the embers and place them inside".
    Obediently the human sticks a finger into the puffball and makes a hollow in the center. Then with out thought he reaches down and picks up a hot ember. "Youuww" he cries, spinning around shaking his injured fingers in the air, howling like a wolf howls at a full moon.
    Coyote laughs so hard he falls over. Legs in the air laughter ripples through his body. "Not that way you dolt! Use a stick or something. Haven't you learned any thing"?
    Sheepishly the man finds two small sticks and manages to pick up several of the embers, and stuff them into the mushroom. an accred smoke issued from the hole.
    When this is done, Coyote says. "Now with a rock open up the under side of the skull so that you can put the puffball in side.
    After accomplishing this task the young man looks at Coyote. "My friend" he says. "You have told me that this is a great prize. That it will bring me great honor among my people and that it will make them strong. But I do not see how this can be. For all I see is an old skull and a mushroom that is emitting clouds of smelly vapors. How will this bring honor to me and strength to my people"?
    Coyote sighs. "I suppose I can't expect a human being to under stand everything all at once. For your answers we must travel to the east the storm has gone and we will see what it has wrought.
    "Wait! Hold on!" The boy pleads. "I have been walking for three days. I have had nothing to eat. My body is exhausted and my mind no longer functions properly. I can not go on with out food," he whines.
    "Where we go there will be food" Coyote promises. "Food that has been touched by fire and rendered more palatable for human kind". The little yellow wolf turns from the man and trots out onto the open land. "Pick up the skull and come with me" Coyote calls back. Not able to think of another argument the human does as he is told. He shrugs picks up the skull with its smoldering mushroom and follows. After walking for a short time they come to borders of a smoldering land. The wind still from the west blows the smoke and ash ahead of them the human stops at the edge of the burned land and gapes. He turns and looks behind him then turns back to look at the smoldering earth to the east. "Is this what fire can do?" He asks. "Can fire destroy the land"?
    "Yes" Coyote responds. "Fire has two sides. Life and death, good and bad. It can be creative and destructive".
    "What kind of creativity can this be? I don't understand"
    Coyote sighs "This may look like destruction to you but this is not the end of things on this prairie, it is the beginning".
    "How can this be? Once again you talk in riddles Yellow Wolf. I do not understand".
    "In a few days another storm will come to this area and bring rain. I know, you don't know what rain is so I'll tell you. Rain is water that falls from the sky. the water will revive the earth and new grass will grow where the old grass has been burned off. When the grass grows to just the right height the herds will come to feed on the new grass and there will be a time of plenty for all. The grass eaters will have an abundance and the carnivores will also have a feast. That is the way on the llano".
    "But, what of the creatures who lived on this part of the plain?" The man asks.
    "Most have fled, a few will have been caught by the flames and have perished. That is the food I told you about. Now lets go find something to eat". Coyote barks.
    The little human swallows hard. He is not sure he is ready to enter this land of ash and smoke. But Coyote is already trotting off, so there is nothing for the skinny one to do but follow. After a short distance he learns another lesson walking a little to the left of Coyote he steps on a mound of white smoldering ash.
    "Yooww"! He exclaims hopping on one foot and holding the other.
    Coyote turns, looks back and lets out a little coyote chuckle. "These Fug-a-we." He thinks "They are an endless source of entertainment for me. I don't even have to play any tricks on them. They do it themselves. "Follow my tracks human" Coyote barks. "And don't step on any more ash piles".
    The human limps along in Coyotes tracks. As he tops a rise he sees the little wolf with his head buried in the belly of a deer. Smoke is still rising from the carcass. As he approaches he can smell the chard meat. His stomach growls. The aroma of fire touched flesh is strangely inciting. as he reaches the carcass coyote pulls his head from the interior of the animal and growls. Then realizing that it is his companion he pays him no more attention. The boy grabs hold of a hind leg of the deer. Quickly he pulls his hand away. The leg is hot, but not as hot as the embers or the ash pile. Once again he takes hold of the leg. He works the leg back and forth trying to tare it from the body, without success. Finally he kneels down and sinks his teeth into the deer leg , shaking his head he rips a piece of flesh away and spits it out on the ground, the taste of burned hair making him retch.
