The Day the Dogs Disappeared

Spider Magazine for KidsJuly/August 2020

The Day the Dogs Disappeared
THERE WAS A time, many moons ago, when humans and coyotes lived in harmony. People told stories of the great trickster Coyote and how he brought fire to humans, winter to the world, and stars to the Milky Way. They honored coyotes with dances and songs. They even saved the best scraps of meat for them.
Shelley Walden

But as the years passed, people’s relationship with the land changed. They plowed the prairies, chopped the forests, and paved the deserts. They even found new animals to adore . . .

Dogs! The people oohed and aahed over pugs and Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus and terriers, retrievers and cockapoos. Their hearts became so filled with dogs that there was no room left for coyotes.

“The people have forgotten us,” Chief Coyote said one day. “They no longer tell stories of our adventures.”

“It is true,” Brother Coyote said. “They gave bones to our ancestors. Now those mongrels get them all.”

“We must find our way back into their hearts,” Sister Coyote said.

“Then we should go into their homes, for that is how dogs won their love,” Chief said.

“Good idea,” Sister said. “But first we need to get those pesky dogs out of the way somehow.”

“Simple,” Brother said. “We’ll convince them to switch places with us.”

It was a very coyote thing to say. For they had a long history of impersonating other animals—like woodpecker, snowbird, and even buffalo. Although it never ended well, coyotes kept trying to be something they weren’t.

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July/August 2020