In BURNT on December 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm


The stove smokes.  A long time has passed since it has been lit.  Sunday and Arango sit cross-legged on a hand-woven rug with a diamond pattern.  The old man pours beads of many colors and sizes from a leather bag.  They land in a formless pile between them.

Arango picks out a blue bead and threads it onto a long piece of string.  He passes it to his daughter.  Sunday threads a silver one and passes it back.  The string moves silently between them in this way until Arango asks, “Shall I tell you the story of how the Coyote tricked the wind?”

Sunday nods.

“Coyote was wandering in the desert and he came to a great lake.  Coyote was lazy and didn’t want to travel so far around the lake, so he said to the Water, ‘Water, why don’t you move aside so that I can cross here?’  Well, Water was lazy too, so she said, ‘No, no. You must walk around, Coyote.’  Coyote looked at the long trail around the lake and said, ‘You must move to one side or maybe to the other and I will walk across.’  But still Water would not move.  So Coyote called to his friend the Wind and he whispered in his ear.  ‘Do you hear what Water says?  She brags that she is stronger than you.  She tells the world that you cannot make her move.’  Wind was angry and he blew and he blew at the water.  But Water would not move so Wind blew some more.  And as he blew, the air grew very hot and soon the Water boiled and soon it disappears completely.  Coyote was very happy and he crosses the lake.  But half-way across, he got very, very thirsty and there was no water.  This is how we got the Santana winds, which still blow hot when the Wind is angry.  And this is how Coyote came to die of thirst at the bottom of a lake.”

Sunday starts.  The pile of beads is gone and between Arango’s nimble fingers shines a finished necklace.

He gently places it around her neck.

The Story So Far

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