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Bálölöokongwuu And The Coyote

Categories : Hopi , Hopi Stories

Bálölöokongwuu (the abbreviated term Bálölöokong being usually used) is a mythical serpent, supposed to control the water and to live in the ocean, springs, etc. Lölö'okongwuu (abr. Lölö'okong) is really the Bull Snake, but this term is often used for Bálölöokong, as is seen in this story.

Alíksai! In Mishóngnovi, where there are now the ruins of old Mishóngnovi, they were living. East of there the Lölö'okong alsoq lived, and south from there, at Jack-Rabbit House (Covíihkivee), lived the Coyote. He was a friend of the Lölö'okong. "I am going to visit my friend," the Lölö'okong said one day, so in the evening he went over to his friend's kiva. The Lölö'okong was very long. When he arrived at the Coyote's house the latter said, "Come in." "All right," he replied. "Come in," his friend repeated, so he went in and kept coiling up until he filled the entire kiva. So they were sitting and conversing there. "Now let us eat something," the Coyote said. "Very well," his visitor replied. So the Coyote brought forth some juniper berries, which they ate. "Thanks, that I have eaten," the Lölö'okong said.

By this time it had become quite late. "I am going home now," the Lölö'okong said. "All right," his host replied, "it is getting late." And after having invited the Coyote to visit him also, the Lölö'okong left. After his visitor had left the Coyote was thinking: "What shall I do to my friend, as I want to repay him?" The next day he went into the timber and got a big armful of dry cedar bark. This he tied into a long rope, as it were, with yucca leaves, and rolled it up in his kiva. He then fastened it to his tail and went out. After having run around for some time, he went to his friend's house. "Have you come?" the latter said. "Yes, I have come." "All right, come in, come in," the Lölö'okong said. So he went in and kept circling around and around and around, filling the whole kiva with his long tail. On the walls of the kiva of the Lölö'okong were hanging many snake costumes, and the Coyote kept looking and looking at them. "Now let us eat," the host finally said, and getting from a shelf a very small bowl with some corn-pollen, set it before his visitor. "This I am eating; eat of it too," he said to the Coyote. So they talked together until evening. "It is evening," finally the Coyote said. "I am going home now." "Very well," the Lölö'okong replied, "we are through talking, and it is evening."

The Coyote hereupon left the kiva, dragging his long tail after him. When the latter was nearly unwound, the Lölö'okong put a little piece of ember on the tail, which set it on fire, a lid when this was dragged out of the kiva, it set the grass on fire. The Coyote looked around and was wondering who was setting everything on fire after him. When the tail was nearly consumed he had arrived at his kiva, and then he began to think that maybe his friend had done that to him. "Well now," he said, "he is my friend, and that friend has treated me this way," And then he became very angry at the Lölö'okong. He then entered his kiva and continued to live there.

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