Myth & Lore

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The Medicine Man, the Brave & Coyote Humor
By CinnamonMoon

One day a brave sought out the Medicine Man known as Coyote's Eye as he was deeply troubled. He scratched at the Medicine Man's tipi hoping he would hear the voice within giving him permission to enter. He was invited to enter and sit by the fire to speak of his concerns. Coyote's Eye listened carefully as the brave spoke of his many troubles. His brother was struggling with issues, his cousin was struggling with some matters, two of his best friends were troubled and the list just went on and on. In his wisdom, Coyote's Eye saw this man needed help finding the answer to his problems so he handed him 7 pouches and took him out into the sun.

"I want you to take these pouches out into the heart of the forest this afternoon. Fill each pouch completely with the dung of a different creature and then return to me with the pouches at sunrise when I will instruct you on the ceremony to solve your problem."

The brave agreed without question knowing how wise the Medicine Man was and so he set out respectfully on his expedition. He spent the afternoon combing the forest floor for the required feces and it was nearly dusk by the time he returned to the camp filled with scratches from the undergrowth he'd had to work through. He was very pleased with his success however, and when he scratched on the tipi at sunrise the flap opened and out stepped the Medicine Man carrying his staff.

Coyote's Eye motioned to the brave to follow and they walked down to the bank of the river the village sat along. In the soft sand he drew a circle about three feet across with the tip of his staff. Then he instructed the brave to pour the contents of the pouches into the circle, next he was to stomp the clumps of dung into a fine powder. The brave did as instructed and he took great pride in doing a thorough job of it too.

Next the Medicine Man told him to take the pouches down to the river filling them with water and to add that to the contents of the circle. Again with great ceremony the brave did as he was told. Coyote's Eye told the brave to find a stick and stir the contents until a thick mud formed. The brave did this honorably with extreme ceremony as he did not want to make a mistake. Obviously this was powerful Medicine they were mixing.

Now while all this was going on the people of the village were beginning to take notice and they had begun to gather at a distance just out of sight to observe. They knew if Coyote's Eye was involved that this was an important matter so they watched closely as the brave carried out his tasks.

When the Medicine Man was satisfied that the brave had put enough effort into his work he instructed him to step into the center of the circle and sit down. The brave was not happy about this but he did respectfully do as he was told. Then the Medicine Man told him that he was to focus on each of his troubled thoughts and he had something to attend to in the meantime. He told the brave he would return later that afternoon. So as the brave closed his eyes and began to focus on all the things that were bothering him the stench of the mud began to rise challenging his focus. The sun beating down on the mixture enhanced the stench bringing out the awful aromas all the more so that as time passed it was nearly unbearable for the brave to remain in place, but he sat his honor nonetheless.

Being that this was a well-positioned access to the river, throughout the afternoon the people of the village would have to pass by him as they went about their business. Those who passed him got a whiff of the smell and began to chuckle, giggle, and chortle to him. It was annoying but he did what he had to do and blocked out most of that. He had clearly become the center of amusement for the entire village and they would relentlessly point at the brave struggling to hold his place. As the sun beat down on him the stench grew stronger and stronger while the jokes became more than bothersome and quite pointedly at his expense. He was feeling the sharp edges of embarrassment pressing in on him.

It was near nightfall when Coyote's Eye returned with the villagers eagerly trailing behind him. By now everyone wanted to know what was going on. The Medicine Man asked the brave how he was doing with his problems and if he'd found his answer yet. It was pretty obvious he wasn't enjoying himself much. His face clearly showed how unhappy he was as he replied:

"I'm uncomfortable, I stink, and the people are making fun of me. It's going to take me a week to get this stench off myself. I have found no answer, only ridicule and I stink! Why did you have me do this, what is the purpose?"

With a gentle smile and a mischievous twinkle in his eyes Coyote's Eye replied:

"I thought by now you'd realize there is no honor sitting in the middle of other people's crap since you seem to gather enough of that your own."

At which time the startled brave realized he had truly became the star of the show while the villagers roared in laughter.

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