    Along with the taste of burned hair is the flavor of cooked meat. Sticking his fingers into the hole his bite had left he tares the skin from the leg exposing the cooked flesh. He looks at the meat , it is not red like that which the Fug-a-we have been eating raw. It is more of a pinkish brown. Clear juices ooze from the cooked flesh. The aroma is delicious. He sinks his teeth deep into the exposed flesh, shaking his head he gnaws a large piece of meat from the leg. Barley chewing he swallows, once, twice, a third time and finally the juicy morsel slides into his stomach. Again he tares a large chunk from the deer ham and gulps it down, then again and again until the leg of the deer is reduced to bone and tattered skin. He sits back on his haunches and takes a deep breadth. Then his stomach reacts to so much rich food after so long with out any. It all comes out much faster than it went in. Gasping and looking stupidly at the pile of partially digested meat on the ground he wipes his arm across his mouth and goes back to gorging on cooked venison. some of it even stays down this time.
    After the feast, they travel deeper into the scorched land. They find more victims of the conflagration; prairie dogs, mice, lizards, deer, even a hawk has succumbed to the blaze. When they come upon larger corpses there are usually predators or scavengers taking advantage of the easy pickings, or fighting over scraps. When these creatures see the travelers they simply watch them pass or skulk away, never offering any threat. Even the huge bears simply ignore them. This puzzles the human.
    "There must be some agreement of safe travel for Coyote and his associate," he thinks.
    The boy also notices that not all the prairie is burned. There are islands of untouched grass around springs and along the creeks, the cottonwood groves are for the most part unscathed.     Near one particularly large green spot with several springs. They see a small family of the rare woolly mammoths. The adults in the group surround the younger ones with all there long tusks facing outward. They show no hostile intent and only watch as the two companions pass.     As the two walk east the sun moves steadily west. The light giver nears the edge of the land and is about to slide behind that high white barrier, as the travelers approach a long line of cottonwoods. These trees are larger than at other groves and the woods seam to the boy to be denser and lusher than he has seen before. They enter the woods and work their way through the tangle of dead falls and other brush until they come to the waters edge. The skinny one stops and stares out over the largest body of water he has yet seen.
    This is no creek like the ones he is used to. This stream is wide and deep. The water is dark and fast, with eddies and under currents. The force of the waters passage causes the shore to tremble. He knows this will be the end of travel in this direction. Nothing can pass this barrier. For a long time this will be the eastern limit of the Fug-a-we lands. As he watches, these thoughts are confirmed as the bloated carcass of a bison floats past, with its feet in the air. The thin young man turns from the river and walks back into the woods. It is time to look for a safe place to hide for the coming night.
    As he enters the woods he hears the yipping bark of his companion. He follows the sound to a small clearing up stream and not far from the rivers edge. Coyote sits on his haunches watching him approach.
    When he is close, Coyote says "This will be our camp for tonight".
    The boy looks around, "there is no place to hide here" he says.
    "It is time for humans to stop hiding from the world" answers Coyote. "You have the secret of fire and you will not be molested here."
    "How will a smoldering fungus help to keep me safe?" Asks the skinny one.
    "It's not the fungus that will keep you safe but what you can do with its contents. Now set down the skull and do as I tell you"
    The boy sets his burden down and waits for further instructions.
    "First you must find tinder." Coyote instructs.
    "Find what"?
    "Tinder. Dry grass, and small dry twigs. Now go and collect a bundle of tinder and then I will tell you what to do next."
    The man leaves, mumbling to him self. Shortly he returns with an arm load of dry grass and small twigs. he dumps them on the ground in front of coyote. "What's next"? He asks
    "Next you must bring a large supply of dry branches ranging in size from as thick as your finger to the size of your leg."
    "This seams like a lot of work just to spend the night. Why cant we just climb a tree or find a hole to crawl into?" The young human asks.
    "Are you a bird, a rodent or, a human?" Asks Coyote
    "I am a human being." The boy replies proudly.
    "Then, it's time you started living like one!" Coyote snarls. "Now do as I tell you."
    Once again the boy leaves mumbling to him self.
    Soon Coyote hears the sound of branches being broken. "Good" he thinks. "At least the human can follow instructions".
    Presently the young Fug-a-we returns with an arm load of fire wood. He dumps the load at Coyote's feet and turns back to the woods for an other. By the time he returns again the light is beginning to fade and the temperature is starting to fall. He drops this load and turns to his mentor.
