Art, Books, mythology, Trickster

An Imperious Impulse: Lodge of the Dead…



…It happened that Coyote’s wife was sitting near the entrance to the Lodge of the Dead.

“Sit here, next to your wife,” said Death Spirit.

Coyote could not see anything. It looked to him like he was standing in open prairie but he sat where he was told and he could feel his wife’s presence as a shadow.

“Conditions in the Lodge of the Dead are different than the Land of the Living,” said Death Spirit, “when it gets dark here it is dawn in your land and when it dawns for us it grows dark for you.”

It had begun to grow dark and Coyote thought he could hear people talking in whispered tones all around him.

When darkness finally set in Coyote could now see that he was in a large lodge were many fires were burning. He saw people, too, with shadow-like forms and he saw his wife sitting beside him.

Coyote was overjoyed and he rushed around the lodge with his wife greeting people he had known in life but had now passed on.

How happy he was!

All too soon it began to dawn and Death Spirit returned, “night is falling,” he said, “you must stay here and when evening comes you will see all these people again.”

“Yes, yes,” said Coyote, “Where else would I go when all my friends are here?”

The dawn came and Coyote found himself in the middle of a prairie. He spent the day there, parched and thirsty from the heat, but at night he once again made merry in the lodge with his wife and all his old friends.

Coyote spent several days in this way until Death Spirit came one night and said, “tomorrow  you will go home and take your wife with you.”

“But I like it here,” protested Coyote.

“Yes, yes,” said Death Spirit, “nevertheless, tomorrow you must go. I will advise you what to do.”…


To be continued…

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