Ah, cleverness

Ah, cleverness


One night after their return to the new world, the Mullaqat looked at Grandmother Hen and said, “Tell us about our Father.”

“Your Father was named Coyote, and he was the most playful and clever of all the living things,” Grandmother Hen said. “Would you like to meet him?”

“Yes!” the Mullaqat said.

And so Grandmother Hen sang a ghost song and the ghost of Coyote appeared and said “Why have you bothered me, woman?”

“You’re the clever one, so teach your children their lesson,” Grandmother Hen said.

“Then gather around me here, Mullaqat children,” Coyote said. And once they were seated, Coyote’s ghost gobbled up all the Mullaqat children seated to the left of him. Then he turned to those seated the right side and said, “I loved those children as much as I love you, but I ate them and now they are dead. What is the lesson?”

“Everything dies,” said the Mullaqat, “so death cannot be judgment.”

“Correct,” Coyote said. “And that was a very clever way of teaching you the lesson, too. But now half my children are gone and I miss them,” Coyote said. “Why do I never learn?”

“Because cleverness is the fastest path to fucking up,” the Mullaqat replied.

“How very clever of you to see that,” Coyote’s ghost said. Then he smiled at them and disappeared into the night.

“Grandmother Hen,” the Mullaqat asked, “has our Father blessed or cursed us with his cleverness?”

Grandmother Hen fell silent, pondering her answer. And in time she said, “Well, we shall see.”

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