    "What's next?" He asks.
    "Now you are ready to learn how to start a fire," Coyote answers.
    "First, take some of that dry grass and arrange it so as to create a nest, like that which a bird would live in," he instructs.
    "Good, yes, like that."
    "Now carefully drop the coals from inside the puffball onto the nest."
    "Okay, now blow on the coals."
    The boy follows Coyote's instructions and gently blows on the coals.
    "That's it keep blowing," Coyote encourages.
    First the embers begin to glow brighter, then the grass begins to smolder billows of white smoke began to rise from the nest, then the grass in the nest begins to glow . The smoke becomes thicker and thicker then suddenly the wad of grass bursts into fame. The human jumps back as if struck. With wide eyes , and his mouth agape he stares at the little flame.
    "Don't stop now fool." Coyote barks. "Add more fuel to the fire".
    The boy grabs a large hand full of sticks and dumps them on the tiny flame. Instantly snuffing it out. A thin curl of smoke rises slowly from where the little blaze had been.
    The human looks at the pile of sticks and then at Coyote.
   "Why do I spend so much time on these stupid creatures?" Coyote grumbles. He sighs and says to the boy. "You must start again. This time add the fuel slowly. First small twigs then larger and larger as the fire grows. Do you understand"?
    The boy nods his head, and begins again. In a short time they are sitting in front of a cheery camp fire. The first intentional fire to be ignited in the land of daylight. The young Fug-a-we sits close to the little blaze a huge smile on his face, sweat and tears running down his cheeks. His brain humming.
    "Just think, light and heat in the middle of the cold dark night. It is nothing short of magic. He muses.
    He is instructed by Coyote, to take some coals from the fire and put them in the mushroom to preserve them for the next fire. He is told to check the coals during the day to make sure they are still glowing. If they are seen to be becoming feeble he is to kindle a new fire and collect new coals. It is very important to take good care of the magic of the coals. New puffballs will also have to be collected to house the coals.
    "This is a very important responsibility". Coyote tells him while they sit by the fire. "If you do this thing correctly and not let the coals die your name will be revered for generations.
    "By the way, what is your name"? The old yellow wolf asks.
    The young human stares into the fire for a while then he answers.
    "I... I have no name. I am simply Fug-a-we, as all Fug-a-we are simply Fug-a-we. We only are named when we do something special for our people," he says softly.
    "I believe what you do here is  indeed, something very special for your people." I will give you a name right here and now," declares Coyote.
    Coyote thinks for a moment then looks at his companion across the cheerful blaze. "From this time forward you will be known through the land as ("Bringer Of Fire")," Coyote announces pompously. "All the creatures of this world will know you, and you will be harmed by none. You have the protection of Coyote."
    The little man beams across the fire at the little yellow wolf. Several times he tries to speak but all he can do is croak. Tears of joy flow down his cheeks.
    Finally Coyote stands and announces. "Now we must sing."
    "Sing?" Bringer Of Fire asks.
    "Of coarse." Replies Coyote. "We must sing to celebrate your new name."
    "But, but, I don't know how to sing." Replies Bringer Of Fire. "The Fug-a-we do not sing."
    "What? Not sing?" Cries Coyote. "I have never known any people who do not sing. Except maybe the lizard folk, but I suspect that even they sing quietly when there is good reason. This is indeed strange. Well, we will just have to teach you to sing, my friend." Coyote looks across the fire at the boy.
    "It is quite easy," he says. "Just sit back on your hind legs tilt your head back and sing." With that Coyote begins "HI, YIY,YIY,YIY, YIP, YIP, HI,YI, YI, YI, YIP, YIP, YIP." He stops, looks over at Bringer of Fire and says, "now you try."
    Bringer Of Fire sits back on his haunches and begins quietly, shyly "Hay... hay.... hay... yip..... yip," he mumbles.
    He looks questioningly at his teacher.
