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Sister Moon and the Trickster's Lost Path

"Coyote walked along the Sage-dappled, wide-open desert path that led toward Dah'jeh-le-vah's deep-green, high-Mountain slopes.  It had been a long time since Coyote had visited his friends who lived in that ancient, spirit-touched and forested land.  Like so many animals who lived on the desert Flatlands below the Mountain of the Ancestors, Coyote rarely journeyed all the way to Dah'jeh-le-vah's up-Mountain heights.  And as the ancient Trickster peered past the tall, desert-gray Ironwood trees and gazed toward the verdant heights that lay beyond the dry and rolling, rocky hills...Coyote frowned.

     " 'I have forgotten my way,' the yellow-eyed Trickster furrowed his hairy eyebrows.  Then he looked around for someone to follow who might know the way to the top of the Mountain.

     "But no one came.  So he waited.  And he waited.  Coyote waited until Peh-lah-na, Sister Moon, had risen in the eastern Sky.  Then he looked up and cried out in a mournful howl for help from Sister Moon.

     " 'I am so lost,' the large-tailed Trickster, who was increasingly becoming hungry, repeatedly yelped in a most-desperate, loud and piercing voice.  'And no one will lead me to the top of the Mountain.'

     "Sister Moon looked down and graciously smiled.  'How is it that you do not remember your way?' Peh-lah-na asked.

     " 'I never knew the way,' Trickster howled in despair.

     " 'Did no one ever show you?' Sister Moon whispered. 

     " 'Well,' answered Coyote, 'once they did.  But I merely followed, and did not pay attention to where I was going.  And now I am lost.'

     " 'If I were to be the one to forget my way after the Creator carefully showed me how to cross the nighttime sky,' Peh-lah-na smiled again, 'what do you think would happen?'

     " 'We'd be left in darkness,' Coyote spoke in a seriously hushed tone as he warily peeked over his shoulder.  He could not imagine a nighttime sky without the pale-yellow, light-bright face of Sister Moon to guide him on his journeys through the real-world Darkness.

     " 'Forgetting is just like that my Brother,' Sister Moon smiled.  'When we are left with nothing—not even a memory—then Darkness has most certainly won.  If you choose, you can follow me, but my path leads far to the west, away from the Mountain of the Ancestors.  I have not forgotten my own destiny.  Nor have I lost my way,' Sister Moon whispered softly as she compassionately gazed down at Coyote.

     " 'If you want to return to Dah'jeh-le-vah's spirit-blessed heights then you will have to discover it on your own.  Sadly, as you seem to have already learned, only those who find their own path to the top of the Mountain can truly remember their way.' "


     "Sister Moon and the Trickster's Lost Path," from the Ancient Tales of the Kah-ta'i-hai'a ~ as Told by Moon Woman to Nichi-Iya and Nichi-Te'o-Hai

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