Martinez, Jose Per. 2 9-14-12 “Coyote and the Buffalo” and “Fox and Coyote and Whale” are both trickster tales in the Native American culture. These trickster tales do share similarities; however they do share a difference as well. The similarities between these two trickster tales is that they explain why the world is how it is, and they present morale teachings, but the difference in these is how Coyote is portrayed in the trickster tales.
One similarity that these two trickster tales have is that they explain why the world is how it is. For example in “Coyote and the Buffalo” Coyote kills the young cow that was given to him by Buffalo Bull as food, then he goes to Buffalo Bull to ask for another one, but the young cow that Coyote had killed has returned from the dead and refuses to go with him and Buffalo Bull also denies him another one. This explains why there are no buffalo in the Kettle Falls on the Columbia River, all because of Coyote.
In “Fox and Coyote and Whale” Fox and Coyote go after Fox’s wife who was kidnapped by Whale. After Fox and Coyote rescue her, Fox cuts off Whale’s head and tosses it into the ocean and that is why whales don’t live in the rivers and Whale could no longer make love to the wives of other men. The trickster tale also explains why Land People and Water people don’t love each other because Fox killed Whale. Another similarity between these two trickster tales is the moral teachings.
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The moral teaching in “Coyote and the Buffalo” is to not be greedy. An example would be when Coyote killed the young cow for more food because he was tired of eating the fat of the young cow and as a result he gets the remains of the young cow stolen and is soon left with nothing. In “Fox and Coyote and Whale” the moral is to be helpful and selfless. An example would be when Fox and Coyote set on a quest to rescue Fox’s wife from Whale.
In the end Fox ends up getting his wife back because Coyote was selfless and helpful. The difference is how Coyote is portrayed in these trickster tales. In “Coyote and the Buffalo” Coyote can be seen as a coward because when he his in a tree with Buffalo Bull on the ground trying to knock the tree down and trying to kill him Coyote bargains with Buffalo Bull that if he spares his life he will make him new horns. However, in “Fox and Coyote and Whale” Coyote can be seen as a hero.
He helps his brother, Fox, rescue his wife. In the first trickster tale he is seen as someone who only helps himself unlike in the second one he is seen as someone who helps his brother. In conclusion, both of these tales are similar, but they do have at least one difference. What they have in common can be seen in how they explain why the world is the way it is and moral teachings. They do, however, have a difference and its how the character Coyote is portrayed in each trickster tale.
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