    Coyote is shaking his head slowly. "No,no,no... Put some life into it man. Listen to me, then join in when you think you have it" Again coyote begins to sing "HIY, YIY, YIY, YIY, YIP, YIP, YIP, HIY, YIY, YIY, YIY, YIY,"
    Bringer begins to join in, hesitantly at first. After a few false starts he decides that maybe if he stands up on his hind legs (so to speak) it will be easier. So he stands and throws his head back and begins to sing in earnest "HIY, YIY, YIY, YIY, YIP, YIP, YIP, HIY, YIY, YIY". Then his feet began to move only slightly at first. A small rocking motion, heal, toe, heal, toe. Then he starts to shuffle in place, still singing the Coyotes song. Before long he is making a slow circuit of the fire. Then he begins to pirouette as he circles the blaze. Faster and faster he circles. Then he begins to leap into the air as he circles. All the time singing at the top of his longues. Around and around up and down. He sings and dances and capers around the fire until finally exhausted he falls to the ground. He lays there panting. Presently he notices that Coyote has stooped singing. He looks over to where his friend sits and sees him staring back at him with a look of amassment.
    "What in the world were you doing". Coyote asked incredulously.
    "I think, I was singing." Bringer replies. "Why? Did I do it wrong again?"
    "No, no. The singing was fine but what was all that stomping and spinning and leaping? I thought maybe you had taken leave of your senses".
    "I don't know. It just came over me. I felt like it went along with the singing." Replied Bringer.
    "The only people I know who do that are the feathered ones" says Coyote. "The buzzards jump and cavort when they are fighting over a piece of carrion. And the prairie chickens do something similar when they are courting". Coyote thinks for a while and then continues. " If I recall correctly the feathered people call it dan--sing. Yes that's it, dancing. Well it is late and I think we have done enough singing, and uh, dancing for tonight. Remember all I have told you. You will start back to your tribe in the morning. Sleep now but keep your mind on the fire".
    Almost instantly Bringer Of Fire is fast asleep. Several times during the night he wakes. Each time, he adds wood to the small conflagration. Coyote had warned him that the flames would consume the fuel quickly, and that he must tend it carefully.
    In the Grey light of predawn, Bringer Of Fire sits up. He throws the few remaining sticks on the glowing bead of coals, then leans over and blows on the embers. Almost instantly a flame begins to work its way up into the small pile of wood. Bringer stands, walks a short distance from the fire and relieves him self. Then turning he walks to the river.
    Squatting down he cups his hands into the flow and brings water to his mouth. He drinks deeply, again he dips water from the river to pore over his head. He scrubs his face to clear the sleep from his eyes and his brain.
    As he returns to the fire he notices that Coyote is nowhere to be seen. He calls to his new friend but gets no response. He walks a ways up stream and calls some more. Still no response. On the way back toward the camp he remembers the fire and picks up some branches for fuel. back at the camp he puts some of the wood on the fire and waits for the flames to begin working on the new sticks. Once he is sure that everything is as it should be he continues down stream calling as he goes. No answer comes to him. After a short distance he decides not to stray to far from the fire lest something happen to extinguish it, so he returns to his camp. "I will wait here for the little yellow wolf," he thinks. He may be out hunting for his breakfast."
    With that thought his stomach grumbles. He has not eaten since he and Coyote had shared the deer out on the burned land. That was around midday yesterday. "Well if the little coyote doesn't show up soon I'll just have to leave here and start for home alone." He thinks.
    He walks to the river, gets another drink, Then walks back to the fire. He walks around the fire sits down and stirs it with a stick.
    He reaches over to where he had laid the buffalo skull and picks it up, reaches into the cavity he pulls out the puffball. He looks in side then blows into the hole. Then he shakes it and looks in side again. "Humph" he mumbles. He dumps the contents on the ground. A small pile of ash and two tiny black cold coals fall out. "Humph" He says again. "So much for magic embers. I will have to work constantly to keep this power alive. Eventually I will have to find a better way keep the coals going. Or find a way to make fire my self." 
    Shrugging  his shoulders he fishes around in the fire with a stick and pulls out three large bright hot coals. Scooting the coals along the ground he pushes them into the hole in the mushroom. After looking into the hole, he returns the puffball to the bison skull and sets it back on the ground. Again he stands up and walks to the rivers edge. Standing on the shore he looks out across the wide expanse of the river.
    "What manner of creatures live in that land?"  He wonders. "Are there other humans there? If so are they like the Fug-a-we, Or are they monsters?" 
    "I'm glad that river is here at least if there are monsters they will be kept on the other side," he decides.
    With these thoughts in his head, he squats down and takes a drink. After drinking his fill he steps back to his fire.
    "Where can Coyote be? He mumbles. I have to go, I need food and there is a banquet out on that scorched prairie." Reaching down he takes up the skull and starts out onto the blackened country.
    "Coyote Knows how to take care of him self" he grumbles. "If he wants to travel with me he will catch up."
    With that Bringer Of Fire steps from the shade and into the heat of the burned off prairie.
    Coyote watches from the crest of a low hill to the north. "The boy will have a safe trip home." He whispers to himself.
    Lifting his head he sings a short song. then turns north and heads off at a lope.
    The trip home for Bringer Of Fire is uneventful. Whenever he gets hungry he miraculously comes upon a kill. The predators slink away from their prize, offering him no objection. He stops at such a kill, kindles a fire, cooks some meat and adds new coals to the puffball and is on his way.
    In the late afternoon, after three days of traveling he comes to the camp of the Fug-a-we.
At first the people hide in their huts. Unsure who he might be, for he has been gone so long that they think he has been eaten for sure and his bones scattered on the plains. As he comes closer to the camp he begins to call out to his people.
    "HO! Fug-a-we it is I" he calls. "I have returned. I have brought you a great magic. I have brought you power over the cold and the darkness."
    The first Fug-a-we to investigate is his friend Speaks First In Council.
     He peers from behind his little brush hovel at the young man who approaches the camp. At first he does not recognize him. Then as the figure draws nearer, Speaks First can see that it is the skinny one. But he has changed. No longer just skin and bone, he has begun to fill out. He walks with confidence and even a little pride. Speaks First steps out from behind the hut and approaches Bringer with his hands extended in welcome.
    "Hello my friend." Speaks First calls.
    "Hello" replies Bringer Of Fire as they clasp their right hands in greeting. "I have traveled to the ends of our land. To where the light giver rises at the beginning of day. I have much to tell the Fug-a-we, and I bring a great gift for the people. We must convene a council that I might tell the story to all.
    By this time all the members of the tribe have recognized the skinny one (as they called him). They run out to meet him and surround him all talking at once. Slapping him on the back asking questions touching him, hugging him and some of the women even crying from the sheer joy of having him back among them.
    "We must all gather at the grove so that I can tell you of my travels and show you the amazing gift that was given to me".
    All the people gather to hear Bringer Of Fire speak. He tells of his adventure. Of the creatures he saw, of the great storm. Of his encounter with Coyote.
    Then he shows them the miracle of fire. The people stare in amazement, as the flames consumes the sticks. Some even whisper among themselves that the skinny one has no doubt become a powerful magician while on his journey.    
    One of the women suggests that the skinny one should be given a name to signify his great contribution to the people. Bringer tells them that he has already been given a named by Coyote.
    Speaks First steps forward and says "Yes it is true, I know his name. It came to me in a dream some four sleeps ago. Now that I see the magic fire I understand the dream."
    He pauses, recalling the dream, then he continues.
    "The skinny one sat on the ground. A strange flickering light playing on his body the great Coyote sat across from him, and I heard Coyote speak the name, Bringer Of Fire, and now I know the dream is true."
    He looks at his friend and Bringer nods confirmation.
    "It is true." Replies Bringer Of Fire. "Then we sang."
    The people look at each other "Sang"? They ask.
    "What is this sang?" One female inquires.
    Bringer stands and shows them. Throwing his head back he KI-YIY's the way Coyote had taught him.
    Then he tells them. "You must join me in this singing for there is much magic in it."
    He begins again.
    Slowly, shyly, one or two at a time they began to sing with him.
    Then, he begins to dance and the people watch. The women giggle behind there hands. One or two begin to dance with him. Before long the entire tribe is jumping and twirling, and singing Coyote's song at the top of there lungs. They sing long into the night. Some continue until the sun begins to rise.
    Yes Bringer Of Fire has indeed brought a great gift to the people. The gift of fire to be sure, but maybe an even greater gift. The gift of song and dance, and joy.
    From his spot on a low hill not far away, Coyote can hear the people singing his song and he cannot help but join in.
   That my children, is the true story of how the Fug-a-we learned the secret of fire. And how they learned to sing and dance. Even today when they gather around the council fires, they sing Coyote's song and dance the dance of the fire bringer.

To Chapter 5

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